ESG recently surveyed 2,000 IT decision makers to understand whether and to what extent global technological transformations in organizations generate broad and deep competitive advantages. provide IT services more flexibly.

The organizations that are advancing the most in these three areas have been ranked as technology accelerators, and ESG has observed that these organizations effectively outperform their lagging peers in these transformations (technology reactors) in many areas.

In addition, a subset of 695 interviewees directly involved in the management of their server environments were interviewed on several issues regarding their IT infrastructure. This part of the survey asked respondents what automated server management activities looked like in their environments and also covered several related KPIs. Research has shown that organizations accelerating automation:

  • Save considerable time and effort associated with common server management tasks, with respondents believing they have reduced their working hours by up to 28% thanks to automation. 53% of all IT services as a Service. 
  • They are nearly 3 times more likely to outperform their competitors in the market and confidently believe they have the technology to adapt and thrive despite societal or macroeconomic disruptions. 
  • Enjoy greater flexibility when it comes to placing workloads and tend to select workload environments based on how they match the demands of the workload. 
  • Prioritize the scope of supported applications, built-in security features, and deep integration with standard ripped set management and orchestration solutions.

Measuring the Degree of Automation in the Server Environment

A highly automated server environment is defined as having highly automated workflows for server configuration and provisioning, updating and patching, and operational reporting.

ESG’s survey asked respondents to describe how manual or automated these workflows were in their environments. Only organizations that categorized all of these tasks as entirely or almost entirely automated are categorized as Server Automation Accelerators in this summary. All other organizations are categorized as Server Automation Reactors.

Why Automation Matters

Automating repetitive server management tasks unlocks value for organizations in several ways. From an efficiency standpoint, removing human error from the equation helps avoid problems. For example, automation helps eliminate incorrect server configurations or inappropriate patches, which can expose an organization to security breaches. An even easier to measure benefit is efficiency. By automating tasks, organizations free up server administrators to tackle more demanding, higher-value tasks.

We asked respondents to quantify these operational efficiencies, and it’s clear that server automation accelerators are seeing a big return on this automation. We asked these organizations how much time and effort is saved with automated workflows. In all cases, the average savings were significant On average, accelerators reported reducing the time and effort required to:

  • Server configuration and provisioning by 28%.
  • Generating operational insights and reporting by 27%. 
  • Server updating and monitoring tasks by 24%.

The Bigger Truth

A highly automated server environment is defined as having highly automated workflows for server configuration and provisioning, updating and patching, and operational reporting. Very few (five percent of organizations based on ESG research) have achieved this level of holistic automation today.

The few server automation accelerators have a number of related benefits. For example, automation, coupled with as a Service operating models, increases speed. In the context of a server infrastructure, this increased speed means putting IT infrastructure in the hands of innovators faster. Unsurprisingly, therefore, Server Automation Accelerators were almost 3 times more likely than their Reactor counterparts to say they generally beat their competition in the marketplace (75% vs. 27%).

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The Key to Optimized Server Management

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