Practical steps and best practices for automation implementation
Applying modern automation to your enterprise application environment helps your business better serve your customers—so you can be successful in the digital economy. This high-level enterprise automation checklist can help you transition to a more automated, efficient environment.
Show small successes. Automate something, but do not try to automate many things in one release. It might be that not everyone wants to automate—at least not in the beginning. Practice patience.
Fail early, fail fast
Failed solutions cost you time, money, and resources. Large solution failures typically trace back to small failures in assumptions or implementation that don’t come to light until the solution moves to production or scales up. The later these small failures are discovered, the larger the cost. Manage these costs by continually moving tests as early in the process as possible.
As you begin your automation journey, it is important to spread the vision. Take time to share information and demos throughout the organization to create awareness about automation and prove its value.
Adopt agile methodologies
The prerequisite for successful automation is the adoption of open and agile methodologies and scrum teams. Although this change can take more than a year and will continue to evolve, open communications and cross-team collaboration sustain and reinforce their value.
Automate your tools
Do not forget to automate installing and upgrading your automation tools—such as Red Hat® Ansible® Automation Platform, Jenkins, and required plugins. Develop your Infrastructure as Code (IaC) so that it can be easily managed. Manually installing automation tools creates the same problem that you have fixed with automation on your target hosts. If you do rely on manual installs, you will have unreliable and inconsistent environments for your automation tools and pipelines, which is not a reliable foundation.
Refine your DevOps toolchain
Wherever you are in the evolution from waterfall practices to agile methodologies, pay attention to your DevOps toolchain. Make sure leaders in both development and operations are thinking in a consistent way, and continue the ongoing process of fine tuning your DevOps toolchain.
Obsess on standards
Three things are important when it comes to automation: standards, standards, and standards. From day one, standardize your playbooks, roles, model-based approach, and other automation practices. It helps to maintain clean, readable, manageable, and stable code. Syntax and runtime errors mostly occur due to a lack of standards.
Engineer for scale
Move beyond systems/device delivery and focus on multiteam services delivery to address platforms, content lifecycles, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), site reliability engineering (SRE), and more. Define strategies and governance for modular, integrated automation to address requirements for reliability, business continuity, and reportability.