Investigating adoption and implementation of software defined network in Higher Education - Case of Northern Cape
Software Defined Networking (SDN) has been proposed to provide solutions that could significantly help Higher Educational Institutions to reduce not only expenditure in networking, but also the overall energy consumption of network equipment. Accordingly, SON is seen as a "new idea in networking" by advocating separation of control plane and data plane which makes networking equipment to be logically programmable and become centrally controlled. SON is fairly a new policy area and it has been included in the national strategies of many countries. However, it is not that case in South Africa as, there is no SON policy at national level. In view of this concern, this study realised that there is no readily available framework that could guide SON adoption policy and whereon to start Academic Institutions. Therefore, this study argues that there is a need for a framework that provides policy makers with a clear step by step process involved in developing SON policies. This research conducted content analysis on theories for policy development using secondary sources in literature in order to obtain a thorough understanding of the processes necessary for the formulation of an effective SON policy. This study therefore, is an attempt to fill this gap in literature, and also explore SON application in the current network in higher education institutions with the aim to reduce or relieve some expenditure in these institutions. To achieve its aim, the study conducted focus groups online survey with experts from Higher Education Institutions in Northern Cape Province, policy makers and experts from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as a relevant government sector to formulate and refine framework. It is hoped that the proposed framework will assist these policy makers to formulate an SON policy that could address financial challenges in Higher Educational Institutions.