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2017 Blogs, Blog

It’s fast, and keeping pace is not easy


The world of technology today thrives on challenging old paradigms, the emergence of new concepts and rapid adoption of ideas. Artificial Intelligence and BOTs, Automation and Cloud are leading the charge and businesses of all hues and software product and solution providers are jumping on to the bandwagon.


In the midst of these ideas, there’s also the concept of DevOps which has gained ascendancy as a key driver for adoption of BOTs, Automation and Cloud. Businesses realize massive gains vis-a-vis efficiencies in prototyping, go-to-market with a more stable and improved product line and the percentage onspend comes down.


The mindset change


While Cloud technology has been around, organizations have to actively think of beyond “moving to cloud” and understand the various facets of how cloud technology can accrue benefits that are real and measurable. As a forward thinking technology company, Relevance Lab has been at the forefront of leveraging the cloud for business transformation because we understand that it can be the foundation of better software delivery and scalable operations.


For instance, cloud by definition encompasses multiple providers (Public, Private, Hybrid) and it can prove to be a challenge for businesses to manage them well and seamlessly. Relevance Lab provides a platform for taking care of distributed assets such as Orchestration, CMDB, Cost, Capacity Usage, Health and Security Governance.


Utilizing cloud for your IT systems is the beginning of the mindset change. Today, technology needs to be smart, analyze data and perform tasks with minimum manual intervention, streamline operations and reduce the overall SDLC for it to create a significance niche.


The era of convergence – Automation, BOTs, Cloud and DevOps


eMarketer reports that 1.4 billion people interacted with a chatbot in 2015; it’s not surprising. Being multi-functional, Chat BOTs and other forms of BOTs are being used across industries to serve many functions to engage with their customers and enhance their brands. Customer-facing functions in banks for instance use chat BOTs to increase efficiency and reduce the waiting time for customers, thus nudging customer satisfaction and delight towards the positive
node.

BOTs bring in a level of automation that enhances the overall software development, IT operations or other functional cycles wherever deployed. With over 6 years in the DevOps and Cloud space, Relevance Lab has been leading the convergence of ABCD (Automation, BOTs, Cloud and DevOps) with its flagship product RLCatalyst. This DevOps product can help teams to collaborate more meaningfully, enhancing performance, achieving greater scale and streamlining operational functionality.


An effective combination that fuels decisive action


For almost all businesses, technology tools are meant to minimize errors, increase efficiencies and enable strategic decision-making quickly without cost overruns. However, today, most businesses are also grappling with the management of too many systems and software that are proving to be white elephants when it comes to revenue management. It becomes imperative therefore for businesses to go with the automation-first approach which can actually reduce human effort by a whopping 30% and improve quality and shrink delivery times.


With advanced technology solutions like RLCatalyst, with its integrated approach to technology where it offers a DevOps approach to Automation and Cloud, you get value for money. It’s self-aware and auto-remediation features enables and empowers actionable decisioning. It comes equipped with 200+ pre-built BOTs for common Development, Operations and Business Process Automation activities, which in turn further reduces time and effort on developing your own BOTs. You can custom build BOTs with the inbuilt BOTs framework that is suited for your unique needs.


So while we continue to see evolution in the era of ABCD convergence, bringing in greater automation and effective collaboration, the question that begs to be answered, is


how are you managing your enterprise’s automation?


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2017 Blogs, Blog

In a fast-changing technology and business landscape large enterprises and new business startups are exploring the right solutions for a Cloud led Digital Transformation. We at Relevance Lab (RL) have been on a similar exploratory journey in this dynamic market over last 6 years. With 20+ large enterprise customers, global strategic partners and battle-scars of large scale implementations we are happy to share our experiences.


