CIOs are grappling with two seemingly contradictory imperatives: transform IT to the digital future \u2014 i.e. cloud, analytics, mobile, IoT and social \u2014 while at the same time keeping the legacy applications and processes operating securely \u2014 and accomplish both with relatively flat budgets. On the face of it, a difficult challenge, but enhancing your automation and orchestration capabilities will help you to successfully straddle the Digital Transformation(DX)\/legacy datacenter divide.\n\n\nWhere We Are\n\n\nAlmost everything involved with IT \u2014 except overall budgets \u2014 is growing exponentially:\n\n\nThe $148 billion cloud market is growing at 25% annually, with IaaS and PaaS services soaring at a 53% rate;\nBy the year 2020 there will be 4.1 billion Internet users, 26.3 billion networked devices and connections, and datacenter traffic will jump 330%;\nActionable data will grow by 9.6x and connected devices will grow to 80 billion by 2025; and,\nWorldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from $130.1 billion in 2016 to more than $203 billion in 2020.\n\n\nIT budgets will increase 2.7% this year, to $3.5 trillion, but spending on cloud infrastructure \u2014 server, storage, and switches \u2014 will jump 18.2% (to $44.2 billion), while spending on non-cloud IT infrastructure will decline 3.3%.\n\n\nAlthough the majority of end-user spending (57.9%) will still be done on on-premises IT infrastructure \u2014 on-premises private cloud and traditional IT \u2014 IDC expects that spending on off-premises cloud IT infrastructure will experience a five-year compound annual growth rate of 14.2% through 2020, while spending on non-cloud IT will decline at a CAGR of 1.9% during the same period.\n\n\nWhere We\u2019re Going\n\n\nWe\u2019re going digital \u2014 AKA digitization, digital disruption\/transformation (DT), DX,\u00a0Digital Cohesion or Industry 4.0 \u2014 and everything will change. It\u2019s not just that digital transformation drives\u00a0significant business performance improvements in speed to market, customer satisfaction and new business revenue. On average, companies going digital can expect to increase annual revenues by 2.9% and reduce costs 3.6%.\n\n\nGoing all in, i.e. \u201cfirst movers who combine high investment levels with advanced digitization,\u201d are \u201cgaining a\u00a0nearly insurmountable advantage over competitors.\u201d Although just a tiny fraction of the market, first movers \u201care far more likely to be forecasting both revenue gains of more than 30% and cost reduction of more than 30% at the same time.\u201d\n\n\nAt the center of this brave new digital future are the datacenter and the network. Networks will need to move large amounts of information quickly and securely to and within the cloud, putting tremendous pressure on networking technologies, and demanding new approaches for automation and orchestration.\n\n\nAutomation\n\n\nWith growing demands and limited budgets, networks need to do more with less, i.e. automation (the process of managing and automating the workflow and processes of a datacenter facility), or what Juniper calls \u201cSelf-Driving Networks.\u201d Rather than expending up to 90% of IT resources just to keep the lights on \u2014 and suffering a minimum of six network errors per month \u2014 automation will enable a much more reliable and agile network with auto provisioning, smart auto-bandwidth and fast resolution (and prevention) of security issues.\n\n\nAutomation in the datacenter is not new, but it\u2019s more complex with networking. It is intended to speed up the provisioning, management and orchestration of datacenter network operations but how organizations define network automation varies widely, and it is seen more as a means to an end than as a goal in its own right. The ends are security and compliance, according to Enterprise Strategy Group research.\n\n\nJuniper\u2019s operations strategy is based on automating provisioning, streamlining day-to-day management, and orchestration of networking platforms that combine to enable faster response to dynamic business environments. Automation will reduce operational complexity through simplification and abstraction, enable customers to deploy new network services faster, and improve capacity utilization and network resiliency through deep telemetry. With SDNs, networks self-discover, self-configure, self-monitor, self-fill in the blank. The path to these \u2018zero touch\u2019 networks relies on telemetry, automation, machine learning, and programming with declarative intent.\n\n\nOrchestration\n\n\nTo effectively address the complex requirements of today's data centers, IT organizations need orchestration solutions that can consistently implement service models, governance, and policies across complex, heterogeneous environments \u2014 including cloud, virtual, and legacy infrastructure. Like automation, orchestration (the automated arrangement, coordination, and management of computer [network] systems, middleware, and services) has been active in the datacenter for years.\n\n\nIn fact, the two terms are often mistakenly used interchangeably. Analyst Steve Beaver uses a LEGO\u00ae analogy to clarify the terms: automation is like the LEGO pieces, and orchestration is what the LEGO pieces create. When done right, he added, the two technologies play off one another to result in streamlined, more accurate execution of operational processes that speed up successful deployments.\n\n\nRegardless of how similar\/dissimilar orchestration and automation are, it is essential that they work together for organizations that will be operating hybrid virtual, cloud, and legacy environments for the immediate future. Together they must enable unified workflows and help integrate configuration, provisioning, capacity utilization, and resource utilization across all available resources and infrastructure.\n\n\nWith the growing popularity of software-defined everything, including networking (the other SDN), you can now add Software-defined Network Orchestration. \u2018What SDNO can do is cut down the amount of time and headcount required to manage the network, enforcing consistency and letting administrators know when things aren\u2019t matching what they should,\u2019 according to senior analyst John Fruehe, Moor Insights & Strategy.\n\n\nSummary\n\n\nDigitization is a journey, one that has barely begun, according to a survey of more than 2,700 IT and business decision-makers. i.e. 84% of respondents admit their organization would perform better if their current C-Suite were more tech-savvy. But the journey has begun, and with \u2018first movers\u2019 looking at revenue gains and cost reductions in excess of 30%, a long delay can prove costly.\n\n\nIn a digital world drowning in devices and data, networks need to be fast and flexible to meet rapidly changing customer and business demands. Network automation and orchestration can help deliver that agility by simplifying and accelerating network operations and workflows and ensure you start your digital transformation on the right path.