Page 15 - CT Innovation in Education, November 2021
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have to focus on doing the same work over and over. At the team level, when you enable your IT crew to automate with the right tools, you’re documenting and
codifying their institutional knowledge too. That’s important as schools face the prospect of losing hordes of baby boomers and Gen Xers — and their hard-earned experiences — to retirement. By automating the day in/day out processes, anybody you bring in with the basic knowledge of the job will be able to get up to speed much more quickly. The adoption of automation technologies provides a common language for enabling teams to communicate with each other.
At the enterprise level, automation reaches across silos. As it stands now, too much in IT takes weeks instead of the hours it should require because the various stages of the work are held up when somebody isn’t at their keyboard. When you automate repetitive tasks, and reach out to others with their own automations, you can chain those tasks together into a “workflow.” You don’t need everybody sitting at their desks at the same time in order to achieve a fast response.
Innovation Over Rote
The use of a solution such as Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform makes automation — that chaining together of
various tasks — something IT people innately understand. Ansible uses plain text and data elements that match whatever software IT is interacting with. It’s not compiled; it’s easily readable and reviewable. And the automation will continually improve as updates — a patch, a bug fix, an optimization — are added to links in the chain.
The next time a lab needs to be set up or a research project receives its funding, the IT organization will be ready to kick into action, even as someone in the workstream
takes a day off to care for a sick child or a team has to deal with a cybersecurity crisis. By removing the rote work, automation enables people. Each person who may have been sitting around doing those repetitive jobs is now solving new problems and challenges — innovating — for which the human brain is aptly designed.
Damien Eversmann is Red Hat’s chief architect for education for the North America Public Sector. Most recently, Damien has traveled the country with Red Hat to share the news of digital transformation. He has a penchant for teaching and demonstration and his expertise includes DevOps culture, application modernization, enterprise automation and the intersection of history with tech.
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