The increasing size and complexity of IT environments are changing the way services are delivered. However, due to the growing number of digital tools and applications, classic methods for automating workflows are no longer sufficient.
One of the latest strategies adopted by enterprises to tackle this problem is the use of Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms (SOAPs). SOAPs minimize complexity, combine the management of different systems across any environment and increase efficiency in business processes.
SOAP is similar to workload automation (WLA) and provides workflow orchestration and resource planning across a hybrid infrastructure. Based on their marketing approach, vendors include these capabilities under the SOAP or WLA category. By using SOAPs, organizations can simplify business processes which can lead to more agile organizations. By 2024, 80% of enterprises are expected to move to SOAPs to orchestrate cloud-based workloads.
Investing in SOAPs offers benefits such as improved efficiency and flexibility in service delivery. In this article, we explore 6 important functions of SOAPs below that can boost efficiency in IT.
1. Workflow Designer/Orchestration
Though SOAPs are similar to WLAs, SOAPs have some additional features. For example, SOAPs allow users to build business capabilities such as automated monitoring and data collection. They orchestrate disparate workflows across different platforms (cloud, hybrid, and on-premise) and provide a visualization of workflows’ interdependencies across platforms, giving users better visibility into workflows.
Tip: SOAPs allow users to deploy, configure and store resources on a public cloud. Use SOAPs to build new capabilities in your business. You can use the workflow designer to design a new automated information gathering in the cloud to monitor business operations in different locations. You can also use it to combine tasks such as error detection and alerting or remediation. Once you created your workflows, workflow visualization enables you to get deeper insights into your business processes.
2. Event-Driven Automation
By 2024, IT operations (ITOps) costs are estimated to drop by 30% thanks to automation. Event-driven automation simplifies IT operations and eliminates redundancies by automating workflows based on events and thresholds. Event-driven automation works with the principle of sensing an input, processing policies or rules, and taking the required action. It also helps business workflows based on real-time data and scheduling methods.
Tip: For example, in a large company, managing a large number of IT issues can be a challenge for IT teams. The event-driven feature of SOAPs can define rules and policies for handling problems. To design event-driven automated tasks, you can start with defining inputs to trigger the process. Specify the policies to be validated and define the actions to be executed. For example, IT teams can design event-driven automation for password resetting or configuration of licenses for employees.
3. Self-Service Automation
Self-service automation enables non-IT employees to orchestrate their own workflows without the help of the IT teams. Non-IT employees can solve their own problems such as resetting passwords by using self-service portals. Therefore, the amount of time and resources that the IT team spends on problem resolution is reduced.
4. Monitoring and Alerting
SOAPs provide a monitoring and alerting system to resolve the issues in the shortest possible time. With a monitoring system, SOAPs provide visual control of IT processes and improve enterprise Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Users can
- track workflows in real time and receive important notifications when issues arise,
- gain deeper insights into issues by leveraging the monitoring tools.
Tip: For example, organizations can continuously monitor their web services and receive insights to further improve their performance. They can also receive immediate notifications when an outage occurs.
Redwood’s services provide businesses with their solution to centralize automation orchestration for SAP, Oracle, and other ERP systems. Businesses can automate processes seamlessly thanks to a low-code automation approach and a resilient cloud-native ecosystem.
A global energy company uses Redwood’s SOAP to manage and monitor complex workflow processes. These business users can then troubleshoot the job without having to call the IT team. They can also provide resources across platforms while improving agility and reducing costs.
5. Resource Provisioning
SOAPs have the ability to orchestrate workflows in different operating environments. SOAPs offer automated provisioning of computing, network, and storage resources across platforms such as cloud, hybrid, and on-premise based on workloads. SOAPs support integrations with ERP, Windows, Linux, and Oracle.
Tip: For example, enterprises can automate the provisioning of a network, virtual machines, and application testing via SOAPs.
6. Managing Data Pipelines
A data pipeline is a group of activities based on logical rules. SOAPs provide the ability to create, schedule, and manage data pipelines. SOAPs automate file transfer and orchestrate data pipelines, allowing them to be integrated and used with other pipelines.
Tip: For example, automated data pipelines enable enterprises to obtain reliable and structured data sets. These data sets can be used for analytics and help to improve business performance.
To learn more about automation and orchestration, feel free to read our articles:
- 6 Ways Cloud Workload Automation Transforms Your Business
- 4 Ways to Improve Your Business with Self-Service Automation
- 4 Ways to Boost IT Operations with Event-Driven Automation
If you are looking for automation and orchestration tools, you can visit our hub for the automation software landscape.
This Gartner article was among our sources.
If you have other questions about SOAPs, we can help:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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