In today’s world, IT automation is an integral part of any digital transformation strategy.
Automated processes are already having a solid and dramatic impact on information technology infrastructures, delivering greater productivity in processes such as network configuration, security threat hunting and data backup.
In this blog, we’ll demonstrate what IT automation can do for your business, which technologies to adopt, and the difference that CAE Labs can deliver when creating an automated approach to your unique business goals.
What is IT automation and what impact could it have on my business?
IT automation is the process of harnessing software programmes to carry out repeatable IT tasks that would otherwise be done manually.
In IT, that’s no mean feat: information technology professionals are skilled experts whose understanding of ‘simple’ tasks is backed by highly complex and technical specialist knowledge. The challenge is to automate processes and workflows that have a considerable level of complexity.
If this can be achieved, potential IT automation advantages are wide-ranging, and they are most likely to be effective for businesses open to exploring the value it can add. Such advantages are likely to include:
- Reduced operational costs
- Efficient use of resources - the skilled professionals in your IT team can focus their time and energy on more strategic or complicated tasks
- Improved accuracy, with less room for human error
- Increased productivity
- Enhanced cyber security
At CAE, we work across our customers IT infrastructures, to discover potential productivity improvements in how they deliver their IT operations. In a CAE Labs opinion article, Dene Lewis, our Head of Technical Strategy and Direction, puts forward a pressing case for IT automation.
Read Dene’s article: Why is automation the most crucial technology transformation step?
Which areas of IT automation should organisations be harnessing?
Using automation technology, IT departments can build centralised, consistent processes for repeatable tasks that would otherwise require a high investment of time, effort and expertise.
Below, we’ll explore how IT automation can be particularly effective in the following areas:
- Network configuration and deployment
- Security threat hunting
- Cloud backup
- Disaster planning and data recovery
Automated network configuration
Configuring a network manually is a complex task that is vulnerable to human error and poor network visibility. At the same time, it’s a process that is repeated again and again, especially in organisations with multiple sites. Automating the network configuration process, using customised CAE Labs tools that harness the Cisco Meraki API, can save time and improve accuracy. Network automation tools can also provide real-time visibility into the network, allowing teams to quickly identify and resolve issues.
See it work in practice:
- Discover how CAE Labs automated the deployment process for Co-op, delivering three months ahead of schedule and making significant cost savings.
- Thanks to a fully automated network configuration process, Wrexham County Council was able to complete rapid provisioning of a school in just 60 seconds.
Automated threat hunting
Keeping your business safe from cyber threats is essential - it’s not something that any business can get away with not doing. Every effective cybersecurity strategy depends on a solid and proactive approach, taking positive, decisive action to defend your network from attack.
Automated threat hunting can help IT teams to quickly identify and respond to potential threats, using IT automation tools to monitor network traffic, analyse logs and identify suspicious activity. Enabling teams to reduce potential instances of threats and act sooner to mitigate against them is a way to utilise their specialist skills to the best effect.
Automated backup and disaster recovery
Your data is your most precious asset, and securely backing it up to another location in the cloud is the best way to keep it safe. From conversations with customers, our team at CAE Labs had the ingenuity to create an automated system that enables customers using the Meraki cloud network to continuously backup to an external source.
Automating cloud backup processes in this way ensures that your network configuration data is backed up more efficiently and more often. Should the worst happen, automation means that data can always be recovered quickly, so you can ensure full business continuity.
What IT automation tools are available?
The right IT automation tools for your business will depend on your existing IT infrastructure and your specific goals - the things you want automation to do for you.
That’s why, at CAE, we take a personalised approach to IT automation. With expert input into your particular setup and requirements, we create custom solutions designed to work with you.
The creative minds at our in-house development workshop, CAE Labs, can work with big-name platforms such as Cisco Meraki and DNA Center to develop customised IT automation tools that will help you get the best out of your business.
Find out more about what IT automation can do for you:
Automation is changing IT operations. It is not just supporting highly skilled subject matter experts to be more productive and effective in an incredibly challenging operational environment; it is delivering business certainty and confidence in digital transformation journeys.
Download Head of Technical Strategy & Direction Dene Lewis's paper, where he explains why automating IT operations is key to empowering talented IT experts and realising the digital transformation journey.