If you think about automating some of your IT processes, you might hear: “Our processes are too complex or ad-hoc to be automated” or “Our colleagues will never be able to figure it out”. But instead, there are many advantages to automate processes.
In fact, automation empowers organizations to optimize internal resource allocation, capitalize on opportunity costs, and enables businesses to scale while ensuring consistency in customer experience. With automation, businesses are either saving or making money. It is the first step to abstract processes away to the background of an organization’s subconscious. This secures the current value delivery stream while simultaneously freeing up time to investigate new ways of delivering value.
In this post, I will discuss what defines IT Automation and give examples of problems which you can experience.
Look at your team
Everyone is busy with adding new on-premise servers. They are following a manual which seems to not be consistent among the other servers. Your colleagues mention that the time to set up these servers will take a few weeks, maybe months. So many other things can be accomplished during a few weeks. Why put up with creating servers in such a long timespan?
Besides this, there are tasks which you have to perform on several or even all the servers. First you have to connect to one server, then go to the right place and obtain the information that you need, e.g. check which RPMs have been installed or obtain log files. Or perhaps you need to change some configuration or scripts. Then repeat these same steps with all the other servers.
Surely you can do this manually, but there is always the chance that you may forget a server or make an error. And not to mention that it can be time consuming when there are many servers. You think it’s not a problem because you have to do it this one time. But what if you need to repeat these steps over and over in the future?
Another area which can be automated is deployment. You can have many deployment jobs which are using scripts specifically for the target server. All these jobs need to be connected to a user on the target server and be configured as such. You can therefore have so many jobs: # servers x # types of deployments = # jobs. It is more of a hassle to search for the right job when you want to deploy. And it may not give you the overview of what has been deployed where.
And what about manual actions during a deployment? To stop processes before the deployment and start them afterwards. Or copy a deployment script from a previous deployment and change the functions within depending on what is going to be deployed. These may be examples which occur every deployment.
Push the button
With a push of a button, you can have servers up and running. Of course you will need to spend some time into this automation of provisioning. Afterwards you will definitely be rewarded, because it will be easy to scale up: anywhere, anytime. In part 2 we will talk about how you can do this.
Automated processes will make your life easier and you can deliver more value. Get in contact with us in case you need more information. Follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date about our latest publications, and also part 2 of this blog.