Blogs, Features, Insight

Automation in an app-centric, hybrid cloud world

by: Tom Anderson, Vice President & General Manager, Ansible Business Unit, Red Hat

The past few years have shown that enterprises want their applications, data, and resources located wherever it makes the most sense for their business and operating models, which means that automation needs to be available to execute anywhere. Automation across platforms and environments needs a common mechanism with an approach of automation as code, supported by communities of practice and even automation architects or committees to help define and deliver on the strategy.

Per a recent IDC Market Forecast— Worldwide IT Automation and Configuration Management Software Forecast, 2021–20251—“state-of-the-art system management software tools will be needed to keep up with increasing operational complexity, particularly in organisations that cannot add head count to keep up with requirements”. Managing this overall complexity is no easy feat. As IT and business needs continue to evolve, it’s no longer an issue of “if” organisations turn to automation, but “which” automation tool they choose.

This is where the power of open source technology excels; per the same IDC study, “open source–driven innovation helped fuel the growth of newer players and technologies”. With a community-based, consistent approach to automation, the subject matter experts write the integrations and share them with other teams, building internal communities of practice that can adapt to change and deployments allowing enterprises to get to the cloud at an accelerated pace.

This is how Red Hat, through Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, approaches automation, delivering tailored innovation for individual platforms combined with a standard, cross-framework language. With the continued shift to consuming public cloud services and resources, the key is to have a platform that allows you to harness the same skills, language and taxonomy that your teams have been using to drive efficiency and savings in on-premises implementations. This approach enables enterprises to achieve what they want, where they want to, in clouds like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Endorsing agility at the edge

We know that enterprises and their needs don’t end with cloud automation. Assets at the edge are now just as important and, arguably, even more difficult to manage, than in the data-centre. Edge computing is critical to business, making automating at the edge non-negotiable. Making all of your existing processes and group components available using a tool like Ansible Automation Platform allows you to move edge management from a multi-person, complex task to one where common components and workflows are used with Ansible for management and integration.

Ansible automation becomes the connective tissue in an IT organisation, bridging applications and their dependent infrastructure, and maintaining technology at the edge. IT staff can rely on automation to roll out new services at the edge to meet customer needs with speed, scale, and consistency.

Connecting it all through automation

We often refer to Ansible Automation Platform as the glue between people, process and technology. Automation allows for greater emphasis on strengthening the whole system, rather than just the sum of its parts. The benefits automation can bring aren’t always simple to achieve, but the right framework makes it less challenging. When there’s success at a high level, new ways of working become reality, along with resiliency and adaptability. This formula is precisely what organisations need as they face new challenges to drive modernisation and transformation.

1IDC Market Forecast, Worldwide IT Automation and Configuration Management Software Forecast, 2021–2025, doc #US47434321, February 2021.

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