Automation in IT is on the rise, particularly in infrastructures and operations. Many enterprises chose to adopt automation practices last year primarily because others started doing it, or just to get ahead of the competition may be. Automation is nevertheless one of the hottest trends in IT now, but what does it do? Why automate?
Essentially, automation helps an enterprise leverage the potential of modern technologies and methodologies to drive business. Today’s dynamic business ecosystem demands the adaptability and flexibility only automation can give. This makes it a necessity today than just a trend.
Apart from that mentioned above, companies that are fully aware of what automation can do choose it because of several other factors. The increasing adoption of automation also has to do with factors such as APIs, cloud technology, machine learning etc. The cloud’s already dominating, and machine learning prospects are impressive. The potential of a right mix of these factors fuel the adoption of automation.
Let’s look at these factors in detail.
Cloud, containers, and microservices
Cloud technologies lead the technical factors that accelerate automation adoption, especially in the operations department of an enterprise. However, the cloud is still a sophisticated technology which is challenging to use and optimize. It can be particularly challenging for a startup that’s expecting to grow at a fast pace (the infrastructure would grow in parallel subsequently requiring complex optimization of the cloud computing tech in use).
Containers and microservices helped reduce such complexities for many organizations. But this also indicates that the addition of automation can be vital. For instance, it’s possible for most enterprises to deploy a couple hundred servers manually. But if the business grows and there are thousands of servers to deploy, manual effort is no longer an option. Automation can do just that – deploy scalable workloads without increase in staff.
Kubernetes is a good example that fits this context, allowing organizations to utilize the potential of cloud, containers, and microservices effectively even while the operational needs evolve.
Increasing delivery speed of software development
The many changes in IT over the years do not pertain to technologies alone. Customer demands have changed as well. They expect faster delivery from IT now. In the case of software development, the age old monolithic lifecycle is not enough now.
IT is expected to be fast enough to drive market share, meet customer expectations, and deliver faster. Such expectations now started becoming demands. For IT to get faster, there should be a shift from manual human-driven culture to a machine-driven culture.
Modern software development culture, including the Agile-DevOps culture, can be complemented with automation practices that reduce deployment times without compromising quality. Automation brings scalability and flexibility into the mix (with the cloud enhancing it even further) i.e. people won’t have to put a lot of effort to sustain and grow the business environment. Continuous deployment platforms, containers, and other similar technologies are better leveraged with the help of automation.
If you observe keenly, you can see the involvement of APIs pretty much everywhere in the digital realm. APIs also eliminated one particular vulnerability of automation.
For automation to be effective, it needs to be capable of interacting with the diverse resources in the infrastructure the same way as humans interact with applications. A while back, automation wasn’t capable of such a feat, which became one of its biggest limitations. APIs changed all that.
Programmable APIs for an infrastructure now enables automation to do all that and more regardless of whether it’s on-premises or on the cloud.
The people factor
One of the main challenges for every enterprise is to do more with less. Imagine if an enterprise’s human talent spends too much time on manual tasks. The big picture view here would make it clear that the enterprise is not getting the best work from their staff. Essentially, they are NOT doing more with less.
Automation in an enterprise IT workspace addresses this, ensuring that the right people perform the right tasks. As a matter of fact, this is one of the major use cases of automation. While automation takes care of most of the manual tasks, people can focus their critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities more on strategic IT initiatives thus promoting a healthier work culture. The end business outcome goes positive considerably as people start working on tasks that match their experience and capabilities.
The cost factor
Last but not the least, there is the cost factor that translates from the people factor. For an enterprise, if its senior engineers are working on maintenance tasks, it’s safe to say that the enterprise is paying a lot for the maintenance. The task can be limited to junior employees. However, present industry standards still would demand the enterprise to spend a lot.
As mentioned earlier, most manual tasks can be automated now, enabling employees to focus on mission-critical tasks. So there are cost savings involved. Cost savings is one of the major reasons that drives automation projects in enterprises. That is not a healthy approach.
The approach should be looking at opportunity costs too instead. It is lucrative for an enterprise to redirect their staff from manual work to more strategic tasks which automation can do. Then there is the benefit of faster time-to-market. Without such benefits from automation, the enterprise would be spending more and doing less. Automation presents them the option to make something out of these small windows opportunity. Every little contribution reduces spend one way or the other.
Smart businesses capitalize on opportunity cost and not on how they would have to spend to implement automation.
So have you checked if your business has what it takes to drive automation? Is it cloud-driven? Do you use APIs? If you still haven’t leveraged automation for your business, you will lose your foothold very soon. If you want to see what automation combined with the cloud can do, you should seek an expert for answers. If you are reading this, you just found yourself the expert.
AoT’s expertise in all these factors that fuels automation makes us one of the best help you can get in getting your business ahead of the game. Get in touch with us to learn how automation fits your business’ ecosystem.