This year, organisations have had to adapt and evolve to the challenges of the pandemic at a pace and scale never seen before. Disruption is widespread and the constant challenge is to try and find smarter ways to get things done. 

IT complexity can inhibit innovation

Digitally connected organisations can move at a faster pace; however, the complexities of IT systems can also inhibit innovation. Deploying a modern infrastructure can be a real struggle, due to the maintenance cost and management complexity of existing systems. This complexity places a heavy burden on IT operations teams. They are now asked to move faster, manage increasingly complex IT environments, and accommodate new development approaches and technologies. 

What is automation?

No matter the complexity of your environment or where you are on your IT modernisation journey, an IT operations automation strategy can help you improve existing processes.

Automation is the use of software to perform tasks in order to reduce cost, complexity, and errors. IT automation uses repeatable instructions to replace an IT professional’s manual work. This could be a single task, groups of tasks, or even a complex orchestration of tasks. Its key purpose is to help overburdened staff regain control and shift their focus from tedious day-to-day matters to strategic initiatives. IT automation can help staff better perform their tasks and increase job satisfaction.

Getting started on your automation journey

Red Hat considers not just the automation technology, but the people and processes across the organisation. While automating your network may seem like a daunting task, you can start small and make incremental changes at your own pace. Focus on solving the contained, tactical problems your teams face every day. As you move forward, evaluate progress by developing success criteria and specific goals for the organisation. A phased approach can keep people and processes aligned across the integration. 

Automation in practice

The British Army, as with many frontline services, depends on its IT to run smoothly, and this is particularly important for its Information Application Services (IAS) Branch. Based in the UK, this team delivers software applications, hosting, and web services to the British Army. By deploying Ansible automation software, all of the IAS IT environments – including development, test, preproduction, and production – remain consistent. 

Faster, more agile service delivery

IAS IT administrators can access Ansible’s user-friendly interface to deliver software and updates across environments with minimal manual effort. Upgrades that previously took a day – and caused system downtime of several hours each month – can now be performed in less than two hours with high availability, scheduled to minimise user disruption. Emergency patches that previously took around three days can now be implemented in three or four hours. Overall, change delivery is now typically 75 per cent faster.  With automation, you can save time and costs, increase quality, improve employee satisfaction, and meet the growing demands and needs of your stakeholders and citizens.