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Automation can make it easier to manage routine tasks and tackle big challenges. That's especially true of IT automation, where routine tasks can eat up a lot of time.
IT operations teams are tasked with delivering consistent solutions to common problems, and IT automation helps streamline those solutions. Saving time on common tasks also lets IT ops teams focus on larger initiatives that automation can't handle.
In this blog, we'll give you a complete overview of IT automation, from a basic definition to use cases and
IT automation is the streamlined practice of creating and managing IT software and systems with minimal or no human interaction.
Automation should use repeatable, auditable software to manage the entire lifecycle of IT assets. The automation software can be as simple as custom scripting to deploy virtual hardware and configure software, or as complex as pipeline workflows that manage the full lifecycle while integrating with existing tools such as security, change management, and mesh systems.
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Organizations can adopt practices incrementally, starting with scripting of simple, repetitive tasks. More sophisticated groups will integrate discrete tasks into a continuous toolchain, providing end-to-end automation of the entire infrastructure lifecycle.
IT automation is hugely beneficial in helping companies manage their infrastructure and meet their compliance goals. It improves company efficiency while ensuring infrastructure compliance.
IT automation is more valuable today than ever before because it addresses the problems that can challenge a company’s growth. With regulations, users, and markets placing a greater emphasis on compliance, security, and rapid application delivery, automation is critical to staying competitive in today’s market.
Many IT departments spend as much as 50 percent of their time on repetitive manual maintenance tasks.
When teams spend most of their time being reactive, there’s less time to spend on the work that matters: deploying applications quickly and moving the business ahead. IT automation speeds up the time to value of infrastructure assets.
By taking manual, time-intensive tasks off the plates of highly skilled professionals, IT automation allows employees to focus on strategic initiatives and be more productive in the aspects of the business that matter most. Plus, automation reduces the risk of human error in necessary but repetitive tasks.
Automation is the key to faster deployments. It’s the foundation for continuous delivery and other DevOps practices. It assures that IT assets are created and maintained in a defined state, reducing errors, increasing confidence, and assuring license and compliance needs are fulfilled.
With IT automation, it’s possible to:
To rise above the noise of a crowded market, companies need to be more efficient than ever. IT automation removes tedious manual processes, decreases system downtime, and increases the ability to shift strategically with market demands. It saves companies time while providing peace of mind.
IT Automation software encompasses the different tools that make automation happen within an organization. Sometimes one piece of software — and sometimes many — can be used together to accomplish this task.
In terms of IT, you can automate almost anything that needs to be done more than once. Here are a few cases in which IT teams find value in automation – especially at scale.
Provisioning is the process of setting up IT resources like servers, networks, services, and users in your IT infrastructure. Provisioning can take weeks, but automated provisioning can reduce that to hours or less.
Automated provisioning also lets you scale up when you need more server capacity, users, or network resources, rather than setting them all up manually.
It’s not easy to keep your infrastructure compliant at scale. There are lots of regulations, rules, and minimum expectations for how well your IT is prepared to handle security vulnerabilities. IT and infrastructure automation help organizations achieve what’s called “continuous compliance”:
Some IT infrastructure is built on premises in physical hardware, while some is built in the cloud. More and more often, it’s a combination of both. Managing IT across multiple environments quickly gets out of hand, even at a small scale.
Cloud infrastructure automation can be used to provision, monitor, manage, streamline processes, and control IT resources across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments – even when you’re deploying across multiple different cloud providers.
IT automation allows operations teams to scale services far beyond what manual processes can do. It reduces the time to delivery of new assets from days and weeks to minutes and hours while reducing post-deployment problems. It is the cornerstone of self-service, where end users can request new assets and have them delivered via a fully-automated process, with the licensing, resources, and compliance restrictions deemed necessary.
Automation practices can be extended to the full asset lifecycle:
IT automation is one of the basic tenets of DevOps, and it’s been adopted by the wider IT world. Larger IT organizations saw the significant improvement in deployment times and testing success that DevOps teams experienced by automating, and thus the practice was adopted more broadly.
Several other core DevOps philosophies also accompany well-developed automation practices: collaboration, visibility, and “design with the end user in mind.”
Very small businesses, or ones without complex IT infrastructures, may not be ready for automation. However, there are several signs that your organization may be ready to start automating:
While many tools are available — including open source automation tools and commercial options — getting started with IT automation is very simple.
Through the power of an IT automation platform, teams are freed up to innovate. Puppet enables DevOps and IT teams to simplify automation and scale infrastructure in the largest and fastest growing organizations in the world.
Puppet also offers free training options including instructor-led classes, web-based labs, and self-contained virtual environments to safely explore how Puppet can help you excel at automation.
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