Workload automation use cases: How this IT operations tool drives results

Learn how workload automation works today and how to apply it to facilitate efficient DevOps, IT operations, data processing and more.

Written by Kaitlin Olcott. Last Updated:
Workload automation is being used to orchestrate business, infrastructure, big data, and IT operations processes

Workload automation (WLA) has evolved from static job scheduling to a fully architectural solution for improving IT operations. Now, modern automation solutions are an irreplaceable resource in various verticals and business functions, including DevOps, cloud computing and big data. 

This blog explores the current use cases, benefits and future potential of workload automation software. We’ll address common questions and tell you how to harness the full capabilities of WLA.

Origins and features of workload automation 

Today’s workload automation platforms offer advanced capabilities. They integrate with various IT environments and business applications so you can manage and monitor complex workflows.

Job scheduling to comprehensive orchestration

Where workload automation was primarily used as a job scheduling tool or for managing file transfers, its scope has significantly expanded in recent years. Modern WLA solutions can handle robust orchestration, too. 

The most powerful features of workload automation software include:

  • Alerting and notifications: For timely responses to issues and events
  • API integration: To connect and automate tasks across platforms and services
  • File transfer: For securely moving files internally and externally
  • Job scheduling: Automating date/time- and event-driven batch jobs
  • Workflows: To build and manage end-to-end processes with dependencies

Key use cases for workload automation

The versatility of workload automation makes it a valuable asset across many industries and business functions. Let’s look at some of the most impactful ways to use it.

Data processing and business intelligence

Workload automation enhances data processing and business intelligence efforts by streamlining extract, transform and load (ETL) processes and ensuring timely data availability. The results are better data accuracy and shorter processing times.

When you use WLA to schedule and automate report generation and use a platform with convenient dashboards, you can access real-time data for analytics and decision-making.

The benefits of these applications of workload automation are particularly evident in a healthcare setting. Patient data needs to be accurately extracted, transformed and loaded into a central data warehouse so it’s available on demand. Automated data management can drive strong business outcomes in an industry dependent on accurate health records, clinical reports and patient billing. 

DevOps and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD)

Workload automation tools can make CI/CD easier to achieve by enhancing collaboration between development and operations teams. Automation in this context means building and deploying pipelines, creating workflows that trigger automated tests and deploy updates and generating feedback loops to improve agility.

At a global software development firm, this application of workload automation could accelerate release cycles and reduce downtime. The dev team might orchestrate code compilation and testing tasks and set up triggers to deploy software updates to staging environments. Real-time feedback is possible when it otherwise might be difficult to achieve.

Cross-platform process orchestration 

Your organization may depend heavily on current databases or platforms, including SAP and Oracle products. You might use a workload automation software tool with robust integrations and connectors to link all of your mission-critical processes together.

Busy manufacturing companies like Sub-Zero Group use workload automation as the ultimate single point of control to streamline production planning, inventory management and order processing across their IT ecosystems. A range of integrations is essential for a workload automation platform being used for tasks like scheduling production runs and generating shipping labels.

Read more ActiveBatch case studies to see the range of applications of an easy-to-use workload automation platform.

IT operations and business processes

Workload automation is integral to optimizing IT operations and streamlining business processes because it makes it much simpler to manage repetitive tasks and comply with service-level agreements (SLAs). 

Key applications of WLA for IT automation include:

  • Batch processing: Automating batch jobs to ensure timely data processing and reduce manual intervention
  • Business process automation (BPA): Automating routine business operations like HR onboarding, financial reporting and supply chain management
  • IT process management: Managing IT workflows such as system and data center backups, patch management and software deployments

How might this look in a financial services company? Thanks to automated batch processing, the finance team can run end-of-day reports accurately and on time without manual intervention. They no longer have to spend time on complex calculations and consolidation. Not only are their reports more accurate but they also have confidence that they’re complying with regulatory requirements.

Orchestration in hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments

As more organizations adopt hybrid and multi-cloud strategies, workload automation supports provisioning and scaling, cross-cloud orchestration and cost optimization. Since it’s common to have multiple cloud providers and services, it’s important to optimize cloud resource usage and maintain consistent data flows.

A multinational retail corporation may use both on-premises data centers and multiple cloud providers. Their workload automation platform could handle resource provisioning and scaling during peak shopping seasons to support responsive and available e-commerce. The outcome? Lower costs and higher sales.

What’s coming for workload automation?

It’s likely that workload automation will soon play an even more significant role in driving digital transformation and operational excellence. Here are some key automation trends and predictions for 2024 and beyond.

Better integration with AI and machine learning

The integration of AI and machine learning with workload automation will bring new levels of intelligence and adaptability. AI-driven automation is perhaps most useful for predicting potential issues and dynamically adjusting processes based on real-time data and insights.

Expansion of self-service capabilities

Empowering users with self-service automation capabilities will be a key focus area. By providing intuitive interfaces and pre-built templates, organizations can empower business users to create and manage their own automated workflows. Self-service portals also encourage immediate troubleshooting. In other words, your IT team will be less burdened, and you’ll accelerate time-to-value.

Greater focus on hybrid and multi-cloud strategies

As hybrid and multi-cloud environments become the norm, workload automation solutions will continue to evolve to support seamless orchestration and management across diverse cloud platforms. This will include advanced features for cross-cloud data synchronization, workload distribution and cost optimization.

Increased adoption of low-code and no-code platforms

To democratize automation and empower non-technical users, we anticipate a rise in low-code and no-code automation platforms. The creation of automated workflows will not require extensive programming knowledge. IT leaders are already aware of the massive time and cost savings associated with these accessible tools.

Stronger security and compliance

With increasing regulatory requirements and security concerns, workload automation platforms will continue to enhance their security and compliance features. This will include robust auditing, encryption, and access control mechanisms to ensure data integrity and protect against cyber threats.

March into the future with effortless workload automation as the wind at your back. Demo ActiveBatch to discover how this technology fits with your use cases.

Workload automation use cases FAQs

What is workload automation?

Workload automation (WLA) refers to the use of software to automate the scheduling, execution and monitoring of various IT and business processes. It enables organizations to streamline workflows, improve operational efficiency and ensure timely completion of tasks across different systems and environments.

Learn more about workload automation and what solution your business needs.

What is the difference between RPA and workload automation?

Robotic process automation (RPA) focuses on automating repetitive, rule-based tasks typically performed by humans using software robots or “bots.” Workload automation, on the other hand, is broader in scope, encompassing the automation of complex workflows, batch processing and IT operations across multiple systems and applications. 

While RPA is often used for front-end automation, WLA is more suited for back-end processes and IT infrastructure management.

Learn how RPA technology automates tasks, enhances efficiency, and revolutionizes industries.

What is the future of workload automation?

The future of workload automation is bright, with continued advancements in AI, machine learning and cloud technologies driving innovation. We expect to see greater adoption of low-code platforms, enhanced integration with AI for intelligent automation and increased focus on hybrid and multi-cloud orchestration. 

As organizations strive for digital transformation, workload automation will play a critical role in simplifying complex IT environments, optimizing resources and enabling real-time decision-making.

Discover the top IT automation trends as predicted by Gartner