  • RL is a new generation company focused on enabling adoption of Cloud, DevOps and Automation in the “Right-way” guided by our unique IP, RLCatalyst product
  • Adoption of Cloud is growing rapidly in both enterprises and startups – however to get key benefits from Cloud there is need to think beyond “Moving to Cloud”. The right approach is to “Leverage the Cloud” for business transformation and make that the foundation for better software delivery and scalable operations. RL specializes in this aspect of Cloud adoption
  • Cloud by definition encompasses multiple providers (Public, Private, Hybrid. Hence to manage the distributed assets RLCatalyst is the solution, taking care of Orchestration, CMDB, Cost, Capacity Usage, Health and Security Governance
  • The RLCatalyst product enables an eco-system to Create, Validate, Deploy, Monitor and Govern an army of “Software BOTs” that drives an Automation-First approach bringing up-to 30% reduction of human efforts with better quality and faster deliveries. We provide 200+ pre-Built BOTs for common Development, Operations and Business Process automation activities.
  • The BOTs that are created with RLCatalyst are Intelligent and Self-Aware – this allows the BOTs to learn from previous outcomes and help achieve Auto-Remediation and Actionable Decisions
  • With a combination of Specialized Services and IP-based Product RLCatalyst, RL is partnering with very large enterprises and startups to move forward on adoption of Cloud, DevOps and Automation with software BOTs for accelerating Digital transformation
  • Also, In the highly competitive service provider market, RLCatalyst can truly catalyze Cloud Service Provider business and accelerate your revenue growth through its unique Cloud Service Brokering capability and billing, invoicing, reconciliation, provisioning, contracting and other similar features.

Get in touch with us for a partnership in this exciting journey to get the right answers.


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2017 Blogs, Blog

Automation is trending in IT and everyone including CIO and IT administrators’ performance is measured by the quantum of automation achieved in an organization. While there may be differences in measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of IT automation, there is no second guessing on a few key principles that need to be followed while organizations embrace automation in a big way. These principles bring a programmatic structure to IT automation just like the principles help improve the SDLC process.  Let’s look at some of the benefits that can accrue to an organization by way of principles of automation.


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The key principles are:


  1. Automation code/run books maintained in a Configuration Management System
  2. Separation of data and logic
  3. Compliance driven: trackability and auditability
  4. Integrated automation

Automation code/run books maintained in a Configuration Management System

In a traditional IT organization, it is not that automation has not been attempted or is not prevalent. There have been scripts, codes and snippets that help achieve automation and drive efficiencies, small or large. However, most of this automation is unstructured and unorganized and the entire process of automation faces the danger of dying a slow death in case the initiating team member is replaced or decides to leave the organization.  Additionally, if the automata (any script or entity or engine that does automation) suffer any bug or stop functioning one fine day, it is extremely challenging for the IT team to troubleshoot and make that work again. Fixes that are made again may remain undocumented, potentially, paving way for the same situation to repeat in future. This is where maintaining the code in a Configuration Management System is of value. Such a measure helps maintain a central repository, possibly well-documented, providing access to authorized users and as an added benefit, improving the reusability of the automata across the organization, thereby improving the overall automation efficiency.


Separation of data and logic

One of the best practice that is followed in software development is to segment data and logic so that there is no hard coding of any data and there is no data exposure through the code thereby maintaining data privacy. However, in a traditional IT automation model, this practice is perhaps given a go by, thereby leading to security threats, data exposure, code malfunctioning due to environment change etc. For instance, hard coding a SQL access username and password in automata for performing database automation will make the automata fail whenever the access credentials are changed in the database. Suggested measure is to maintain data that are required for automata to function, in a separate YAML / JSON / XML file (preferably in an encrypted format for sensitive data) and the automation logic is maintained on a separate code. This will lead naturally to parameterisation of code which will in turn enhance the reusability of the automata progressively.


Compliance driven: track-ability and audit-ability

All automata may not always be successful, so there must be room for reversing automata at the time of failures or undesirable results. Hence, it is recommended to maintain a track of the actions that are taken through automata thereby giving room for reversing the changes at a later stage. Tracking can be in the form of a simple syslog entry or Windows event log entry or maintaining a separate log file. Another key factor is to maintain an audit log such that compliance requirements are addressed. IT auditors can scan/read the audit log, gain an understanding of the automated activity and make observations on the level of compliance that activity has adhered to. It is possible to combine these two functionalities and maintain one central log repository addressing these two requirements simultaneously.


Integrated automation

IT automation activities usually tend to have an impact on the end-user of IT services, be it a simple task like password reset or service health check. To ensure that the end-user experience is positive, in most organizations, end-user requirements are interfaced via a Service Desk tool. Given this, it is therefore suggested that a tight integration is maintained between such a tool and the automation engine. This integration will continue to maintain the end-user experience while improving the overall back-end operational efficiency. Taking the password reset scenario again as an example, imagine an end user’s interface not changing for password reset while backend gets changed from manual effort to automated execution via tight integration with automata. Turnaround time that used to be a few hours will be cut down to a few minutes (if not seconds) while not impacting the end user’s front end interface and experience.


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