Understanding Continuous Automation

High velocity companies – those that can quickly turn ideas into digital experiences for customers – use automation to get there. The concept of continuous automation is therefore generating a lot of interest. But what is continuous automation? What are the benefits? And how do you get there?

Defining Continuous Automation

Continuous Automation is the practice of automating every aspect of an application’s lifecycle to build and deploy software and changes quickly, consistently, and safely. It integrates automation of infrastructure, applications, and compliance, defining elements as code to make it easy to manage multiple versions, test for a variety of conditions, change when needed, and apply at scale. It is a sophisticated approach to building, deploying, and managing software.

But like a lot of sophisticated approaches, it’s easy to get distracted by details or organizational constraints, and miss the larger goal.

The Benefits of Continuous Automation

High velocity companies are skilled at moving software from idea to ship, repeatedly. Underlying that skill are three measurable outcomes: speed, efficiency, and risk.

Benefits of Continuous Automation

The challenge, of course, is that the three outcomes are naturally in opposition to one another. In the quest for greater speed, organizations make mistakes and introduce errors that eat away at efficiency and increase the risk of opening security holes. What’s needed is a step-wise path to continuous automation, enabling progress on all three dimensions simultaneously.

The Path to Continuous Automation

The most successful organizations pursue continuous automation in three stages: Detect, Correct, and Automate. First, gain visibility over the current state of your infrastructure and applications to detect security risks, performance inhibitors, and areas of concern. Next, correct priority issues in order to drive outcomes. Finally, automate by building the detect-and-correct cycle into how you operate on an ongoing basis.

As you automate more of the processes involved in the application lifecycle, detect and correct happens long before issues impact your business or your customers. And that provides the confidence to truly move with velocity.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about Continuous Automation and how to implement a detect, correct, and automate cycle into your workflow, watch a recording of the live webinar: Deliver Reliable Apps at High Velocity with Continuous Automation. 

To learn more about Agile, Lean, and DevOps practices, check out our white paper, Continuous Automation for the Continuous Enterprise.

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Dan Hauenstein

Dan was the Vice President of Product Marketing at Chef, helping companies understand Chef so they can achieve speed and outpace the competition. He spent 20 years in strategy, marketing, and enablement roles in the enterprise software space at companies including Hortonworks, IBM, Micromuse, and McKinsey & Co. Throughout his career he’s tried to make complicated subjects easy to understand, mainly by boiling them down to three bullet points.