3 ways cloud-based workload automation tools drive digital transformationNovember 6, 2020
By Neil Kinson, Chief of Staff, Redwood Software
Digital transformation has been on everyone’s mind for some time now, and the shifting business environment of the past six months during the global pandemic has only accelerated this trend. A recent PwC poll of CEOs, for example, found that 81% believe technological progress will fundamentally change their organization.
Say ‘digital transformation’, though, and thoughts often run to machine learning, big data, or advanced analytics. Though these can all be important aspects of modernization, there’s one equally important and perhaps even more practical and effective way to improve your organization’s ability to transform: workload automation.
Automation is the future
In his CIO Predictions for the year, Constellation Research analyst Dion Hinchliffe said automation for greater agility will become a required component for successful digital transformation, as it provides a way forward in dealing with ever more complex IT estates.
And this growing awareness among businesses that they need better workload automation and job scheduling tools has fed into predictions for strong growth. The global workload scheduling and automation market is expected to reach $3.6 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.1%, according to KPV Research.
But not just any tools will do. Businesses are realizing they need modern workload automation tools and not the mix of legacy solutions and schedulers many enterprises rely on. KPV Research expects cloud-based automation tools to show the highest growth rate in the coming years due to their flexibility, scalability, and security.
Looking back at legacy
So why is cloud-based workload automation so attractive as organizations change and grow?
First, let’s consider the legacy options. A typical enterprise manages a heterogeneous IT estate that may include applications such as ERP, data centers and database platforms, web servers, business intelligence and analytics tools, and a host of other systems. Each repeats the same hundreds, thousands, or even millions of processes every day. And often these processes are interdependent and rely on data from other systems.
To handle this complexity, organizations have cobbled together multiple tools, many of which are out of date and geared for legacy systems. The average age of legacy workload automation and job scheduling tools is 24 years old, according to analyst Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). When so many connection points between systems are handled by inappropriate tools, it creates a high level of risk when handing off workloads.
This means any change in the estate – as a result of the business growing or shifting its focus, for instance – means significant time and work for the IT team to come up with new workarounds for whatever pieces of the puzzle have changed. When looked at in this way, it becomes clear how poor workload management hampers the technical evolution necessary for digital transformation.
Looking ahead to the cloud
What businesses need now to provide the agility necessary to adapt to rapidly changing business environments is modern tools: they need true SaaS workload automation that is purpose-built for the cloud and for digital business processes.
Here are three ways SaaS-based workload automation tools enable digital transformation:
SaaS workload automation connects to any application or system, so businesses can quickly get up and running with modern tools. Jobs can be triggered on the basis of time, data, or events, and businesses only pay for what they use, allowing for adaptable budgeting and cost savings. Flexible tools mean businesses can immediately respond to changes in customer needs or the wider economic environment, and base their evolutions around these outside factors, as opposed to dealing with a rigid IT structure that doesn’t allow the business to move quickly.
Since there’s no additional on-premises infrastructure, SaaS workload automation tools allow businesses to integrate new systems into the IT estate or choose different platforms quickly and easily. Full-scale monitoring means businesses have complete visibility into processes at all times so they immediately notice and can deal with any potential issues, once new systems and processes are in place. These factors minimize the risk and effort involved in even a significant business change such as entering a new market or doubling in size.
SaaS workload automation reduces the likelihood that processes will be interrupted or tampered with, and encrypts confidential data as it moves between systems. Updates and patches happen automatically in the background, so tools are always secure. Modern workload automation also allows businesses to easily standardize processes across the enterprise to stop unusual activity or prevent unauthorized access. Reliable security means businesses can make changes to their IT estate with the peace of mind that their valuable data will be protected.
All change ahead
Transformation means change. And the thing about change is we never know what form it will take, especially as we look one, two or even five years into the future – and 2020 has certainly taught us that lesson. That’s why modern businesses need tools that are flexible, scalable and secure enough to enable them to evolve in whatever ways their customers or the economic environment demand. This is only possible with workload automation that’s natively built for the cloud.
About the Author
Neil Kinson is Chief of Staff at Redwood Software, where he is tasked with leading a number of the company’s global strategic initiatives, as well as the European business. Before joining Redwood, Neil began his management career at Xerox where he worked for 14 years. Next he joined the EMEA leadership team at OpenText where he collaborated at the highest level with some of the largest enterprises in the region including British Telecom (BT), The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and Barclays.