Workload automation helps large enterprises save time and money, but these tools can be even more helpful for growing small and mid-sized enterprises—especially those working to grow quickly while being cost-conscious. From removing repetitive tasks to facilitating management and streamlining scalability, Jim Manias, Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Advanced Systems Concepts, says that automation can help SMEs address difficulties that might otherwise accompany rapid increases in volume and other growth challenges.
Just what is workload automation?
Simply put, it is the automation of business processes to get the most out of IT infrastructure by helping to reduce costs while increasing efficiency. Workload automation facilitates the execution of individual business processes used for applications, databases, and web services to maximize performance and reliability. While large enterprises have used workload automation to optimize IT agility and reduce costs, SMEs have continued to depend on manual processes and disparate point solutions.
Currently, many SMEs rely on multiple point scheduling tools, such as Cron, SQL Server Agent, and Windows Task Scheduler as well as application-provided tools to manage and automate workflows, making it difficult to compete with large businesses that have the capabilities and resources for enterprise-wide automation tools. As a result, their IT departments are often bogged down with time-consuming administrative tasks and procedures as they attempt to “chain” these systems to share data
This doesn’t have to be the case. Advances in technology, the advent of the cloud, and the resulting cost efficiencies have now made workload automation a viable option for small and mid-size organizations.
Implementing a workload automation solution is akin to installing a high efficiency AC unit/furnace; there is a larger upfront cost, but the resulting boost in efficiency and performance significantly reduces costs going forward.
Just how does workload automation benefit a growing SME? There are three primary ways:
Reducing Silo’s of Automation. Workload automation recognizes that workloads consist of multiple process types that run across diverse platforms and departments.
As organizations grow, there is an increasing need for deploying complex workloads that execute on and across multiple systems. These systems can include CRM-based solutions such as SalesForce, a number of SQL Server systems, and other systems and databases.
Too often, these systems need to take data from one system and use it for applications running on other discrete systems, either on premises or in the cloud. Initiating database migrations or sharing data between these systems usually requires manual intervention, often with higher level IT personnel coming in overnight to work on these tasks. Workload automation simplifies the process, removing the need for manual initiation and intervention on the part of IT operations.
Workload automation allows for designing end-to-end workflows that share data and manage dependencies without requiring expensive senior level resources to generate and maintain custom scripts. Using a drag and drop approach facilitates the implementation of workflows and makes it easy to change workflows and processes when business or regulatory requirements demand such a change.
Remove repetitive tasks.
If a business has many repetitive tasks or processes, an automation tool becomes key to keeping the costs of administrative and IT operations down. Workload automation tackles the problem of managing and updating custom scripting with an Integrated Jobs Library of pre-built scripts that can be easily maintained and modified to execute different tasks.
For example, SMEs that manually send out daily or weekly file transfers to hundreds or thousands of contacts can use workload automation to automate and manage their File Transfers as the files are fully populated. An automated and Secure FTP can significantly reduce manual tasks and automatically send alerts of any problems or failures in sending. This way, any mistakes can be addressed immediately, rather than finding out about it much later, which can result in problems with vendor or customer satisfaction.
Reduces costs of growth through scalability and extensibility. As your business grows, so will the need to add more people and resources. In order to ensure success, matching growth of IT resources in the way of new systems and more cost-efficient cloud-based applications are essential.
Workload automation can help monitor physical, virtual, and cloud resources by provisioning systems to execute tasks and de-provisioning systems when they are no longer in use. This helps ensure you are not overspending on resources you aren’t using and that you are getting the most bang for your buck on the resources you have paid for.
Putting a workload automation solution in place can increase IT speed and performance, while reducing costs and improving business operations overall. In several important ways, workload automation can level the playing field and help growing SMEs compete with the big guys through an impressive boost of IT infrastructure efficiency, productivity, and future scalability.