People, time and technology are the three key investments to transform an organization through automation. In essence, a true enterprise automation platform is more than just a tool. It delivers flexibility and agility to your IT organization and empowers it to solve the problem once, scale automation and then collaborate across the business with the right governance and policy.
In a technology-driven world of today, it comes as no surprise to see enterprises pulling up their act to make technology and automation the core of all their initiatives. The focus is therefore on digital transformation and identifying areas that can be swiftly transformed digitally in a fast-changing business ecosystem.
What enterprises need is quick decision making based on the streaming of data in real-time to keep up with the disruptive competition. On their digital journey, enterprises are finding themselves leaning towards deployment-centric application platforms and DevOps initiatives. What they need is automation at its best.
Forrester Research predicted that “automation will become the tip of the digital transformation spear, impacting everything from infrastructure to customers to business models.” As per Forrester, organizations will shift focus from point solutions to more comprehensive offerings that will offer best-in-class features and also address integration challenges while doing so.
Ansible automation has been found particularly effective for ensuring greater agility and faster time to market. Both ITOps and DevOps have seen incredible results following Ansible automation. It’s time we delved deeper into the world of Ansible automation and understand how it’s giving businesses a new high.
Ansible automation business values
To understand what’s driving enterprises towards ansible automation, it is important to look at the business values it offers. These include:
Increased IT operational productivity across infrastructure teams due to standardization and automation of several operations processes and configuration tasks.
The figures look promising so to speak from the research so far.
Fig: Ansible automation business values
- Faster deployment of infrastructure resources.
- More efficient and secure application lifecycle management
- $1.13 million in additional new revenue gained per year.
- 68% faster deployment of new storage resources
- 41% more efficient application environment management teams
- 135% more applications developed per year
- 25% more efficient IT security teams
- 53% reduction in unplanned downtime
Understanding the environment
Operational complexity is increasing for IT infrastructure environments. The inclination to adopt multi-cloud, hybrid IT architectures, DevOps integration and deployment lifecycles, along with deployment of the container and Kubernetes platforms for production applications has put the pressure on the alignment and resiliency of these interconnected and interdependent components. Traditional approaches that were manual and script-based are clearly not working and modern applications are being deployed using microservices. Automation remains the answer to match pace with the changing demands of every business.
Says Padraig Byrne, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, “IT operations are challenged by the rapid growth in data volumes generated by IT infrastructure and applications that must be captured, analyzed and acted on. Coupled with the reality that IT operations teams often work in disconnected silos, this makes it challenging to ensure that the most urgent incident at any given time is being addressed.”
Smarter organizations are setting sail for their digital journey with open source solutions. The Ansible community is playing its part perfectly in this journey with playbooks and roles – the reusable automation building blocks that can be easily customized and integrated to create easily manageable templates and workflows.
While trying to offer them rapid innovation, several open-source communities fail to offer them class support, testing, hardening or validation – all of which are critical in ensuring enterprise-scale capabilities. The more evolved ones, therefore, rely on Red Hat Ansible Automation for several use cases including but not limited to network, security, public clouds, etc.
A library of tested and supported Ansible modules, playbooks and roles ensure enterprise-scale operations, analytics, and security. The Red Hat Ansible Tower, in particular, is worth a mention and rightfully deserves to be called the centerpiece of the Red Hat Ansible Automation family thanks to the extraordinary support it offers for large-scale and cross-domain environments.
Some of the most prominent benefits it offers include:
- An open REST API that facilitates integration with source control systems to maintain Ansible modules, playbooks and roles and also to help developers and third-party platforms integrate with Ansible workflows by means of API calls.
- A visual dashboard for a multitude of tasks including creating and managing automation templates, generating compliance and usage reports, and connecting different Tower clusters in complex environments.
Fig: What you get out of Red Hat Ansible automation
Red Hat Ansible Automation ensures:
- Log monitoring
- Integrations with third-party log analytics tools
- Inventory synchronization
- More agile IT operations
- Standardized infrastructure configuration
- Robust foundation for DevOps
- On-time delivery
- Improved infrastructure management
Analyzing the impact of Ansible Automations
Ansible automation is changing the way enterprises conduct their business. In an IT-intensive environment, enterprises are now effectively putting automation at the forefront of everything they do and scaling it more than ever before.
