Why is automation so important in devops and digital operations?

Why is automation so important in devops and digital operations? ...

PagerDuty is the presenter for this program.

The value of digital services has firmly established themselves as the foundation of every business. But as applications, websites, and digital operations have become the primary revenue drivers of enterprises, the pressure on the individuals that maintain them has increased. Last year 83% of developers reported that they were experiencing burnout.

According to Michael Cucchi, PagerDuty's VP of product and marketing, the pressure to create excellent digital services and keep them up and running all the time is greater than ever before. It's new skills, new time commitment, and working with new parts of the business they didn't have to work with before that cause headwinds and strain.

The most common contributor to developer burnout is constant interruption. Studies have found that interruptions cost the US economy $588 billion a year, steal three to five hours a day at work, reduce concentration, and erode morale. Every time a developer is alerted to an issue that turns out to be a fake alarm, or something that is outside their scope, productivity drops, and frustration grows.

Cucchi argues that the most skilled developers, the most respected people who deliver the best code at the fastest speed, are in fact the ones who bear the brunt of the operation load. They are losing sleep and losing weekends. They are the people you need at the company the most, and ironically, the ones who are most prone to leave.

Cucchi further explains that the key to reducing burnout is democratizing the skills of those developers. That scaling requires digital transformation: establishing automated intelligence in your environment so that almost anyone can readily fire off the response that solves the problem without having to wake up a specific individual because they are the best developer in the organization.

How automation transforms devops

Automation puts developers at the top of the list of benefits because it gives them self-service access to everything they need to learn how to code and deploy quickly, as well as rollout and scale. However, automation has the highest-impact potential for a company's speed and efficiency when it reduces the time and effort required to deal with the critical issues that can happen if an ecommerce website goes down for example, millions in revenue can be lost.

Automation is important in terms of empowering developers to obtain the services and the abilities and the resources they need, but there's also this other aspect of things, which is acting as a shock absorber, according to Cucchi. It's allowing you to automate a problem response in real time, or give your lowest level responder the access they need to securely execute administratorbehaviors and resolve problems without having to wake up the senior developer three time zones away.

PagerDuty's own customers have achieved $3.48 million in average annual cost savings, a 795 percent three-year ROI, and have just two months to recover their investment in automation.

PagerDuty Process Automation is for more than just developers: sales, customer service, legal, and other business functions will be able to create flexible workflows to deal with repetitive work and free up time. The first of these was just announced, Incident Workflows, which are designed to dynamically respond to issues by creating a Slack channel, sending an email to the organization, or performing automated diagnostics.

Developers get to code for 50% more time when they have the power to solve problems and take issues off the developers plate. And noise decreases, as machine learning and automation reduces sometimes over 90% of false alarms, without having to interrupt a human to deal with the issues.

Customers of PagerDuty have seen a 50% to 80% reduction in the time it takes to solve a problem. That's because an AI-powered automated platform is intelligent, learning as it attends to issues that arise, and coming equipped to each problem with the necessary knowledge.

With machine learning, an automated platform can detect and correlate change events from code deployment pipelines and identify who made it. You know who to wake up, and with automation, you can return to the previous state automatically, without a human intervention, and in less than a second.

The automated devops journey has begun.

Cucchi argues that the easiest way to start is in the lowest-risk locations, such as batch automation, staging or provisioning, setting up new environments, performing diagnostics, discovering tasks, etc.

The key is getting used to it and having a unified way to manage and deploy it across your entire organization, according to the author. Then you start to see the ROI take off. Its not just setting up a cluster in a cloud. Its also running a whole business process for your enterprise. It's offloading tens and hundreds of hours of skilled labor when you move in that direction.

Start by implementing a secure and scalable process automation platform that is simple to deploy, use, and maintain. From there, move it to higher return areas, where your companys are really hurting and minutes matter.

You need to understand the personas of your business before implementing a process automation platform, says Michael. It should be secure and high-quality, with tiered access rights and capabilities, and be able to automate in whatever environment you choose, cloud or otherwise.

You want to provide routines that keep your customer service staff up to date, so they can stay up to date on their problems, and they can engage actively with the customer, but you also want them to not be able to delete the primary database, according to the speaker.

Each persona has an individual, customized interface, a real-time status dashboard, and access to automation routines with pulldown menus. A customer service agent would have more extensive access to the IT stack.

According to the professor, it's all about delivering tailored experiences to the consumer in a way that's not intimidating, that's just straightforward and intuitive, and that's why you should empower employees when they begin working with it.

Many companies have already invested in isolated, bespoke automation in their environment, whether it's virtual or cloud infrastructure, code process rollouts, the CI/CD pipeline, etc., all in the low-risk, but just-moderatereturn category. But the major changes happen when you move from just using automation for these kinds of mundane, offline tasks to real time, which can help retain developers at their company.

Cucchi argues that it is crucial to stabilize how the ecosystem is working for your developer, and then boost your innovation rate. If you try to lure developers into advanced devops methodologies without giving them these technologies, tools, communication methods, and offload methods, they fail. Thats why every organization in the world has spent a decade and a half attempting to master devops as an approach.

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