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Understanding automation

IT architectures are continually changing and must be infinitely flexible. Automation in software helps with efficiency, delivering value faster, and solving IT and business workflow challenges.

What's automation?

Automation is the use of technology to perform tasks without human assistance. This can be found in manufacturing, robotics, vehicle control, and other industries. It can also be found in the world of technology—in IT systems and business decision software.

IT automation icon

I.T. automation

IT automation is the use of a system of instructions to carry out a repeated set of processes which replaces manual work done to IT systems.

As an example, you could automate the provisioning of new systems or virtual machines using a standard operating environment (SOE). This could be done manually, but becomes much more efficient when automated, especially in large-scale instances.

Learn more about IT automation
Business automation

Business automation

Business automation is the alignment of business process management (BPM) and business rules management (BRM) with modern application development.

For example, BPM lets you automate your records from insurance sales. Business automation uses modern application development practices to help you develop new strategies to automate the business itself—like directly selling insurance.

Learn more about business automation
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Why automate?

Automation helps businesses on their path to digital transformation. Organizations today are dealing with major disruption—think Airbnb, Amazon, etc. They’re challenged with supporting their employees and partners, reaching new customers, and providing new, innovative products and services faster.

They want and need to be the ones disrupting their own industries.

Automation is critical to managing, changing, and adapting not only your IT infrastructure, but the way your business operates through its processes. By simplifying change through automation, you gain the time and energy to focus on innovation. The automated enterprise's goal is to get work done faster. This frees up IT staff to focus on bigger issues, resolving them, and—in turn—making them routine and eligible for automation.

To break it down further:

  • IT operations is hard work. It's even harder to keep up with legacy systems and processes while adopting new ones.
  • Requirements and demand are growing exponentially faster than IT and business capabilities.
  • New methodologies like DevOps are forcing cultural changes.
  • The scale of technology (virtualization, cloud, containers, etc.) is too great to do manually.
  • Automation gets you there.

Advantages of automation

Automation isn’t necessarily meant to replace people. Some of that will happen as a result of removing steps that require human interaction, but the focus and advantages are found in productivity, consistency, and efficiency. This is the paradox of automation—as you become efficient using automation, human involvement becomes both more important and less frequent.

Instead of seeing automation as a tool that eliminates jobs, the reality is that it allows more experienced IT staff to focus on bigger problems and their solutions, rather than mundane, day-to-day, repeated tasks.


  • Greater productivity. Your staff can spend more time making a bigger impact on your business. Leave the repetition to software.
  • Better reliability. By reducing the amount of human intervention, you run into less oversights and issues. All of the same things happen the same way—every time. That way you know exactly when processes, tests, updates, workflows, etc. are going to happen, how long they’ll take, and that you can trust the outcomes.
  • Easier governance. More people means more potential for knowledge gaps. More knowledge gaps means one side of your business might not know what, or who, is involved on the other side. Codifying everything means better control.


  • Cost. Building an effective automation solutions takes time and energy. Work with a trusted partner like Red Hat—who is able to handle the heavy lifting for you—to help you save and get running faster.
  • Scope. Automation doesn’t mean intelligence. Depending on what’s automated and how it’s constructed, some parts may be vulnerable outside of that scope. Limiting automation in some aspects or functions can mitigate this concern. Your automation is only as smart and safe as how it’s implemented, so keep that in mind.

Red Hat is your answer for business and IT automation

Red Hat® works with the greater open source community, on automation technologies. Our engineers help improve features, reliability, and security to make sure your business and IT performs and remains stable and secure.

As with all open source projects, Red Hat contributes code and improvements back to the upstream codebase—sharing advancements along the way. Red Hat also uses Red Hat products internally to achieve faster innovation and the flexibility to weather changes and challenges we're unable to predict.

Our solutionsservices, and training give you the control you need to automate your business so you can focus on innovation and moving forward.

Want to automate? Red Hat has you covered.


Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform is a simple, agentless platform for building IT automation at scale. Centralize and control your IT infrastructure with a visual dashboard, role-based access control, and more.


Red Hat Process Automation

Adapt quickly to changing business needs with a set of products for intelligently automating business decisions and processes. Enforce business policies and procedures, automate business operations, and measure the results of business activities across heterogeneous environments.

Cloud computing

Red Hat Cloudforms product logo

Red Hat CloudForms simplifies your complex, hybrid IT environment with unified management and operations, automatic provisioning, and compliance and governance through automated policy enforcement and remediation.

There's a lot more to Red Hat and automation