While some companies persist with only an on-premises approach, it is now the exception rather than the rule. These days, most industries are pro-cloud. According to IBM, cloud migration services have been now leveraged by around 94% of organisations. However, effective management of such a complex environment may often require cloud automation tools.
By adopting cloud infrastructure, companies gain on-demand access to additional computing capacity and storage. At the same time, some workloads in the cloud are still executed manually. For instance, installation processes, configuring virtual machines and managing cloud computing systems usually need to be done by hand.
To speed up time-consuming manual processes, companies turn to cloud automation and orchestration tools. Cloud automation encompasses solutions and tools that help eliminate repetitive aspects managed by one or more manual processes. And while cloud automation refers to optimising a particular task, orchestration arranges several different tasks in one workflow.
Cloud automation can increase the efficiency of a handful of workflows and tasks. Let’s take a look at the most common use cases for cloud automation.
In our experience, cloud automation can be beneficial for companies across many industries. Logistics, fintech, retail, insurance, automotive ‒ the list could go on and on. Apart from eliminating repetitive manual tasks, cloud automation tools also offer many other advantages.
Many users logging into systems to complete tasks by hand presents opportunities for malicious actors to access sensitive data. Automating manual processes allows a company to prevent human error and embed automated tasks with the best security practices.
Cloud automation can also be leveraged to test a system’s resilience. With continuous monitoring, it can identify and handle weak spots and potential problems. In case a server is down, cloud automation can temporarily move a workload to a working server.
The more routine tasks that require human involvement there are, the more expenses they demand. Automating cloud-based processes reduces operational costs, minimises manual labour directed at routine fixes and allows users to focus on other tasks, like developing and innovating.
Data backups are a vital part of the current business landscape. The process prevents data loss in case of equipment failure, natural disaster, or cyber-attack. Automating this process streamlines the data updating process by uploading the latest information at the scheduled time, often during off-peak hours. It allows users to concentrate on top-priority tasks and be sure the data has been updated.
Cloud automation solutions provide centralised governance and total control over deployment and operations. Manual management of cloud services creates visibility only into the currently running process, while automation offers a centralised view. Moreover, automation enhances role-based access control so that only authorised users have access rights and permissions to particular functions and data.
Cloud automation helps teams to work on a large scale. Manual workflows can be a good fit for a small cloud environment with few virtual machines and little data to store. However, cloud automation is necessary for an environment with vast amounts of data and a plethora of users and servers.
By embracing cloud automation tools, organisations open the door to transformative changes that optimise business processes. However, cloud automation adoption is not without its obstacles.
There is a wide range of automation tools, but many of them come with flaws. When selecting one, consider the compatibility of architecture, the needs of your infrastructure, the automation tool’s consistency of data monitoring, the availability of powerful computing and your expected budget. Let’s turn our attention to the most common challenges for companies considering cloud automation tools.
The biggest challenge lies in defining which problems the company is trying to solve with cloud migration and cloud automation. Once you acquire the understanding, the company needs an expert team providing DevOps consulting services to assess and design infrastructure, create an airtight migration plan and follow it through.
In our experience, cloud migration and automation of this process bring significant value for businesses. We have worked on more than twenty cloud infrastructure projects involving AWS, Azure and Google clouds, and Docker and Kubernetes clusters over recent years.
Cloud automation has its instruments, approaches and best practices. However, simply following a trend doesn’t always work out. Analysis has to be done, expectations need to be laid out and the right tools and platforms must be selected. Like any strategic decision, cloud automation should start with research and planning.
Want to learn more about cloud automation tools and where to start your cloud automation journey? Get in touch today!
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