12/03/2018
Will Wilkinson

Automation and orchestration. These are two words that can both excite and frustrate. I've been working in IT for 17 years,  but I still feel many organisations struggle to make effective use of automation and orchestration.  So, why is this? Often sheer confusion and the vast array of hardware and software deployed can make onboarding automation and orchestration challenging.

Will Wilkinson Infrastructure Architect Make contact

What is automation & orchestration and how can it bring tangible benefits to your organisation?

It isn’t a single, nirvana piece of hardware or software.

Automation is the breaking down of a task, or series of tasks, and introducing a platform to make those tasks take place automatically.

That is where orchestration comes in, it is the job of the orchestration platform to make those tasks take place not just automatically, but in the right order, at the right time and (where possible) self-remediate issues that arise. 

The end result should be predictable outcomes and increased efficiency.  Organisations often benefit from some common advantages, including:

• Decreased IT costs or ability to re-purpose budget for new projects
• Reduced friction between teams
• Increased productivity
• Standardised processes and products means more consistency and reliability

 
Automation & orchestration: a potential threat to jobs?

Sometimes when we think of the words automation and orchestration, we assume the worst - it's human nature right? We think straight away we are removing the human element and replacing it with a 'machine'. But what we sometimes forget is that that machine cannot work without human involvement.

It needs to be built. It needs to be programmed. It needs to be serviced and repaired (sound familiar…?) It's what we've been doing for years already, just in a slightly different way, with slightly different tools. In short, 'the machine' is nothing without us humans.

 
So what does that mean for your organisation?

Well, what do all organisations want? To provide a return to their investors.

Automation and orchestration can help deliver this return by accelerating time to market; getting your products into the shop front - physical or digital - quicker than the competition and in a predictable and cost-efficient manner.

To do this, the organisation needs to be able to react quickly. Perhaps setting up innovative marketing tools to survey customer demand. Standing up new web and database servers for a  product launch. Scaling web servers up and down in line with customer demand. Processing payments & orders automatically, and passing orders on to the warehouse etc.

To stay ahead of the competition, you need to be first automated and then orchestrated. The result? You beat the competition!

Making automation and orchestration effective

But it's not all about the technology.  Without a change in business process and mindset, technology and the way it's used is only doomed to fail. The organisation needs to transform the way in which works. For example, by adopting new agile project methodologies more closely aligned to automation and orchestration.
 
Get in touch to hear how we can help…

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Thought piece

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