What is IT Automation?
IT automation is the process of automating individual, distinct tasks within your business, while IT orchestration links those tasks together to automate entire processes. With the move of IT infrastructure into the cloud, automation and orchestration are becoming an increasingly important part of cloud services. As part of your business case for cloud migration and expansion, it can be useful to understand the benefits that automation and orchestration bring to your business.
Automation of Low-Value, Repeatable Tasks
Automation works best for tasks where a human operator would not add much, if any value. These tasks are typically the easily repeatable, low-level, mundane tasks that most employees dislike. By automating these tasks, you remove the need for employees to have to complete them. This leads to:
- Improved morale as employees can focus on more interesting and fulfilling activities.
- Less chance of human error due to bad data input or other issues when transferring actions or information.
- Reduction of boredom and frustration in the workforce and strengthening a sense of purpose.
Organizations are leveraging automation for traditionally manual storage management tasks that can introduce human error that impacts availability or cause downtime. In this case, automation also has the additional benefits of reducing provisioning delays due to limited staff availability and ensuring that best practices are followed.
Orchestration of Business Processes
When you integrate multiple automated tasks together, you can orchestrate the whole, end-to-end process. This will lead to substantial gains in efficiency, accuracy and speed. You can expect:
- Reduced waste due to less human error and the need for rework.
- An easily scalable process, as it’s much easier to add computing resources and functions to an automated process than it is to add employees and business resources to a manual one.
- Faster processes as operations are only limited by capacity and compute speeds, rather than the availability and capability of a human operator.
- Greater accuracy as automated processes do not “make mistakes” – although it is important to make sure processes are configured and optimized correctly.
With storage, for example, IT organizations are turning to automation and integrated management solutions to help them manage their growing, changing and evolving environments.
Greater Staff Engagement and Innovation
The reduction in low-value tasks will motivate your employees to spend their time and energy creating more value for the business. You can focus their objectives around growing the business, and align employee goals with innovation and improvement, rather than simply “getting through the day.” This will reduce team friction, improve relationships and make management and support much easier.
Standardization of Automated Processes
Businesses depend on reliability and quality, so automating processes provides much more control over inputs and outputs. Standardization is a long-term goal for businesses across all sectors, especially as they grow. IT automation can also help a business to meet its regulatory and compliance goals, and can assist with quality and other ISO certifications.
Storage Automation for Seamless Service Delivery
There are significant opportunities to take advantage of automation for storage management, which can be labor-intensive, whether on-premises or in a cloud environment. NetApp® OnCommand® Workflow Automation saves you time and money by making it easy to create simple or complex workflows. With the ability to create storage workflows for the most frequent tasks and make them available to consumers for one-click automation, OnCommand automates and integrates storage workflows with existing IT orchestration processes for fast, seamless delivery of services to consumers. And by implementing OnCommand Workflow Automation in storage management operations, you can adhere to data management best practices. And, by leveraging OnCommand to construct, customize, publish and activate a broad range of storage workflows, you can achieve fast, reliable deployments for enterprise applications.
Ultimately, automating processes leads to less waste, happier staff, higher profit margins and an improved bottom line. With the ease of automating and orchestrating in the cloud, it makes good sense to focus on process improvement that will drive business success.