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The company-wide introduction of IT automation

Is the automation of IT processes a technical challenge? Yes, but not only. The key to success and smooth implementation is a well-structured plan that involves all employees - far beyond IT.
Peter Körner, Red Hat
November 15, 2023
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Beiersdorf IT uses a concrete example to show how open source principles can be used for IT automation. The drivers for end-to-end IT automation are manifold. They relate to processes, efficiency, IT silos and recruiting. On the one hand, complex processes cause long project runtimes and, on the other, manual, repetitive activities lead to reduced efficiency. IT silos also pose a challenge; the automation often practiced today within individual silos does not break down the silos, but merely automates them. Last but not least, the shortage of skilled workers is a key reason for automation initiatives.

The universal and proven open source automation solution Ansible provides crucial support. It supports the automation of processes across servers, storage devices, network devices, services, containers and clouds and even "non-IT functions". Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform with certified, preconfigured modules, automation workflows and extended security concepts has established itself for enterprise use.

The problem, the objective and the solution architecture are therefore clearly outlined. But how can the automation solution be scaled quickly and acceptance ensured? Beiersdorf IT has tested and successfully implemented a new approach - in contrast to a conventional, usually more technically focused implementation of a new software solution.

Beiersdorf has chosen a tried-and-tested open source approach for this and has named it the Beiersdorf internal Automation Community. This community approach defines various roles such as a Community Architect, Sponsor and Strategist, Automation Consultant Engineer and Onboarder. The Community Architect is responsible for setting up and managing the community, monitoring the process and defining the KPIs. A member of management acts as sponsor and strategist - and is therefore responsible for the financial commitment. The Automation Consultant Engineer's tasks include identifying automation opportunities, developing automated workflows and providing cross-team advice on the implementation of use cases.

Following this structural and organizational preparatory work, the company invited all specialist departments to participate and defined the first possible use cases. This showed that Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform supports the community approach, particularly by combining various automation steps in an end-to-end workflow. Ideas are collected, discussed and implemented within the Beiersdorf community. Finally, the ecosystem around Ansible is also growing continuously, so that more and more use cases can be orchestrated and automated, even around topics such as compliance, governance, security or sustainability. Specifically, Beiersdorf has included a number of use cases in the community approach with regard to SAP automation in the area of Day 1 and Day 2 operations such as provisioning, configuration, database management, patching or maintenance.

On the one hand, the example of Beiersdorf shows the performance spectrum of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform in end-to-end automation, even in SAP environments. On the other hand, it shows how open source principles such as the community concept, real-time transparency for all participants and collaboration can simplify and accelerate the company-wide introduction of an automation solution. Other SAP users facing the challenge of modernization and migration can also follow this example, because open source best practices are never a bad guide.

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Peter Körner, Red Hat

Peter Körner is Principal Business Development Manager Red Hat SAP Solutions at Red Hat


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Work on SAP Basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. This gives the so-called Competence Center strategic importance among SAP's existing customers. Regardless of the operating model of an S/4 Hana, topics such as automation, monitoring, security, application lifecycle management, and data management are the basis for the operative S/4 operation. For the second time already, E3 Magazine is hosting a summit in Salzburg for the SAP community to get comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. With an exhibition, expert presentations, and plenty to talk about, we again expect numerous existing customers, partners, and experts in Salzburg. E3 Magazine invites you to Salzburg for learning and exchange of ideas on June 5 and 6, 2024.

Venue

Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Tickets

Early Bird Ticket - Available until 29.03.2024
EUR 440 excl. VAT
Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT

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Venue

Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024

Tickets

Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house B4Bmedia.net AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.