Cloud Based Solutions Birmingham

How Cloud And Data Combine To Drive Business Agility

Because it touches on every aspect of operations, digital transformation is more of an ethos than just an IT project. However, three key factors are crucial to enabling the business agility you need.

1. Data platform simplification

Although hybrid IT allows businesses to build truly flexible systems, it also dramatically increases operational complexity. With virtual machines, containerised applications and SaaS platforms to contend with, achieving complete data visibility is harder than ever.

Choosing a single, integrated platform like Oracle Cloud can help to simplify the data platform and blur boundaries between on- and off-premise systems. Smart management tools then provide line-of-sight across the entire estate – and facilitate new ways of working – to make operations simpler, faster and more effective.

2. Intelligent automation and AI

Your data estate continues to grow exponentially, adding to management overheads. Managing the balance between cost, speed of access and availability is a full-time job.

Again, the smart tools included with the Oracle Cloud can help to streamline management, automatically placing workloads where they offer the best price-performance potential. Artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities ensure that the platform continues to learn what your business needs – and to make it happen. This will be particularly important as demand changes; AI will be better able to manage short-term surges in resource demand for instance.

Using automated management tools frees your infrastructure team to focus on the strategic projects which will carry your organisation forwards, rather than diverting resources to keep the lights on.

3. Lower operating costs

A smart data platform in the cloud has the potential to significantly reduce costs – some estimates suggest 55%-100% improvements in price/performance. Service costs also fall by 30%-50% as you outsource responsibility for keeping the hosted platform running.

The savings made can then be re-invested in other activities. From developing next-generation apps to purchasing additional infrastructure that will allow you to achieve your digital transformation goals, the cloud will be an invaluable asset. Assuming you choose the right platform for your current and future needs.

Faster, smarter, cheaper

Cloud investments continue to rise year-on-year – but IT departments also face potential budget reductions in the face of a challenging economic climate. Now more than ever C-suite stakeholders are demanding greater value from investments. This means that IT decision-makers will need to demonstrate operational performance improvements whilst maximising return on investment – or even cost reductions.

The cloud remains the only viable option for achieving these contradictory demands. With the right operating platform, it becomes possible to improve access to data and operational agility and reduce costs too.

To learn more about Oracle Cloud and how it will help your business achieve its digital transformation aspirations, please get in touch.

IT Automation

How open source agentless IT automation can help deliver a competitive edge

Automating legacy technology and processes using cloud services is a sound strategy in theory and many businesses have increased their competitive edge by doing just that. IT Automation minimises the risk of human error or inconsistency and allows a business to reduce the time it spends on repetitive IT administration tasks. Automation also enables applications and services to be developed and delivered much quicker. In fact, Gartner estimates that the Application Release Orchestration (ARO) market grew by an estimated 37.5% in 2017, taking what they call the Delivery Automation: ARO market size to over £200million globally.

It’s not all plain sailing though. Moving systems and processes that were built to be on-premise to the cloud for automation, is often difficult. Sometimes the benefits of automation can’t be realised, because the complex processes reduce productivity and negate any gains you may have made.

So how do businesses take advantage of automation technology to make sure they’re running their operations in as lean and efficient way as possible?

Enter RedHat Ansible Tower; the result of a collaboration between RedHat and AWS and an automation solution that allows businesses to harness the power of the public cloud to provision the resources it needs, develop applications in the cloud and simplify configuration file management. In addition, it allows businesses to deploy and manage applications more easily, secure the infrastructure and orchestrate multiple configurations and environments making sure that the necessary storage, networks and databases are in place to support new applications.

Being open source, users of this solution benefit from the large network of developers and open source communities that RedHat has cultivated and many different deployments that are outlined in easy, repeatable playbooks.

But does it matter if you choose a solution which requires agents, or one that is agentless? Actually, yes and especially in the cloud, where agentless technology is faster and easier to implement, is compatible with a broader range of systems and applications and the risks associated with upgrades are minimised as they can be rolled out to the entire system in one go.

RedHat Ansible Tower is an agentless solution that works across a businesses’ entire AWS environment, giving visibility and control over to the business, via a visual dashboard. Applications can be built and deployed continuously in the cloud, with a series of playbooks to speed up and simplify the process. Resources can be provisioned wherever and whenever needed, and the whole set of configurations can be orchestrated from the same dashboard.

With role-based access policies providing control over who sees and can manage what, and custom security policies that will automatically be implemented when new applications or servers are provisioned, security and compliance is built in from start to finish.

Systems Administrators who were previously spending all their time running complex, manual processes to update and provision their environments and developing and deploying applications are now free to focus on core business initiatives. Administration overheads reduce, productivity improves and no time is wasted in getting applications to market. As a result, it’s true to say that agentless automation helps the whole business become more competitive.

Useful Links

Top 5 Challenges of Automating the Software Delivery Pipeline

5 Ways Agentless IT Automation Can Benefit Your Business

Agent vs. agentless: Monitoring choices for diverse IT ops needs

An initiation into infrastructure automation tools and methods