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Low-Code IT Automation: The Path to Unified Orchestration

Nick Sainato Written by

IT has a lot on its plate and demands are only increasing. Complex scripts tie together disparate systems – some systems even remain completely siloed. Security and auditing are program-specific, some scripts have no oversight, and each system is prone to its own set of errors and vulnerabilities. Which tool caused an issue, when, on what machine?

Low-code IT automation enables teams to achieve simplified, unified orchestration and operational peace of mind. Let’s explore a case where low-code automation moves IT towards unified orchestration.


The Case: If You Like Your Scripts, You Can Keep Your Scripts


The Problem…

Your company has a long history of scripting. Over the years, scripts have evolved from language-to-language, new scripts were added, old scripts were refined, and ongoing maintenance remains an important practice. Today, a combination of legacy VB scripts and more current PowerShell scripts are leveraged for the majority of your department’s batch processing and daily tasks. Your team is looking for ways to modernize its practices and reduce its reliance on scripting as it transitions to a cloud-based Amazon EC2 environment, but it doesn’t have the capacity to re-invent the wheel for its existing workflows.

Many scripts are scheduled using Windows Task Scheduler, which is usually reliable, but doesn’t offer much granularity or flexibility when tying multiple scripts together to achieve an end-to-end process, and passing secure data from script-to-script is difficult to accomplish and maintain.

Some new processes have been built out using an automation tool, but the licensing model charges per job which makes tying together many individual and disparate pieces costly and ineffective. Security and auditing are crucial to legal compliance for your industry, but various technologies, scripting languages, and platforms make it difficult to keep everything secure and reportable. Your CIO is stressing the need to cut wasteful costs, centralize control, and move faster, but your team can only do so much.


The Solution…

There are numerous benefits of low-code automation. Users can easily address the needs of a code-heavy shop and remove the stress of migrating to newer, more agile practices. The right solution also promotes proper end-to-end workflow design by not charging extra for additional jobs or workflow components like connecting lots of disparate scripts or adding in calls to additional applications. Script language-independent scheduling and execution means any technology that your OS can support, the automation tool can support. Then, built-in script lifecycle management functionality means you can copy-and-paste your script contents to vault and audit all future uses and modifications. You can migrate dozens of scripts in a matter of hours, not weeks or months.

Jobs can be easily and flexibly configured or scheduled to run in parallel, sequentially, after specific constraints are met, or when events occur like a process finishing with a specific exit code or containing a specific string. Plus, future reliance on scripting can be drastically reduced by using a drag-and-drop workflow designer; even newer or lower-skilled employees can effectively assemble end-to-end workflows. Finalized workflows can be executed locally, in the cloud, or hybrid combination using the same secure and reliable engine. The result is better and more cost-effective design practices, more control and insight into the script-based aspects of your operations, and the unified orchestration of no-code, low-code, and code-based technologies into seamless end-to-end workflows.


Pictured above:  Real-time, visual depiction of a workflow within ActiveBatch IT Automation’s Map View workflow monitor and designer. Multiple Jobs — some script-based and some assembled using low-code drag-and-drop workflow blocks — are arranged to form an end-to-end workflow. Source: ActiveBatch IT Automation


 

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