WORDS BY Jasna Simončič
This post was originally published on the XLAB blog.
IT automation is not a choice anymore, it’s a necessity. To stay competitive, a business must optimize processes and enable employees to stop focusing on routine tasks and start focusing on activities that create a competitive edge on the market. But how to begin the automation of your IT processes? XLAB Steampunk experts recommend Red Hat Ansible and help you with the implementation of automation.
Modern IT environments are getting more and more complex. They demand managing an increasing number of computing systems, and the use of hybrid infrastructures and public cloud only adds to the challenge. And as the complexity steeply rises, the application development cycles are becoming significantly shorter: instead of months and weeks, we’re talking about days.
To stay competitive in the market, optimization of processes is vital. IT teams unfortunately still dedicate a lot of time to manual management of systems instead of focusing their energy on developing new services and upgrading existing ones. So how do we optimize process management, relieve the teams, and increase business success? The key is automation.
What exactly is IT automation?
The more complex the system, the more complex the management of all its parts. IT automation means using tools to set up and repeat instructions and processes, which frees up staff to do more profound work, bringing value to businesses. IT automation enables organizations to efficiently and transparently manage, provision, and configure all components of complex systems: from servers, network, and security settings, to individual services of applications.
Basically, the point is we only have to define the processes once, and then leave the execution of processes to tools that carry out described tasks without unnecessary human intervention. In the world of complex computing networks where constant provisioning, configuring, and management is essential, and the business environment demands fast delivery of new services, automation is the strategy for success.
Less effort, more effect: IT automation drives innovation
Automation helps you do a lot more with a lot less. It increases productivity, security, and quality of services, while decreasing complexity, errors, time-to-market, and costs. By freeing IT teams of repetitive manual tasks, automation enables them to focus on strategic ones instead and deliver services faster, which in turn enables businesses to successfully compete and grow. And all that by significantly decreasing costs due to less working hours, devoted to routine tasks and fewer costs human error brings.
All that leads to the expansion of innovations because experts have more time for activities that increase businesses' development potential. And at the same time, clients get a better user experience. As the speed of application development is skyrocketing, one of the key elements of modern development is adequate automation of the delivery process of new versions of applications and services. Automation enables the establishment of a unified process that can be used in different environments (development, test, and production environment).
Which tool should you trust with such an important job?
There are many automation tools, but one standing out the most is Ansible by Red Hat. Ansible is an open source community project, sponsored by Red Hat, and it’s one of the most popular open source tools. Its enterprise version Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is being used in more than 1500 leading world companies, such as Microsoft, BMW, Swisscom, Deutsche Bank, and Siemens. Why? Because Ansible is powerful, yet simple to use and allows us to perfectly describe all existing infrastructure with one simple automation language.
Ansible automates provisioning, configuration, and management and it does so through collections of instructions, called Ansible playbooks. They describe procedures you want to execute and the way you want them to be executed - and all that in a language that both humans and computers understand. Ansible enables us to simplify management of extremely complex structures faster than with any other configuration management tool out there.
The biggest advantage of Ansible is that it is a very powerful tool, yet simple to use. But due to the diversity of existing hardware and software, setting up the automation process can be quite challenging. To facilitate the transition and make it really effective, collaboration with experts is highly recommended.
How can XLAB Steampunk help you?
XLAB Steampunk is specialized in IT automation with Ansible. It helps companies on their journey towards optimization with automation by consulting, deploying, and support when using Ansible. It also helps vendors to offer their users a great experience by building high-quality integrations for their products.
XLAB Steampunk has been an endorsed partner of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source solutions, since 2016 and as an Ansible Certified Partner has a deep knowledge of Ansible. Their experts share the knowledge, experience, and advice at renowned world conferences such as AnsibleFest and through various webinars.
Do you want to know more about IT automation? Improve your team’s efficiency in no time by using Ansible? Offer your clients a better user experience? Increase competing advantage while decreasing costs? Get in touch with our XLAB Steampunk experts, they will gladly help you out and find the best solution for you.