Dan Twing, President and COO of EMA Research explored the value of workload automation in the cloud at the 2022 Automation Virtual Summit.
The cloud is soaking up workload automation (WLA) like a sponge, and for good reason. Automation in the cloud enables IT Operations to maintain central command and control, delivering the agile, high-quality services the business thrives on.
Speaking at the 2022 Automation Virtual Summit, EMA President and COO Dan Twing underscored this belief. According to Dan, as cloud becomes the de facto standard for business transformation, managing workloads across cloud environments cohesively will require WLA. Ultimately, WLA can help the business reimagine organizational productivity, reduce costs, and drive exceptional user experiences.
Recent EMA research, for example, reveals that the enterprise automation culture is changing fast; 36% of organizations are now “creative in their use of automation” compared with 20% in 2020.
According to Dan, the four biggest trends affecting WLA are:
- All in on cloud for traditional production work. Over the past five years, there has been a steady shift to move traditional production work to the cloud. Companies have not made this transition en masse, but have instead moved strategically, as redesign or other major physical or technical moves warranted moving certain computing work to the cloud.
- Containers go mainstream. Containerized applications are also going to the cloud. Many WLA software vendors have created a containerized version of their core and agent software. These vendors have also integrated the management tools for container management so they are fully capable of scheduling, monitoring, and managing containerized workloads.
- Integration with anything and everything. One of the biggest sources of new capabilities across many products is potential integrations with other applications and systems. Some of these include new connectors officially created and supported by the vendors, enhanced API capabilities for full console features, self-service forms of defining connectors, and communities for users to share their creations with others.
- SaaS WLA options abound. With enterprise organizations moving more traditional IT work to the cloud, it should be no surprise that WLA tools are moving to the cloud too. Twelve of the 18 vendors in the EMA report have SaaS options, are close to announcing SaaS, or have done much of the work to web-enable the entire application and are simply waiting for more client demand before launching SaaS.
Twing also reveals the key use cases for WLA in the modern enterprise (2022 data). Not surprisingly, 11.8% of managed workloads are traditional scheduled batch processing, followed by event-driven automation (9%), managing data pipelines (8.5%), and analytics and visibility (8.5%).
So, what is driving organizations to move their workloads to the cloud? EMA finds that security (67%) and performance (60%) are the key drivers to workload hosting decisions, followed by the technical capability to deploy workloads (48%). Moreover, cloud is most often used for additional capacity during peak times (56% agree), and 51% now run permanent production jobs in the cloud.
One of the major benefits of modern WLA is visibility. EMA finds that 91% of organizations would benefit from a more centralized view of automation, up from 82% two years ago.
Twing closed by citing four key reasons why organizations need enterprise WLA for their production clouds:
- Managing many diverse environments creates a greater need for a single pane of glass view.
- Clouds carry a higher rate of change and more churn than managing on-premises infrastructure.
- Processes can span various clouds and/or on-premises infrastructures.
- Capacity management is of greater concern as cloud costs can grow out of control.
You can catch up with all the presentations from the 2022 Automation Virtual Summit here.