By Neil Kinson, Chief of Staff, Redwood Software
The benefits of automating repetitive operational procedures are clear, at least in theory. Workload automation can provide improved process efficiency, better visibility and allow a more agile response to an ever-changing technological landscape.
But it’s that ever-changing nature that causes headaches for many automation solutions – adding highly-effective, but single-purpose, tools leads to an unavoidably complex IT landscape spread across on-premises, cloud and hybrid deployments. And this isn’t a situation that’s going to change anytime soon, no matter which analyst figures you believe.
The maturation of restrictive batch-processing tools into their current form – more capable workload automation solutions – has added event-based flexibility, unified file transfers, process visibility and simplified process automation to its core repertoire of capabilities.
However, not all solutions are created equally. Or more specifically, not all scale equally.
While on-premises installations are still the right choice for some, more often it makes sense to make use of cloud-based services. Not only does this obviously increase availability and accessibility – through unlimited application and platform connections – but it also makes it easy to forecast costs when it comes to increasing automation levels as your organization’s needs evolve.
Cloud delivery of a solution like Redwood’s RunMyJobs® scheduling also means no additional infrastructure or maintenance costs, no downtime and readiness for any spikes in demand.
But simply putting automation in the cloud isn’t a magic bullet. Ignoring the other often-associated headaches is what adds to that overall complexity.
For example, if a solution doesn’t include built-in functionality for commonly-used applications (SAP, Oracle, Peoplesoft, etc.), or can’t provide the automated versioning required for governance and risk compliance, or doesn’t offer SLA monitoring as standard, then all these functions need to be either custom-built, which takes time, money and expertise, or provided by other third-party tools.
Through integration of these essential functions – process management, forecasting, automatic error detection, load balancing and monitoring (yes, including an SLA monitoring dashboard) – into the core Redwood RunMyJobs solution, there’s no need for more single-purpose tools and the costs they incur.
And if improving the efficiency and accuracy of your automation solution while reducing the complexity and TCO isn’t something you’re interested in, then you’ve somehow ended up in the wrong place.