How to make most of your automation? End to end Automation

Why we need it?

Automation is not a new term but with the world moving from industrialization to digitalization, there is a need for advancement. Reliability, quickness and audibility have been the focus areas for IT Process Automation (ITPA) market. While ‘extreme automation’ remains the mantra to step the ladder of success, efficiency and cost reduction are the main drivers.

Although the benefits offered by automation are compelling, it remains opportunistic for most I&O organizations, which means it is individual centric and not end-to-end. In the similar manner, system administrators are leveraging automation technologies to improve their productivity, reduce the manual efforts and simplify the operational processes. But the task centric approach leads to implementation that are ad hoc and narrowly focused. This limits the power of automation by restricting its application to singled-siloed domain.

Challenges of Siloed- Automation

  1. Non-integrated  -
    1. the automation is not integrated well with other systems leading to cases of exception
  2. Technology Sprawl

Introduction of different automation system based on different technologies complicates the IT infrastructure and change processes, making them difficult to maintain and highly risky.

  1. Redundant & Expensive

Increase in number of automation tools leads to redundancy, increased cost and maintenance issues.

  1. Suboptimal staff efficiency
    1. Specific capabilities and diverse automation skills can’t be cross utilized
    2. As only few people have knowledge on specific technologies, knowledge is lost when people leave
  2. Limited reliability and predictability – Siloed automation depends on manual configuration hence there are chances of errors. Moreover, it is not based on predictive analysis.

End to End Automation

It can be seen that to tackle above mentioned challenges and make the most out of our automation, we need to step up to the next level of automation. End-to-end automation, which ensures automation is used across the stages of software development life cycle, is a game changer and should be used for improved business impact. Recent advancement of automation has been driven by IT owners – server, network and change managers. For example, the increased use of continuous configuration tools for DevOps has accelerated automation of server configuration. We have similar tools for network managements and change management as well.

 

End to end automation for IT

Process Creating an IT service ticket Assigning the ticket Resolving the ticket Logging the solution
Traditional Automation Users manually create a service ticket Auto-assigned  through incident management tool Engineer creates a script/ customizes script to resolve incident. In case the issue is different, the script is rewritten Manually mark the incident as resolved
End to End automation Ticket is auto created based on the prediction analysis of log data Ticket is auto assigned If system has encountered a similar ticket, it auto-resolves else it  is assigned to an engineeer Solution is auto-logged

 

End to end automation ensures

  1. Reduced cost – To achieve end to end network automation, enterprises can combine automation tools and network configuration across the environment. Automating the process will reduce the overall cost and help in better managing the process across various platforms.
  2. Improved efficiency as it removes the risks introduced due to human interaction
  3. Integration – End to end automation ensures integrity of all the systems, which provides an end to end view of the scenarios and gets rid of technology sprawl.
  4. Continuous flow: As End to end automation integrates all the systems, it is easier to control multiple components and their response to changes. This ensures a continuous flow of operations for critical business functions.
  5. Smart end-to-end automated platforms utilize the benefits of prescriptive analytics, which means they can predict as well as deliver decisions.
  6. Agile Infrastructure: Network configuration and automation, together, is working towards achieving data center agility – agility in trouble shooting and agility in deploying applications.

End-to-end automation brings improved adherence to the change management processes and can ensure better overall compliance audit capabilities.  The rigorous and robust support provided by cross-platform automation helps in reducing manual intervention and hence, the number of defects in the functions/processes. Hence, enterprises must consider adopting end-to-end automation for better visibility and controlled governance.

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