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Capgemini’s ‘fast mover’ advantage: why automation matters

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At AlgoSec we’ve been promoting and evangelizing the value and benefits of automation since our inception. And now a recent report from Capgemini shows that that enterprises utilizing advanced IT automation are reaping the rewards, including increased revenues and higher profits.

The company’s recent ‘Automation Advantage Report’ placed companies into two categories.  The top 20% of businesses utilizing advanced automation deployments were defined as ‘fast movers’;  while the rest, who were in the first stages of automation adoption, were classed as ‘followers’.  The report found that the ‘fast movers’ were experiencing significantly greater agility and faster delivery of products or services than ‘followers’.

Furthermore, the report’s found that many organizations are in the process of restructuring in order to maximize the advantages of automation. According to the report, three quarters of fast movers used automation to change their business models, viewing the process as ‘much more than a cost cutting and efficiency exercise’.  The report also found that nearly half (45%) of fast movers were using automation to integrate development and operations teams more closely.

Automation use cases

According to the report, one of the key areas where organizations are feeling the benefit of automation is in the cloud.  Capgemini noted that ‘automation of the activities involved in provisioning the infrastructure and managing applications in the cloud also allows companies to manage traditional applications and infrastructure in a more competitive and scalable manner’. This led to 84% of respondents saying that their company had become more agile, while 86% reported improvements in the customer experience as a result.

The report also found that two of the most common use cases for automation amongst companies identified as ‘fast movers’ were configuration management (70%) and infrastructure provisioning (68%) – two previously manual tasks that when automated enable IT resources to be better utilized.  In fact the report found that 60% of ‘fast movers’ had been able to redeploy engineers to focus on new strategic development tasks as a result of automation, compared with just 31% of followers.

Automating security

Of course one proven, and highly effective, form of automation that enables highly-skilled professionals to focus on more strategic initiatives is network security policy management (NSPM). Automation significantly speeds up security processes, while improving accuracy of changes and helping organizations to contain risk and remain continually compliant. Furthermore, it removes the security bottleneck which is caused by slow, error-prone manual processes.  This enables new applications to be deployed faster, increasing business agility while preventing any gaps in security. In addition, by using automation to handle repetitive, manual tasks, organizations can free up their skilled network security professionals to focus on more strategic business initiatives.

These benefits were reflected in a survey conducted earlier this year by analyst firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) which examined the benefits that NSPM solutions help deliver. Key findings of the survey included:

  • 81% of respondents reported that more than 90% of their change windows were problem-free
  • NSPM solutions reduced the time it took to process a security policy change to just one day, down from 12 days if done manually.
  • 64% of respondents said that using NSPM prevented application outages caused by device misconfigurations

As enterprises increasingly focus on automation and the benefits it can drive against a back-drop of an ever-changing threat landscape, automating network security policy management helps increase agility by aligning security with their business goals – enabling them to true fast movers.

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