Automation is no longer a trend or privilege that one company has and another does not. It is a necessity your business cannot operate without nowadays. Whether it is accounting, HR, or marketing, the tools and techniques for making your operations run smoothly and efficiently are an integral part of business success.
When it comes to IT teams, seeking ways of improving their daily routine is becoming a strategic task that defines the whole IT ecosystem.
There are two terms used to describe IT teams’ ongoing aspiration to take control over their endless tasks and responsibilities – ‘automation’ and ‘orchestration’. While these two notions are closely related and interconnected, it would be a total misconception to assume that they are mere synonyms.
This article will help you understand the difference between these two terms, reveal the impact of each for IT teams, and demonstrate some use cases of automation and orchestration that can make IT teams reach operational excellence more easily. We will also demonstrate how ElectroNeek Orchestrator may come in handy when it comes to IT orchestration initiatives.
What is IT automation: Use cases
It’s safe to say that if you know what automation is, then you may probably define IT automation as well.
IT automation is a set of activities that are used to eliminate repetitive tasks and jobs performed by human IT team members with the help of bots.
It wouldn’t be true to say that you can automate everything in the IT department, however, there are a bunch of tasks that you can accelerate significantly with automation and enjoy spending the saved amount of time on more strategic or simply more pleasant tasks.
In the examples below, we will demonstrate how RPA bots can handle common IT jobs, which in the case of a conservative approach to IT operations management, can be quite time-consuming.
Use case #1 Credential management
Setting up and managing credentials within employee on-boarding/off-boarding processes is a laborious task, which once automated can save five to ten hours weekly for IT teams. RPA bots can follow simple instructions and rules set by a human and automate best practices in credential management including:
- Creating and updating strong passwords
- Applying password encryption
- Managing two-factor authentication
- Executing password testing
- Creating various passwords for several accounts for one user
Use case #2 Ticket management
In large organizations, IT teams struggle to keep upcoming tickets organized and structured. Sometimes categorization of tickets itself takes more time than actual issue fixing.
Here is when RPA bots can lend a helping hand by:
- Ticket categorization and distribution to a relevant IT team members
- Emailing ticket prioritization and sending ticket status updates
- Notifying users upon solving a relevant ticket request
- Creating reports of IT teams performance with ticket management
Use case #3 Data migration
Data migration tasks are some of the most boring ones, however, most business functions cannot do without them. When it comes to IT there are several types of data migration activities, including storage, cloud, or application migration. RPA bots can easily handle such tasks by:
- Transferring data from one system to another offering better performance and access capabilities
- Transferring various systems’ data from one cloud to another
- Transferring applications’ data hosted on-premises to a cloud environment
- Notifying users on data migration tasks’ statuses
- Creating reports on the scope of work and data completion
IT orchestration VS Automation: What’s the difference
While automation and orchestration for most tech enthusiasts may mean the same thing, there is a key difference between these two terms.
Automation deals with optimizing one specific process or area.
Well, it can deal with many tasks, but in most cases, these tasks are dispersed across various environments which can be disconnected from each other.
When we talk about orchestration, it’s usually about various environments that work closely together, and we automate not one or another specific area, but the whole ecosystem, which includes a number of different environments such as databases, applications, devices, and corporate systems.
So it stands to reason to say that IT orchestration requires a deep understanding of all the processes involved.
That’s why while automation is a straightforward activity of taking a task and implementing bots by setting up a flow and rules, orchestration is a more complex term that implies administration and management of dozens of automations using computer systems and middleware.
ElectroNeek Orchestrator: How it can help manage your IT automations
A good example of an orchestration system is ElectroNeek Orchestrator.
ElectroNeek Orchestrator is a single control panel where you can seamlessly manage all your automation activities across multiple systems.
ElectroNeek Orchestrator allows you to:
- Schedule automations’ launch and active time based on the organization’s business needs
- Analyze automations’ performance on desktop and VMs
- Build complex sequences
- Launch automations using webhooks (from a web browser or an external application)
- Get access to bot log trails to guarantee higher administration level
- Have multiple bots working together and be connected with Zapier, IFTTT, or APIs
This functionality makes a huge impact on the success of IT automation initiatives as it helps IT teams:
- Save time on administration of automation activities
- Be ensured that extra security is reached due to a system that is SOC compliant, secured by AWS GuardDuty, and locks private data on the bot level (not in Orchestrator).
ElectroNeek Orchestrator for IT automation tasks
Below you can see how the functionality described above applies to the IT automation use cases mentioned earlier in this article.
ElectroNeek Orchestrator allows monitoring of a list of all active workflows from a single dashboard. The workflows could include ticket creation, customer ticket categorization, data migration report generation, password update or any other sub-task.
You can set the regularity of execution for each workflow, for instance monthly for a password update, hourly for a data migration report, and daily for a ticket system categorization.
You can see the detailed log trails which will include the designated administrator, status, and time-line details for each workflow. No need to switch between multiple systems to check for your automation details – all data is available in one place.
IT automation VS IT orchestration: Try both
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of how automation differs from orchestration in IT.
Now, when you are probably thinking of the next steps in your automation journey, there is one piece of advice that will help you make the right decision: there is no “either automation or orchestration” approach. In order to have your IT operations up and running smooth and stable, you have no choice other than to implement both of the strategies mentioned.
By having the holistic approach applied in your operational workflows, you will be able to take advantage of innovation, i.e. minimum error rate, extra security and governance, enhanced productivity of your team, and improved customer experience on top of all of that.
Where to start:
- Start with the low-hanging fruit – automate some simple IT job and test the results.
- Start thinking of more automation examples across your IT function.
- Incorporate orchestration to make the most out of your digital workforce.
Contact ElectroNeek to book a demo and see how it works!