- Ananya Kattyayan
What is IT Automation & how does it work?
In today’s world, are we constantly influenced by technology?
A question not very tricky comes with an evident answer. Yes, we are not only influenced by technology but also dependent on it.
How do I justify this?
Have you ever been in a situation where 24 hrs of the day seems less to get all your work done? That's exactly where technology and automation comes to rescue! We always found ourselves struggling to tick off everything on our “To - Do” list.
What is IT Automation and How Does It Work? Image Credits- Automation Edge
Automation technology is a process that eases the efforts put by humans or machinery to get work done spontaneously. In simple words, it minimizes human intervention.
Now, just to understand IT automation better, let me put some insights on what IT Automation is and why it is today’s talk of the town. .
WHAT IS AUTOMATION IN TECHNOLOGY?
IT automation is the use of instructions to create a repetitive process, replacing the manual work of IT professionals in data center and cloud deployments. Software tools, frameworks and equipment require minimal administrator intervention to complete the work. IT automation ranges from a single operation to a discrete sequence, and finally to independent IT implementations that take actions based on user behavior and other event triggers.
IT automation relies on software tools to define and execute a series of prescribed detailed operations, which are invoked manually or by external triggers, such as changes in IT capacity requirements.
It replaces a series of operations and responses between the administrator and the IT environment. For example, IT automation platforms combine cmdlets, variables, and other components into a script to simulate a series of commands and steps that an administrator will call one line at a time through the command line interface (CLI) to configure a virtual machine (VM ) Or implement a backup process.
By combining multiple scripts into a series, more complex IT automation results can be achieved. These limited automated processes are most beneficial when replacing tasks that administrators must perform frequently. By automating memory operations that occur once a month, administrators will not save much time (if any). However, automating rote memorization that occurs multiple times a day can significantly increase the manager's time for other tasks that require assessment and decision-making skills.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IT AUTOMATION?
What is IT Automation and How Does It Work? Image Credits- Flex Jobs
There are a lot of tedious, repetitive tasks that need to be done manually, which means errors are expected. But with automation tools, one can try eliminating the human intervention to these tasks and avoid massive errors. This makes the outcome more reliable, along with less pressure to carry out manual efforts.
Performance pressure is always a concern for the IT managers, which doesn’t stop at doing more work but also to do it more efficiently & quickly. (relook this sent structure) This performance pressure can be controlled with the use of automation tools which helps in easing the work not only by speed but also efficiency.
Performing a repetitive task in bulk requires human power for quicker completion of task. To get through such a huge expenditure on human cost, it's a better decision to invest one time on an automation tool which not only covers up for manual effort but also accuracy in the results.
Ensuring the highest level of system availability is one of the most important priorities for IT operations. Through automated storage and recovery systems, as well as system monitoring and remote communications, IT operations can significantly reduce downtime and facilitate faster disaster recovery.
With the use of automation tools, you can eliminate manpower which indirectly reflects in better productivity, as the professionals can now focus on other core areas of the organization. Also, the employees can do more work since they are free from manual testing & boosting output.
Just like how everything in life comes with positives and negatives, IT automation also comes with pros and cons. We all have this one thing understood in mind when it comes to automation, that comes with a lot of benefits to reduce the errors, provide faster data center, and eliminate manual efforts. But we tend to ignore the other side that automation carries, the negative side.
The tasks given to any IT administrator may be done in different ways due to change in human behaviour and the methods in which they complete a task. But with automation tools, every task given is done in a uniform manner, with the same set of steps and other operations involved.This makes sure that the final result is reliable, as the backend work performed is similar for all.
To use the various automation tools, one needs to make sure that these tools are compatible with the software, systems and other elements in the potential IT environment. The integration of these tools should be done with a high level of orchestration tools to perform the tasks smoothly.
Nothing ever stops, we have always heard - “change is the only constant.” There is always growth and change in the IT Infrastructure, technologies & infrastructure. So the automation process also needs to be updated and revalidated by the organization.
IT administrators may make mistakes when writing the CLI, or while choosing the wrong configuration for the server, missing critical steps in complex tasks, or making other common errors. Errors cause the administrator to spend more time troubleshooting and repeating the workflow to get it right. IT automation enables IT professionals to construct accurate and validated sequences of operations that can be performed in the same way countless times.
Although countless duplications without drift are the benefits of IT automation, it can also be harmful. Errors and oversights can easily be coded into an automated process, and automated tools will execute these processes as quickly and efficiently as the correct steps. If an administrator automates a series of complex events and skips critical steps or sets variables incorrectly, the error will repeat in an unpleasant way until it is detected, corrected, and reversed. The sudden crash of the US stock market in 2010 disrupted global trading due to an automated computer system with faulty algorithms. Automated test and review procedures should be part of your IT automation strategy.
WHAT DOES IT AUTOMATION NEED?
An automated system should never be compared to an intelligent system. Since the automated system only knows what the programmer has created in the script/commands. For example, a tool for filtering emails as per the content in it will automatically divert all the emails that have the spam triggering words to the spam folder.
IT operations require a large number of different tasks. IT administrators can perform each task manually, but modern business requirements put tremendous pressure on IT staff, requiring them to respond quickly to the needs of large and complex infrastructures.
Humans cannot provision and configure workloads in minutes, nor can they perform all the daily tasks required at any time of the day. Automation frees managers from time spent on daily tasks so that they can focus on projects that add value to the business, such as optimizing IT infrastructure and experimenting with promising new technologies and products.
Although automation can save time, it requires administrators to carefully plan and study each task required by the expected workflow, and then correctly transfer these steps to the automation platform to achieve the desired final state. Companies can appoint one or more IT automation managers to replace or supplement the role of IT managers.
DOES AI AND AUTOMATION IN IT HOLD A FUTURE?
IT automation is not a new idea, but the technology is still in its infancy. Even the most comprehensive tools require IT professionals or teams to develop and maintain discrete automation elements such as scripts, templates, policies, and workflows.
IT automation will advance to act smarter and more autonomously. IT automation platforms can rely heavily on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies. For example, automated tools can synthesize data about configuration, performance, and other information throughout an IT deployment, and process these inputs to discover normal operating system benchmarks, and deviations from that point. These benchmarks will trigger corrective actions.
IT automation systems infused with AI insights theoretically downplay the importance of deliberate human automation rules, and instead rely on autonomous choices driven by high-level business costs and compliance requirements.
To conclude, this learning of IT automation tools wouldn’t have been possible without piMonk.
piMonk is one place where your ideas come to life, an ideal partner to build your end- to-end platform with intelligence, automation, scaling, leveraging the cloud to optimize digitization. Learning & execution of new age technologies and automation is one of the key ways to attain success and growth. To ease work for your organization, automation is the only solution with better ROI.