Automation Unlocks the Door to Digital Transformation
While the answer to digital transformation and disruption lies in software, the obvious next question is, “Which software?” Many organizations start dipping their toes into digital transformation by targeting the straightforward automation and digitization of the existing manual and analog processes used to operate IT and businesses.
The next step moves beyond simple replication of existing processes to create new sources of business value and customer engagement, often by using mobility, social media, and big data analytics.
Many organizations recognize that the convergence of big data, social technologies, the Internet of Things, DevOps and mobile-first computing strategies require a new, more unified
and dynamic approach. Automation addresses the need for agility and meets digital transformation trends head-on.
In the past, one set of tools and IT experts would typically orchestrate file transfers, ERP data integrations, and workload schedules. Different teams and tools would manage various aspects of infrastructure provisioning, configuration automation, application release, and service orchestration.ws
In this era of digital transformation and disruption, that model can’t last: there’s any time for downtime. Organizations need a unified automation solution to help integrate and standardize processes while empowering developers and decision-makers to work faster—in other words, to become more agile.
Today’s digital processes demand the integration of multiple internal systems and third-party services. They must link customer profiles, payment systems, personalization tools, pricing lookups, and other processes quickly and reliably.
Moreover, data residing in traditional databases and ERP systems must instantly link to queries and transactions launched in the cloud. Automation and orchestration accelerate and streamlines all of these processes while predictive analytics take that agility a step further, optimizing end-to-end processes and resource usage.
The market advocates automation. According to IDC’s Enterprise Cloud and DevOps Management Survey, 46 percent of organizations agree that “increased use of automation” is among the most important drivers and requirements shaping their organization’s overall IT strategy from today through 2020.
DevOps is where development and operations teams coordinate and collaborate more closely than in traditional siloed IT organizations. DevOps automation orchestrates existing islands of automation at an enterprise scale and automates handoffs between subject matter experts.
Moreover, it ensures application enhancements are developed, tested and implemented in a secure manner across all environments, including production. Ultimately, DevOps automation ensures a consistent, repeatable and continuous deployment process, allowing IT to meet the business demands more directly, encouraging innovation, revenue growth, and customer loyalty.
Traditional on-premises ERP applications were not built for this era of digital transformation. They don’t adapt to change quickly, easily or cost-effectively. The capabilities of modern ERP automation tools change all that. Automation tools execute core business, application and infrastructure processes across on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments, reliably and without manual intervention.
The result is a unified, flexible approach that enables your organization to run, build and transform its ERP environment and ensures visibility across the entire business. Take Oracle E-Business Suite, a classic example of a large ERP platform that needs to adapt to disruption and digital transformation. Point automation tools or scripts have delivered some benefit but lack the end-to-end process automation, release automation, extensibility or auditing capabilities required for the future.
Unified automation manages all the business, application and infrastructure processes across Oracle E-Business Suite. Resources are released from manual business processing, errors are largely eliminated and issues are resolved faster for enhanced compliance. Ultimately, change happens at the speed demanded by business transformation.
The world is swamped with data, but that data is only useful once it’s understood. Automation simplifies and speeds up the integration and understanding of big data environments, ensuring timely, accurate and complete business analytics.
Organizations also benefit from faster data integration cycles, immediate reporting distribution, faster implementation of new data warehousing processes and compliance across data flows.
The value of big data analytics cannot be underestimated.
Your organization may identify a trend in a mass of customer data or a new product innovation that holds the key to transforming the business or disrupting a market. Customer analytics, for example, helped Nokia (now HMD, operating under the Nokia brand) spot a gap in the market for its iconic 3310 handsets, which has just been relaunched.
Owing to the demands set by digital transformation, consumer IT and cloud services, enterprise IT teams must now deliver applications and services to employees quickly and efficiently to maintain pace with modern business requirements.
While many looks toward IT-as-a-Service and private clouds to enable better corporate IT service, the reality of the situation is not as rosy as experts often paint it. Most organizations continue to rely on manual, labor-intensive and error-prone processes to deliver simple or complex IT services requested by their users.
In an ideal environment, business needs would be met with automated self-service deployments of everything, with application-ready infrastructures available for development in minutes. Automated service orchestration delivers the agility and automation of complex IT service workflows, ushering in the future of enterprise IT service all via a self-service portal or other triggers.
The solution replaces archaic processes with a connected system that provides a simple, easy-to-manage solution, zero downtime upgrade capabilities, and unified interfaces, reporting, and analytics.
While each silo of automation can certainly deliver benefits on its own, unified integrated automation across workloads, applications and business processes can result in much more significant benefits both to IT and the business.
• Consistent application configuration and performance across the development and production lifecycle
• Unified enforcement of configuration, data access and information location policies related to workload placement and use of public cloud resources
• More efficient self-service full stack provisioning and workload placement services for developers and line of business decision-makers
• Improved IT operations efficiency via standardization, blueprint reuse and orchestration of complex tasks
From a business perspective, effective unified automation can be the difference between being agile and being a victim of disruption. Or it can mean the difference between delighting customers and losing revenue due to poor end-user service levels. In highly digitized businesses, the benefits of unified automation include:
• Accelerated time to market for new applications and cloud services due to faster development cycles and support for continuous integration, test, and release
• Improved business agility and performance due to faster insight and the ability to handle rapidly increasing ranges and volumes of critical business data
• Reduced business risk and downtime due to eliminating human error and more consistent enforcement of governance and policies
• Increased business agility and decision making resulting from faster completion of critical processes, such as reducing the time needed to close and reconcile monthly and quarterly financial reports
Drawing it All Together
No one wants to be a victim of the next Airbnb, Uber or Netflix. In this era of rapid change and disruption, digital transformation has never been more important. Innovation speed and agility will determine which businesses succeed and which fail.
Centralized management and monitoring of automated processes will be integral for end-to-end visibility and control of IT and business processes; rapid, accurate reporting will be imperative to ensuring regulatory compliance.
Unified automation and orchestration enable IT, teams, to support SLAs and business requirements for continuous digital services delivery and operations. It also allows enterprise IT to lower ownership costs, reduce learning curves and provide the business with the speed and agility it needs to compete.
Digital transformation is driving rapid integration and automation across development, deployment, operational support processes, and infrastructure. And it needs to be supported by modern, unified automation platforms. Make no mistake—digital transformation makes unified automation across every aspect of application development, delivery, and operations an imperative for business success. Contact Musato Technologies to learn more about how our innovative ICT services and solutions can empower your business speed up its adoption of digital transformation through automation.