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Digital transformation is everywhere, across all market segments and industries. As organizations adapt to changing business conditions and consumer expectations, implementing the right infrastructure and network is front and center. Those who lack digitalization strategies simply won’t survive.

We’ve shared our thoughts on harnessing the power of transformation. Moving beyond this, the latest trends in artificial intelligence and automation in managed network services create even more opportunities to improve resilience, efficiency and service-orientated growth.

The traditional hands-on way of managing network operations and responding to incidents, outages and upgrades is changing – and for good reason. Today’s IT workloads are stretched to new limits, and manual response times aren’t quick enough to address costly network impacts and threats.

The rise of the API: taking the first steps

Application programming interfaces (APIs) deliver greater access to underlying technologies and enable new levels of automation to improve service-level agreement support, network uptime and service requests. Used with other intelligent technologies such as cloud-based management platforms and machine learning, APIs can identify issues in a timely and practical way while reducing the need for manual intervention and room for error.

One of the first steps in digital transformation to enable automated operations is improving how network engineers perform level-one ticket handling and level-two service management tasks. Automation supports the first level of interaction with an issue by streamlining workflows and reducing delays, as smart platforms identify patterns through advanced anomaly detection and event correlation to make a rapid determination.

Operational tasks, responding to service requests, closing tickets and performing changes can be done faster, more succinctly and with better quality. APIs help to intelligently automate routine yet complex tasks to minimize manual intervention and improve service delivery. Organizations benefit from the ease of self-sufficiency across the network, making life easier for those who manage the network and the end-user experience.

Better uptime and network performance

When it comes to managing networks, environments and processes remotely across large central campus sites and multiple geographic locations, visibility and knowledge of events are key. Forward-thinking organizations today are adopting artificial intelligence (AI) operations to improve level-one and -two service management efficiency and shape the network experience by learning from data-driven events.

Regardless of the industry, it is critical to gather and harness data on the network to influence smarter deployment decisions and shorten response and incident resolution times. Data-rich functionality offers valuable insights to drive decisions on network resource allocation and how to design and revise these when necessary.

Network workflows are complex, and AI operations create a set of options for how platforms ingest data, perform analytics, flag anomalies, store historical information and share feedback by streamlining previously labour-intensive tasks. Detecting anomalies and predicting degradations can be done ahead of time. By learning from data patterns, intelligent network environments increase availability by improving monitoring for uptime and performance.

[subhead] The final frontier in managed network services

The next level of adopting autonomous operations focuses on zero-human touch and manual effort for all level-one and -two tasks. Marrying AI with automated actions and responses means all network and service orchestration, workflows and processes can be completed without human intervention. Better service-request turnaround times and frictionless network development and deployment are a win for any organization.

Network uptime is an industry-wide challenge, and a particularly costly one for the manufacturing sector. Shifting to a more automated, more intelligent network environment that’s also centrally managed aligns with immediate and future industry needs. Outages are predicted, intercepted and prevented before they affect the factory floor. If one component goes down or an anomaly is detected, actions can be taken to rectify the situation before operations need to be halted. It’s a game-changer.

In the following article in this series, we’ll explore managed campus network best practices that can be applied to any industry.

Learn more about NTT’s Managed Enterprise Networks.

Amit Dhingra is Executive Vice President of Enterprise Network Services at NTT.