WORDS BY Jasna Simončič
POSTED IN IT Automation
This post was originally published on the XLAB blog.
Modern businesses must respond quickly to the rapidly evolving technology landscape and market demands and innovate faster than ever before to deliver top-notch services, providing superior user experience. That can’t be done without constantly incorporating new technologies. And as the world moves forward at the speed of light, IT teams - the backbone of modern organizations - struggle to keep the lights on when they should be shining instead.
Maintaining, instead of innovating
Businesses rely on their IT departments to maintain core processes and incorporate new technologies to help them grow and thrive. But instead of paving the way to business success, IT teams are crumbling under the pressure of keeping an increasingly complex infrastructure up and running.
While complexity and demands are growing, IT teams are not. They have to manage a dynamic IT infrastructure consisting of key operational and technical components (such as servers, networks, data, storage, applications, processes, platforms, policies, and security). That requires continuous maintenance, monitoring, configuration, provisioning, and deployment of assets. At the same time, they must maintain a high level of security, prevent downtime, address disaster recovery, and on top of that, keep up with and integrate new technologies. As if all that wasn’t enough, most IT teams still cope with these challenges manually, even though they could easily be automated.
Complex problem, simple solution: IT automation
Although the solution is simple, it also presents a paradox. Automation sounds nice, but how to deal with setting it up on top of all the teams are already dealing with? Ain’t nobody got time for that, right? Well, here’s the thing. IT automation is precisely the solution of this ‘too busy to automate’ quandary, since it takes the most time-consuming tasks off your hands. Literally.
Businesses across various industries such as financial, telecommunication, insurance, and retail are already leveraging IT automation to make the most of their resources and compete successfully in global markets, leaving those still trying to manage them manually in the dust. IT automation increases efficiency and speeds up delivery of high-quality user-focused services, enabling businesses to grow while decreasing costs at the same time.
Sounds too good? We haven’t even started! Dive into the benefits of embracing IT automation.
1. Increase speed, efficiency, and productivity
The speed with which even the most diligent experts can accomplish complex workloads can’t compare to automation, able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously and without the errors that normally accompany manual processes. Freeing your experts from manual labor not only shortens the time it takes to complete tasks but also increases their productivity. When most of the work they were overloaded with is done automatically, your experts can accomplish much more with fewer resources.
2. Minimize service disruptions
Can you imagine a business to function without having all its IT services up and running? Minutes of downtime can lead to huge losses in productivity, revenue, and reputation. Whether it’s a security breach, simple human error, maxed out resources, or some other reason, vital services are always at risk of disruption. Yet, businesses still rely heavily on manual maintenance. While IT teams are always on the lookout for potential failures and engaged in mitigation when they occur, by automating monitoring, incident management, root cause identification, and recovery systems, they could be informed of potential errors, prevent them or automate response to them, all without any significant service disruption.
3. Eliminate human error, increase reliability
While the most important part of any organization is its people, organizations could do without our tendency to make mistakes. With repetitive tasks, it’s easy to miss a detail, and all it takes is one small mistake to bring things to a halt. It leads to either a disruption in services or a lot of time and effort spent tracking down and correcting errors - both of which negatively impact effectiveness. Automated IT processes are the exact opposite. They perform a given task in the same way reliably and indefinitely.
4. Enable transparency
When things are done manually, the visibility suffers. Especially when it comes to the myriad activities involved in managing a system as complex as the IT infrastructure. Everyone has their way of doing things, and even when organizations use some sort of record-keeping system, updates still need to be entered manually, resulting in incomplete and inconsistent data. Automation provides standardization and transparency, meaning you have a clear, automated record of all activities and details associated with a particular project.
5. Accelerate delivery of your services
In the fast-paced environment, businesses must deliver new products and services rapidly, but not on account of lower quality. The quality is, in contrast, expected to rise. And all this while keeping costs under control. Sounds impossible? With IT automation increasing productivity and streamlining processes, rapid delivery of high-quality services isn’t just possible, it’s a given.
6. Speed up innovation
By automating lengthy manual tasks, your experts now have time for thinking up ways of optimizing processes even further, developing new services and improving existing ones. All of this helps businesses deliver new, improved, and reliable services much faster, resulting in elevated user experience and, consequently, revenue growth.
7. Reduce operational costs
The bigger the business, the higher the operating costs, right? With automation, an increase in size does not necessarily mean an increase in cost. Less service downtime, maximum efficiency, elimination of errors, more time spent on value-added tasks… it all adds up to significant cost savings. However, the most important benefit of IT automation in terms of cost savings is that businesses can increase their workloads without increasing their resources.
8. Optimize performance and use of resources
Automating IT does not mean adding a myriad of new tools and services to your infrastructure, making it even more complex. It helps you use what you already have in a better way instead. Automation enables using your resources in an optimal way to get the most out of your IT environment.
9. Build stronger IT security
Converting security tasks into automatically executed workflows enables real-time threat detection and instant response execution. Instead of IT teams being overwhelmed by security alerts, incident response is standardized, which enables threat prioritization and automated response to most incidents. Your experts can deal with only the most critical incidents that require human intervention.
10. Boost business growth
IT teams rapidly deploying new technologies, increased productivity, efficiency, and agility, fast delivery of services shaped around user wants and needs, your experts focusing on innovation… where else could this lead but to growth and success of your business?
And don’t forget about the most important benefit of them all – employee satisfaction!
Far too often, companies hire the best IT experts only to have them drown in soul-crushing tasks (and boredom), when they should be using their skills on strategic tasks. Can you blame them for looking for career opportunities in a more challenging environment where they can really put their talent to use? By letting automation take care of manual work, your people can focus on strategizing, which fills them with purpose. Inspired people stay with you longer and share your journey to success.
Why choose Ansible for your IT automation? Because with Ansible, you can automate most of the IT tasks, such as configuration management, application deployment, orchestration, provisioning, and security. And what sets Ansible apart the most is that is as powerful as it is easy to use. Learn more.
Eager to get started?
By now you’re probably wondering why you haven’t started automating yet, and you can’t wait to get started. And you should. But before you burden your IT teams with yet another task, consider this: until IT automation takes care of repetitive work, your experts are still drowning in it. While they are undoubtedly even more eager to leave the heavy lifting to automation, setting up a reliable automation process and reap it’s benefits as soon as possible can present a challenge.
Every business is unique. It’s important to find the automation strategy that’s right for yours. In order to really seize the opportunities of IT automation, it is advisable to work with experts. As IT automation specialists and experts in Ansible, the most popular open source automation tool out there, we can help you determine the best strategy, deploy Ansible across your IT infrastructure, equip your teams with knowledge to use Ansible on their own and achieve reliable automation. Reach out, our experts will be happy to help you get started.