Gartner 2020 Automation Guide

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How is workload automation different from robotic process automation?

If your organization is looking for software that can automate tasks related to business processes and IT transactions, workload automation is the best solution for IT and technology companies. Simply put, workload automation connects the ever-increasing number of business systems required for an organization to function. From simple job scheduling to fully integrated management systems across a complex IT environment. For example, a datacenter manager facing the increasingly daunting task of managing the interconnectivity of Windows, Linux and Unix environments can use workload automation to seamlessly automate processes across these platforms with a single point of control, while eliminating manual processes. On the other hand, robotic process automation more closely mirrors the manual actions a human would take. Typically, it accomplishes this by using software ‘bots’ to automate business processes such as printing invoices and shipping labels, generating emails or updating warehouse inventory.

Workload automation is the ideal software for businesses and IT specialists who want to create repeatable, reliable workflows by integrating systems, applications and people across an enterprise, all from a single “pane of glass”. By deploying this software across a network, businesses can solve complex problems by performing labor-intensive tasks, freeing up employees to focus on higher value work.

Why automate technology business systems?

Automation software is a critical component in reducing errors, increasing efficiencies and eliminating the need to perform repetitive, manual tasks. What are some of the ways workload automation is being used to help automate business processes?

  • - Automating manual processes, including all scripts, tasks and workflows
  • - Restoring mission-critical business functions after a major negative event, such as a natural disaster
  • - Orchestrating end-to-end processing
  • - Real-time monitoring
  • - Intelligent provisioning of servers
  • - Automated remediation of cloud misconfigurations

Workload automation platforms like SMA Technologies’ OpCon remove the complexity of IT processes across the entire organization—from data center management to human resources to the supply chain.

In providing a single platform, OpCon grants visibility and control over all applications, enabling the most efficient use of resources, saving IT person hours and simplifying IT functions.

Common applications of automated systems in technology

Workload automation is helping technology companies deliver better service, streamline business processes, and improve the customer experience by automating foundational as well as complex performance management systems. What are some ways this technology is transforming the enterprise? Here are some examples:

Time and date-based automation— Processing and distributing pay checks every week is an example of a time and date-based process where automation is being used to ensure accuracy and timeliness of a recurring event, without the need for manual processing, human error, or delays.

Event-based automation—This type of workflow automation activates when a customer uploads a file which would normally require a worker to process the file manually. When the file is uploaded, automation immediately begins the workflow process, moving the file to the next stage for processing.

Human Interaction-based automation—Think of it as a self-service button. For example, the accounting department asks IT to help run a report. Traditionally, IT will call or email accounting to let them know the report has been completed, uploaded and ready for review. Workload automation eliminates the need to wait through a self-service interface connecting accounting to IT, removing the dependence on human interaction, reducing friction in the system and improving business process efficiencies.

How SMA Technologies can help

Automation is the backbone of almost every organization's major IT initiatives because it is the only option to reach efficiency at scale. OpCon integrates and automates every component across an entire environment — from legacy to cloud, applications to operating systems —all on a single, seamless platform. SMA Technologies’ OpCon allows users to add on modules, further enhancing functionality and simplifying the automation experience. OpCon Modules include:

  • - OpCon Self Service. Allows end-users – IT and non-IT personnel across the enterprise - to trigger automated processes with a simple click.
  • - OpCon Vision. A simple dashboard that provides a high-level overview of all automated processes. It can also be upgraded to monitor SLAs and automatically take corrective action when SLAs are in jeopardy.
  • - OpCon Deploy. A robust change-management system, enabling users to make changes across environments without worry of interrupting business. It provides substantial value as part of the DevOps toolkit.


Additionally, SMA Technologies’ OpCon can make virtually all applications and environments accessible with a connector, command, Web Service, or API. It integrates into most common systems, platforms, marketplaces and apps. It also supports and integrates into many of the leading platforms used by technology professionals, including: SAP ERP, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Infor M3, FICS, IBMz, IBMi, Oracle, Web Services RESTful, AWS, Azure and Azure DevOps, Docker, Java, JBoss, ServiceNow and VMware.

One organization that is transforming its IT operations with OpCon is Open Technology Solutions. This credit union service organization (CUSO) provides technology support for three owner credit unions and operates three data centers that hosts a wide range of key applications, including core processing, online and mobile. While each owner is free to deploy whatever technology it sees fit, the three credit unions share about 80% of their technology. This provides tremendous economy of scale. Open Technology Solutions transformed their IT operations with OpCon. Among the results:

  • Prior to deploying OpCon, this credit union service organization (CUSO) was forced to maintain 24/7 staffing in its data centers. With OpCon, this CUSO is enabled for a true lights-out environment and 11 staff members from the overnight shift were able to be relocated to higher value projects.
  • The previous automation tool in use by Open Technology Solutions was only used to run batch jobs. OTS now has maximum automation both inside and outside the core processing environment and the CUSO continues to gain efficiencies as it deploys OpCon in new and innovative ways.

Want to learn more about how organizations are reducing IT costs, eliminating most operator/admin scripts and removing operations and application silos? Visit OpCon workload automation.

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To find out more about how our OpCon workload automation platform can help you transform your technology business, use the form below to talk more with one of our experts today.