Software Automation

Never repeat the same task twice, rather, automate it!  At Software Development Professionals, we have decades of experience automating tasks and jobs.  This extends beyond simple tasks – we can fully automate complex workflows with multiple execution paths, condition checks, validation, retrying on errors, and more.

Automating Server Administration

A good System Administrator will perform the following routine work throughout the month on each server:

  • Check disk usage all partitions
  • Check on log file rotation
  • Inspect website directories
  • Inspect database directories
  • Inspect directories used for file uploads
  • Verify backups are being captured
  • Check for Snapshot reliability
  • Check for Database dumping reliability
  • Verify Disaster Recover syncs are happening
  • Apply Security Patches within 24 hours of their release
  • Apply all other Operating System Patches within 1 week of release
  • Check for hardware failures
  • Review user accounts
  • Review login attempts
  • Audit installed packages
  • Review firewall rules
  • Verify Database Master/Slave Replication is working

According to Salary.com, the mean Linux System Administrator salary is $89,976 plus bonuses, benefits, and employer expenses.  Very expensive!

Linux Administrator Salary, from Salary.com
Linux Administrator Salary, from Salary.com

These tasks can be FULLY automated.  If you have 1 server or 10,000 servers, it can be automated.  In smaller start-up environments, this type of software automation coupled with a System Administrator On-Demand can provide huge savings over hiring a dedicated System Administrator.  In large enterprise environments, the automation can do all the work, and roll-up reports, enabling one competent System Administrator to do the work of dozens!  Your company can realize massive cost savings by leveraging software automation.

Additionally, the automated software can sometimes do an even better job!  How frequently will a System Administrator verify the backups, or check for security patches?  The automation software can do it every couple minutes around the clock, if so desired, and send out an alert if issues are detected.

Automating Internal Operations

Most companies have complex internal workflows that are error prone and require considerable oversight and management.  Rather than dealing with the human inefficiencies and errors, use software to automate your internal operational workflows!

For example, suppose your company has a basic customer order workflow such as:

  1. Salesperson captures customer information and order details
  2. Legal executes agreements
  3. Billing processes the payment
  4. Fulfillment prepares the order
  5. Quality validates the order is correct
  6. Fulfillment ships the order
  7. Salesperson follows up to ensure happy customer, and to sell additional products or services

This is a fairly straightforward 7 step process, but between each step, communication is required between departments.  After step 1, how does Legal know they need to do something?  Perhaps we rely on the Salesperson in step 1 to email them (Failure point 1 in the process).  From a communication standpoint alone, we have 6 failure points.  If we have very smart employees – let’s say they get it right 99% of the time – that means this workflow will succeed approximately 94% of the time.  If you process 10,000 orders, that’s 600 that were delayed or encountered some other problem.  Not good!

Software Automation can manage this workflow effectively.  The software solution can build working queues for the various teams, making it easy for them to see the new work that has been added to their queue.  The software can send alerts to teams or individuals letting them know there’s new work in their queue.  The software can send follow-up alerts if the work remains in the queue for too long.  And finally, the software can track performance and offer reporting with valuable insights, ensuring teams are processing their work queues in a timely manner.

Almost ANY internal workflow can leverage software automation to make it more successful.

Software Automation

Software Automation is not limited to Server Administration and Internal Operations Workflows.  It can be leveraged just about anywhere we desire:

  • Customer communications
  • Data mining / Web scraping
  • Analytics Reporting
  • Big Data crunching and reporting
  • Simulating complex systems
  • Bulk updating content repositories
  • Migrating data between systems
  • Monitoring
  • On and on and on…
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