Scaling automation: Practical steps for automating IT systems

A flexible, software-defined hybrid infrastructure is the best platform to automate at scale.

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Automation is transforming the workplace, touching every vertical from the retail sector to the legal sector, from pharmaceuticals to finance and HR. Gartner has predicted that, by 2024, nearly 70% of the routine work currently done by managers will be fully automated, changing the role of the manager and of workers too. A 2019 survey by Deloitte found that of 523 executives working across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, 58% had started using automation to transform their business processes, with 38% in the pilot stage, 12% pushing further into implementation, and 8% automating at scale.

Enterprise IT has, to a great extent, laid down the bedrock for this automated future, and it’s not surprising that IT departments are also looking at automation to simplify their work. What is surprising is that many organisations aren’t making the most of automation; instead of using it to become leaner and more flexible, they remain lumbered with sluggish infrastructure that keeps staff treading water.

Why? Because implementing automation strategies has turned out to be harder than IT teams expected, with technical challenges and issues of visibility, management and security all getting in the way.

These problems are exacerbated by the complexity of cloud computing, and by the necessity of managing a range of different cloud and on-premise architectures, all using different tools. While automation can be part of the solution to cloud complexity, it can also form part of the problem, especially when different architectures require their own toolsets, and when so few organisations have the in-house skills to do the necessary engineering at scale.

Accelerating automation with HPE Greenlake

There are small steps firms can take to start them on their automation journey, such as analysing IT workflows to isolate the most repetitive and time-consuming processes. They can lay the groundwork by standardising infrastructure, then move cautiously by piloting smaller projects to see where time and cost savings could be made.

Yet the real answer lies in moving to a modern, software-defined, composable infrastructure that comes with automation built-in. HPE GreenLake combines public cloud resources with on-premise hardware in a way that transforms the latter into pools of software-defined infrastructure that can be used with the same flexibility as public cloud. This lends itself to automation, because you can use the same tools to automate the whole IT environment, and because automation is baked into the underlying platform.

This means you can simplify provisioning. Rather than configure the underlying infrastructure to support a workload or a service, you can provision applications and environments in minutes, in the knowledge that – through automation – they will be secure, compliant and ready to scale.

This also means that you can streamline the work of workload management. HPE GreenLake can adapt the software-defined infrastructure to meet operating requirements, monitor and adjust workloads, and burst workloads out from private cloud to public cloud if more resources are required. What’s more, Greenlake incorporates automated monitoring of over 1,500 governance, risk and compliance controls, reducing another burden on IT. 

Through GreenLake’s built-in automation and HPE’s hybrid cloud design methodology, complex operations that might involve dozens of manual steps can be automated to the point where they require minimal manual intervention. This enables IT to deliver new services and environments on demand, while reducing the operational burdens on over-stretched teams and CIOs. And when further or custom automations are required, GreenLake works with existing tools, including Puppet and Ansible, so that organizations can work with the tools and technologies they’re already familiar with.

The benefits of GreenLake’s automation are more than theoretical – they’re realisable in terms of KPIs, delivering higher levels of availability and ability to scale, enhancing measured agility and reducing project delivery times. Automation can be the solution to IT complexity, but only if it doesn’t add to the challenge. By handling the hard work for you, GreenLake gets you ready to automate at scale.

To discover more benefits about HPE Greenlake, and how it can help optimise your hybrid cloud environment, click here to visit the HPE website.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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