Says Thomas Anderson, Ansible business owner, Red Hat, “At a global level we have seen organizations choose Red Hat Ansible Automation not only because of the simplicity, scalability, and composability it provides but also for its ability to drive cultural transformation within organizations. We’re now working to make it even easier to collaborate across teams, helping to break down automation silos and embrace automation across an organization.”
From reducing downtime to cutting down on issue resolution time, enterprises are now able to ensure customer satisfaction in a lot of ways.
From a business perspective, Ansible Automation holds a lot of promise. Enterprises that have already deployed it have experienced huge savings.
According to Forrester, an organization has already achieved operational efficiencies and cost savings to the tune of about $1.7 million in a period of over 3 years with the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform. An organization achieved US$1,321,364 in operational efficiency savings, US$389,707 in infrastructure appliance software savings and 94% reduction in the resource hours needed to recover from security incidents with the platform as per Forrester
Fig: Broad benefits to the organizations because of Automation
Broad benefits to organizations
- Ease of applying patches that too with no disruption or the need to work closely with development teams
- Release automation that ensures consistency and minimal errors at the time of release
- Support of applications irrespective of environments saving resource time in the management of application configurations
- The superior quality of applications that ensures less staff time for fixing errors and addressing issues pertaining to apps
- Faster delivery of applications and services for greater efficacy
- Improved business operations that ensure greater productivity and more revenue
- Predict markets more accurately and thus reach the market faster
- Faster compliance through standardization
- Reduced business risk as there is lesser coding which often leads to extra vulnerabilities
The Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform advantage
With technological initiatives like cloud migration, containerization, and microservices gaining momentum, it is more important than ever for organizations to deliver apps, features, and services quickly and effectively in diverse IT environments. It can be overwhelming for organizations to deliver at this speed unless they have the right platform. Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform built on Red Hat’s OpenShift platform offers the necessary convenience and capabilities.
With NexGen, organizations can achieve the following:
Create – Organizations can codify the entire infrastructure and share it across environments, whether you are running on-premise deployments or the cloud ones.
Scale – Transfer automation across domains and use cases so that staff can engage with automation in ways that are most suitable to them while sticking to their individual roles without wasting development time.
Engage – SaaS-based tools make daily chores easy for everyone allowing them to solve problems and share the results with different teams.
Fig: Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform Advantages
There’s a simple checklist you may want to consider in order to transition to a more efficient automated IT environment the way all major enterprises have. It’s the kind of preparation you need for successful automation. Take a look:
Embrace agility – In order to usher in some high-level enterprise automation, you need to become agile and adopt agile methodologies and scrum teams. Having a dedicated automation team for faster deployments would be a good idea. After all, it takes quite some time for complete automation and even when you are through, there will always be new updates.
Create awareness – In the early phase, it is important to evangelize the vision. You need to devote the necessary time to sharing information and relevant demos within the enterprise so as to make teams understand the value of automation.
Begin small – It’s always better to take baby steps and not try to achieve too much in one release. Also, it helps avoid costs pertaining to trial and errors or costly failures.
Pay attention to DevOps toolchain – It is important that both development and operations teams are working in tandem and their thoughts are aligned.
Be meticulous about standards – Whether it’s your playbooks, roles or other things pertaining to automation, make sure that you adhere to standards to maintain clean, readable and manageable code. Often times, failing to have the right standards result in syntax and runtime errors.
Fig: Checklist for successful Automation
Start your IT automation journey
Parkar has been helping several organizations, both big and small, enjoy the speed of innovation through reduced manual effort, and bring simplicity to complex IT environments. With its NexGen cloud platform, Parkar has been offering great business value to all.
Start your automation journey with Parkar. Allow us to evaluate your business environment and we can help you chart your course. Call us today to enjoy speed, efficiency, and savings right away.
Innovative Director of Software Engineering. Entrepreneurial, methodical senior software development executive with extensive software product management and development experience within highly competitive markets. I am an analytical professional skilled in successfully navigating corporations large and small through periods of accelerated growth.