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October 26, 2015

Finding the ROI in software-defined infrastructure

C-level briefing: Accenture’s MD of Network Services Strategy explains why enterprises should be phasing out legacy networks.

By Alexander Sword

Accenture‘s Managing Director for Network Services Strategy, George Nazi, sat down with CBR to discuss what software-defined infrastructure actually means for you and your business.

 

CBR: Why should enterprises be interested in software-defined infrastructure?

Software-defined infrastructure gives telcos the opportunity to help enterprises provide an on-demand and dynamic network which is tailored to the requirements of that particular enterprise.

There are two main advantages of software-defined infrastructure. The first is that it gives telcos the flexibility to react dynamically to changing enterprise requirements quickly and responsively, avoiding long cumbersome changes to infrastructure.

The second benefit is that it can be implemented on a pay-as-you-go basis, because it’s a dynamic network that’s intrinsically flexible which allows for an equally flexible economic model. An example of this would be paid for cloud storage which offers digital storage space as demand is required.

CBR: What is your main advice for moving to software-defined infrastructure?

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Moving to a software-defined infrastructure should include the accelerated phase-out of legacy networks in favour of a new network that will enable companies to operate in tomorrow’s fragmented world, with its plenitude of players.

By accelerating their phase-out of legacy networks and their transition to a new, flexible network, providers and enterprises will be enabled to fully participate in the digital environment of tomorrow.

Network operations will also need to shift to a software paradigm and software operating models.

Finally, companies will need to extend these changes to the workforce as the shift will require unique new skills, new ways of designing, building and operating software networks in the cloud, and a shift in budgeting and monetisation models from CAPEX-intensive, hardware-based infrastructure to OPEX-focused, software-based models.

CBR: How can enterprises ensure an ROI from software-defined infrastructure?

The software-defined infrastructure approach will deliver a great deal of added value, offering providers a new flexibility to debut more services, improve vendor diversity and cut operational costs. It gives companies open environment rather relying on a supplier that locks you in.

The requisite new network, which will incorporate open system interconnection (OSI) in order to meet future broadband requirements, will enable high-quality services, lower operating costs, and a reduced time to market for new services, while also permitting providers to maintain a healthy margin.

Ultimately, it will drive reductions in both OPEX and CAPEX, while also reducing the time to market and empowering users to leverage the network in ways never before imagined.

It will also drive a massive shift in the customer experience and the underlying analytics needed to build and sustain that experience, empowering a wealth of business intelligence and bi-directional ratings in a world of interconnected wearable devices coupled with IoT and robotic transportation and delivery mechanisms.

CBR: What impacts does software-defined infrastructure have on the user experience?

Software-defined infrastructure offers an enhanced user experience due to the digital capability being directly connected to the infrastructure. The whole process is seamless and flexible.

For telcos, many of the challenges of assuring a superior service experience are due to the traditional limitations of customer data and analytics performed on that data.

 

CBR: How can it be aligned with business goals?

The benefit of software-defined infrastructure is that it’s completely adaptable and flexible to individual needs, so it can easily and quickly be aligned to any business goal as demand requires.

 

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