Red Hat survey reveals that UK businesses are ahead of Germany, France and Spain in Achieving Enterprise-Wide Automation

New survey further reveals that 23% of UK IT leaders believe their business will fail without adopting enterprise-wide IT automation and 27% cite lack of talent as biggest business barrier


Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced new research showing that more than a quarter of large UK businesses surveyed (27%) have achieved enterprise-wide IT automation, where the most valuable IT processes across teams are automated. The majority of respondents have an automation strategy and are working towards enterprise-wide IT automation, either already on the path (29%) or have an automation strategy but haven’t commenced automation yet (25%), while only 4% haven’t automated any processes and don’t plan to. 


When you enable people to use AI, big data and the cloud in a meaningful way, their sense of purpose and pride increases – it fuels a virtuous cycle.

Richard Henshall

director of product management for Ansible, Red Hat

The report - Thriving through change with enterprise-wide IT automation - surveyed 1,200 IT leaders in large enterprises across the UK, France, Germany and Spain about the role of automation in their businesses today and tomorrow, and the challenges that could hinder success. 

Key UK-specific findings:

  • 27% of UK IT leaders surveyed said a lack of talent as the biggest challenge for their businesses today
  • 27% of large businesses surveyed in the UK say they have already achieved enterprise-wide IT automation, compared to large organisations in Germany (18%), Spain (16%) and France (12%)
  • 33% of UK IT leaders surveyed whose organisations have not yet achieved enterprise-wide IT automation believe that without enterprise-wide IT automation, businesses won’t be able to adopt new technology, such as generative AI
  • 36% of UK IT leaders surveyed believe the top benefit of enterprise-wide IT automation is freeing up the business for more creative and strategic thinking 

IT leaders’ biggest automation challenges

100% of IT leaders surveyed believe enterprise-wide IT automation has benefits. Benefits cited include better customer service/experience (33%), higher revenue/sales (30%) and more productive teams (28%). 

However, a quarter of respondents don’t even have an automation strategy in place (25%). 

Of the overall respondents who said they haven’t yet achieved enterprise-wide IT automation (82%), many cite barriers such as: 

  • Teams not having the skills to implement automation (29%)
  • The organisation’s tech not being mature enough to adopt automation (28%)
  • Concerns about the cybersecurity implications of automation (28%) 

The emerging use of generative AI tools (like Ansible Lightspeed with IBM watsonx Code Assistant) can help address these challenges in future. Ansible Lightspeed enables users to generate consistent, high quality code recommendations for automation challenges, while making it easier for novice users to automate tasks.

Overcoming ‘people’ barriers

When asked about how their teams react to adopting new technology or processes, 92% of IT managers surveyed believed their teams are/would be reluctant to change. A variety of factors are behind this, including that people feel they don’t have time to implement automation (45%), that they’re overwhelmed by changes considered over-complicated or too technical (40%), and that they’d rather do their own thing and don’t want to be told what processes or technology to use (39%).

According to respondents, effective change management can be achieved by clearly outlining the benefits of change at the start and throughout a change process (32%), giving teams the relevant education and training to ensure they have the skills to manage change (31%) and involving teams in the entire change journey so they have a voice (29%). 

An automated future 

When looking ahead, the IT leaders surveyed highlighted a number of challenges that they believe will impact their business in the future - including a decrease in sales and/or customers (22%), budget cuts (22%) and compliance with government regulations (21%). 

Respondents whose organisations have not yet achieved enterprise-wide automation, believe enterprise-wide IT automation can help prepare for future challenges, including: 

  • Without enterprise-wide IT automation, businesses won’t be able to adopt new technology (like generative AI) in the future (28%) or be able to hire and retain talent (26%) 
  • Enterprise-wide IT automation will support businesses to more easily collaborate within their teams (22%) and be better equipped to manage climate change (22%)
  • Businesses will fail without enterprise-wide IT automation (21%)

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform enables consistent implementation, sharing and management of automation across the organisation, while continuously providing security and compliance. With a single enterprise platform for building and operating automation at scale, IT leaders can better navigate today’s challenging landscape, while continuing to drive business-critical growth, innovation and collaboration. Earlier this year, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform was named a leader by Forrester Research in The Forrester Wave™: Infrastructure Automation, Q1 2023.

Supporting Quotes

Richard Henshall, director of product management for Ansible, Red Hat 

“Enterprises today are asking where they can find the right people, how they can upskill them and how they can motivate wider teams to embrace change. Automation should be a collaborative and agile movement; people need to be enabled and motivated from the start and continuously engaged. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform can empower teams with simple automation language that makes it easier to get up to speed and generate secure content that keeps pace with industry innovations. And when you enable people to use AI, big data and the cloud in a meaningful way, their sense of purpose and pride increases – it fuels a virtuous cycle.”

Belkacem Moussouni, head of business development, EMEA - Automation, Red Hat 

“It’s heartening to see in the survey how many businesses recognise the advantages not only of IT automation, but of having an enterprise-wide strategy that bridges silos and spans domains. We’re seeing this in action with our customers who are deploying Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform as a unified foundation they can tap across their organisation. The most exciting thing I believe enterprise-wide IT automation will achieve is enabling organisations to use more intelligent and autonomous automation solutions. This will continue to free people from manual tasks, reduce risk and help with auditing and regulation compliance. At Red Hat we are passionate about supporting IT leaders and their teams to nurture change in their organisation – any automation strategy needs to have people and culture at the heart.” 

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