As many Communications Service Providers (CSPs) express interest in the potential of automation across the end-to-end network lifecycle as a critical element to reinforce and provide 5G and DevOps, it’s fair to say that digital transformation has become a prevalent topic of discussion.

But while interest in 5G and DevOps pipeline automation is high, CSPs are quick to mention the difficulties they face with implementation. Such challenges include working collaboratively across domains, re-utilizing automation, and reducing the time it takes to receive the latest software or configuration changes into production.

Siloes need silencing 

Most CSPs’ efforts in automation are constrained to particular sections of the network and IT infrastructure. This is due to automation often being developed as standalone scripts used by different domain teams, like NFVI, 5G Core or IMS. Moreover, each team designs and manages automation using their own environments; however, the absence of a single platform often requires continuous manual updates and causes delays.

Highly skilled software engineers end up repeating the work done by their colleagues, as teams cannot see or use the automation other teams have created. In turn, efficiency decreases, costs increase, and automation becomes less timely to introduce.

In other words, the siloed approach holds back CSPs, and hinders them from acknowledging the full benefits that automation can provide. 

Further, setbacks caused by a siloed structure can be exacerbated by outside challenges, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly altered the way many companies are operating today. For the time being, as CSPs work to operate under social distancing policies, they are left with fewer on-site staff and the remaining workforce finds themselves even more siloed than before as colleagues work from home.

Alternative workflow required

DevOps and Agile service delivery need technology, processes and people to work together more cohesively to cut delivery times and allow automation of the full-service lifecycle. In order to have teams that can create, execute, monitor and re-use end-to-end automation workflows across various domains, you need a common platform that allows for collaboration.   

Engineers who can digitize methods of procedures (DigiMOPs) or develop automation artifacts, can create end-to-end automation workflows adapted to particular service delivery scenarios and clearly-defined customer conditions.  

Moreover, it enables the realization of use cases, like single-click automated software integration, configuration deployment, testing and delivery, streamlined automated software updates, and closed-loop automation within a live network.

This approach provides an overarching layer for administration of automation workflows and end-to-end development, supporting the implementation of DevOps. 

The need for speed 

Automated methods of service delivery can dramatically enhance efficiency over the network lifecycle, reducing delivery times by up to 74% and cutting costs by up to around  30 percent. In addition, automation can eliminate human errors and improve reliability in the delivery process by up to 90%. Ultimately, CSP’s need to break out of the siloes and opt to work collaboratively to ensure the creation re-usable automation, which is critical to maximize efficiency and successfully implement 5G and DevOps. 

The post A CSP’s guide to 5G and DevOps (Reader Forum) appeared first on RCR Wireless News.


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