Five years after the advent of SDN and NFV, those technologies have moved into production spurred on by Cloud, IoT and 5G mega-trends. However, SDN/NFV adoption is far from mainstream. Recent discussions at SDN & NFV World Congress shed light on the reason why: Automation is the missing link. How can you hope to achieve rapid service velocity and dynamic network self-healing when people are controlling each step of day-to-day operations? If the management system itself is onerous to deploy and upgrade, how can it keep up with the requirements of a software-defined network?