For many companies, the answer to that question may be “no”.
Before you can be ready, you need to understand what it is and what it means. Is this just another marketing message for something we already know? The world is changing and somehow, you need to understand where it’s going so you can head in that direction. In this case, it’s more about an evolution: the need to unify people, process, and policy in order to work smarter and not harder.
Autonomous is defined as denoting or performed by a device capable of operating without direct human control. Part of autonomous is “auto” which is also part of automation. When looking at this definition, it likely makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck – without direct human control. Very few, if any of us, are at that stage in the automation journey. But that cannot scare us away. We all must forge ahead and figure this out together. Automation is the one “feature/function” that is customizable and up to each individual as to how, when, and where it is used. This is why I firmly believe that it is a journey. There is a starting point and there is a destination, but it’s about the journey to get there.
Automation is a cornerstone, or actually the cornerstone of the autonomous enterprise. Not just because they share “auto”, but because in order to make any strides in that direction, automation is mandatory. It doesn’t have to be, and it won’t be, full automation of everything on day one, but we need to have a plan, take the first step, and build from there. As I have mentioned in a previous article “A Pragmatic Approach to Automation”, there are five stages of automation, so figure out where to jump in and begin your journey.
The data center is the central nervous system of the network. It is where all traffic passes. Whether on-premise, hybrid cloud or multi-cloud, everything comes to and through the data center. This is where automation will impact all users, services, and applications. We need to think in terms of simple, intelligent, and adaptable. All three of these of adjectives can be defined with automation in mind. Simple: use automation for day zero and day two provisioning. Intelligent: automate troubleshooting and in time, automate remediation of security events. Adaptable: automate across all domains in the data center – network, server, storage, services – and make the data center work for you as an asset to the business.
Picking your automation strategy will soon move to the top of the evaluation criteria for data center refreshes. It might seem hard to believe, but soon it won’t be about speeds, feeds, port counts and basic features, it will be about how easily automated is the solution with tools that are multi-vendor by design. The days of proprietary, vendor lock-in solutions continue to decline, and for good reason. The right toolsets allow for a true, best of breed solution that is not only cost-effective but highly efficient and nearly 100% customizable.
The autonomous enterprise is a promise that can only be fulfilled with the right tools and the right plan. It won’t happen magically and it won’t be overnight, but it is going to happen. Get educated on automation and how it can help you now and you’ll be on the right course for the journey to the autonomous enterprise.