An improvement from CLI-based tools is proprietary GUI-based software offered by network device vendors. Though these GUI-based software greatly simplify network management and automation, they’re vendor-specific. This can prove to be very expensive for enterprises that employ network devices by different vendors, as they have to invest in a multitude of such software.
Then there are GUI-based platforms that are vendor-agnostic. These platforms, once deployed, manage all devices that are added in their inventory, regardless of the vendor. Apart from being easy to use, they’re also less expensive than their vendor-specific counterparts as one such platform can replace several other proprietary ones. Take a thorough inventory of your network devices and components – servers, switches, routers, firewalls, ADCs, LANs, and VLANs. Gather and maintain accurate data (or Network Source of Truth), like versions, health and performance metrics, and a log of service changes they’ve undergone over the years. This will help you determine how ready your network is to automation, and whether it requires some fundamental restructuring.
Identify the key pain points/areas you want automated Start by making a list of the top time-consuming, resource-hungry, usually repetitive processes in your network. These are the ones that you should automate right away. They could be change management, processes associated with network configuration (those two that were mentioned in a result above), or anything that would be better off automated.
More info: what is the gig economy