Workload automation is morphing into enterprise automation orchestration. Eventually, automation may play a significant role in bringing automated capabilities to IT management and business process orchestration. At the Enterprise Automation Forum 2019, Dan Twing, President and Chief Operating Officer of Enterprise Management Associates, made a global announcement of the latest research results for the enterprise automation market. InifinteDATA is one of the key players driving change in the market. The company is now positioned in the Value Leader category in the new EMA Radar Report.
It is almost hard to believe, but the workload automation market is already 40 years old. While it is mature and quite saturated at 71%, and consolidation is underway with many acquisitions having taken place, new innovative features and entirely new architectures are setting a path for a new lifecycle. The vendors say that their software is not workload automation, but workflow automation or automation orchestration. This recent innovation and increasing competition are characteristics of a much younger market.
I would say this is a market where these concepts are being reinvented right now, and AutomateNOW! is one of those tools, and InifiteDATA is one of those companies with the vision to reinvent this market and reach for that broader automation.Dan Twing
Digital transformation: awards and risks
Today many organizations are automating more types of IT operations activities. Some of them are empowering business users and automating business processes. The primary driver of this change is digital transformation. It has become integral to achieving business growth. Customers expect an on-demand, technology-driven experience. For businesses, digital transformation enables efficiency and effectiveness. Digital transformation can bring significant improvements in the way customers, trading partners, and employees interact. But digital transformation also stresses legacy infrastructure systems and tools.
“We all know that digital transformation is driving this change, and it’s sweeping the business world based on the idea of it being integral to the growth of the company. When it’s done right, you deliver customers’ expectations of the type of on-demand technology that they often have in their personal lives. You engage the workforce better, you engage the trading partners, and the whole system can work better”, said Dan Twing. “But what I see with this digital transformation is a different problem. As good as it can be, it creates transparency, and it stresses the legacy infrastructure”, added Dan Twing. Customers become empowered with applications that show the near-real-time status of every aspect related to the availability, status, and expected delivery times of services. This new transparency exposes internal problems customers would never have been aware of before digitalization. Every delay, slowed system, outage or other internal issue is now on full display.
EMA found that 74% of respondents feel that digital transformation requires more from their scheduling solutions, and 61% feel that the number of scheduling problems directly affecting business outcomes is increasing. Modernizing applications in support of digital transformation is essential, but so is modernizing the infrastructure management tools to make these digital processes run smoothly and reliably.
Almost every manager sees the importance of automation. They feel the need for automation, and it is growing rapidly. That is why the use of tools grows rapidly, and automation is being viewed as a strategy. The most used form of automation is workload automation. 75% of the surveyed organizations licensed WLA products in the past four years; 37% are first-time WLA users; only 25% have been using current WLA software for five years or more. Mostly they use both WLA and non-WLA scheduling automation tools (65% use). Only 29% use scripts or non-WLA schedulers. But just 6% use only a WLA product without non-WLA schedulers. The most used non-WLA schedulers are Windows Task Scheduler, Azure Scheduler, and AWS Batch. Interestingly, Cron is used far less than expected. More than half of organizations are considering migrating to different WLA software, although this drops to 40% in Europe.
The main reason for evaluating other workload automation software? The most cited explanation is, of course, digital transformation, but also included on the list are: cloud-based jobs, improving resource utilization, scalability concerns, and application modernization, among many others. The most important thing is that respondents think that workload automation can do more than job scheduling: 88% of them agree or strongly agree that their business would benefit from a more centralized view of all forms of automation across IT and business processes, and 85% believe that workload automation tools should be expanded to orchestrate automation tools across the enterprise. The areas identified as having the greatest potential to benefit from workload automation are SLA awareness, role-based security, APIs, encrypted file transfer, governance and audit, predictive analytics/machine learning, web and mobile device support, dashboards and reporting, sophisticated event and time triggers, monitors and sensors, and broad orchestration.
Value Leader accelerates the market
The EMA Radar Report provides an in-depth analysis of industry-leading vendors and vendor products. It includes their overall market position in comparison with other vendors. This year, given the trends observed, EMA made significant changes to the WLA Radar evaluation model and weighting of capabilities. The result is an effective analysis of vendors that support the important legacy capabilities of WLA, as well as the development of their products and this market toward the future of broader automation.
InfiniteDATA with ScheduleIN was recognized for the first time in the EMA WLA Radar Report in 2017. It was a strong debut for the youngest product on the market. Its main limitation, however, was in broader IT management tool integrations. Two years later, InfiniteDATA with AutomateNOW! was recognized as a Value Leader. Today AutomateNOW! is still the youngest product on the market. But the company has matured and expanded significantly in the intervening years. Prior integration limitations were addressed and new capabilities were added. Customers confirm that implementation or conversion from an existing WLA is quick and easy.
Even in 2017, InifinteDATA was, on average, as good as most products. In the 2019 report, they are now in the Value Leader category. I have been doing this report now for 10 years. Nobody has ever moved this far in that short of time.