Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 23 - Page 33

COMMENT new offerings at a fraction of the time otherwise required to re-engineer the whole stack from scratch. “IT automation can help your operations team to manage more workloads over the same working hours, reducing the need to hire more staff to support the growth of the infrastructure.” focus and precision – skills that not all team members may possess. Back to our car analogy. The autopilot feature recently introduced by Tesla is a good example of how automation can assist humans and help them to avoid mistakes. Driving is certainly a complex task but yet manageable by humans. Automation here, while not yet perfect, can be two times more reliable than human drivers. Less uncertainty: Automation prepares you for the future So far I have talked about the value of automation in facing today’s challenges, but automation can do more than that. Automation can also better equip organisations to face the uncertainty of the future. As an abstraction layer interconnecting many elements of the enterprise IT and operating at scale with minimal effort, automation can be seen as an extensible platform that can evolve and adapt to market changes. Automation as a platform builds upon the foundational elements you already have in your computing environment, simplifying the evolution of existing services and the creation of completely new ones. For example, automation can simplify the deployment of existing applications across new public and private cloud infrastructures that don’t exist today. In another example, automation can make it easier to combine new IT components, like a new Identity and Access Management (IAM) service, with existing ones, to help create Let’s take the automatic gearbox analogy to another level. Think about a highway with a long queue of cars progressing at a very low, tedious speed. To reduce the annoyance of driving in queues, several manufacturers introduced a technology called Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). ACC uses information from sensors like radars and cameras to instruct the car’s control systems to automatically follow the vehicle in front, adjusting speed and stopping when necessary. The development of such technology, as with autopilot, has been possible thanks to the automation of several car components, pioneered by automatic transmission. In this example, automatic transmission is a key building block for car innovation. As car manufacturers introduce more and more new features, the automatic transmission acts both as an enabler and actuator of many new capabilities. In summary, automation is not just a great tool to deal with today’s market demands, but it can also be a fundamental building block to help sustain the growth and evolution of your business tomorrow. However, as I said at the beginning of this post, automation is just one of the many technological, operationa l, and cultural elements that you may need to introduce in your organisation as part of a digital transformation journey. Automation alone is not enough. About the author Massimo Ferrari is Management Strategy Director at Red Hat. Prior to Red Hat, Massimo has been an IT industry analyst and consultant for more than a decade, helping Fortune 1000 and Fortune Global 2000 companies in the transformation journey towards IT as a Service and cloud computing adoption. Massimo has been one of the early consultants and trainers to push virtualisation technologies and cloud computing into enterprises. n INTELLIGENTCIO 33