Finance leaders spend 25 to 50% of their time navigating unfamiliar situations.1
Anything that can cut down the guesswork in their workday and reduce the cost of doing business – the ultimate quest of a CFO – is the double-edged sword CFOs need to lead a financially successful and stable organization. Luckily, automation (and specifically cloud automation) is the solution that can slash uncertainty and unnecessary costs to ribbons.
IT and cloud administrators are a CFO’s top allies when investing in the future and cutting costs in the present. Here are the top five ways CFOs are leveraging cloud automation tools to financially streamline DevOps and IT operations.
1. Accelerate innovation
The best way for a company to move forward quickly and efficiently is through continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). While usually a concept that applies to app development, CI/CD is central to any thriving IT and DevOps culture. Consistent innovation and deployment with as little risk as possible increases a company’s speed to market, which is the key to keeping ahead of the competition.
CI/CD is relevant to cloud automation because the speed and efficiency of cloud automation allows software and development teams to focus on constantly innovating instead of being bogged down by tedious maintenance tasks and alert monitoring. A healthy CI/CD pipeline is central to strong DevOps, which has many benefits itself, such as improved collaboration and better systems security and availability.
2. Simplify cloud operations
“Automation needs to extend beyond the core components we are accustomed to. When we are looking to solve SRE issues we need to evaluate more of the SRE workload. Idem is specifically designed to alleviate the SRE instead of just alleviating the interaction with the cloud.”
--Thomas Hatch, Creator of Idem Project
Anything to simplify the cloud is a step in the right direction. Site reliability engineers (SREs) have an incredibly difficult job juggling multiple clouds, public, private and hybrid cloud alike. The secret to streamlining is infrastructure as data (IaD). IaD – in place of infrastructure as code – makes the cloud easier to maintain, discover and use. Automating IaD further helps because it eliminates the need to manually write code.
Automation allows organizations to be proactive, not reactive. An open-source cloud platform creates a universal cloud automation engine that teams can use to drive automation far beyond just cloud infrastructure. The benefit of cloud simplicity is not just reflected in your SREs’ less burdened shoulders. It has cost implications, too. It’s very expensive to maintain large-scale cloud and API systems that have large automation codebases.
3. Use time intelligently
Time is money. And the current tight labor market is putting pressure on IT and cloud team leaders to distribute their few experts intentionally to get the most out of their talents. It behooves organizations to invest in their current employees to increase employee engagement and reduce turnover as much as possible.
The best way to engage employees is by distributing work that’s challenging, exciting and ladders up to a clear business objective. When people work on the same boring maintenance and monitoring tasks every day, they may not feel connected or passionate about their work. While crucial, these types of tasks don’t move the company forward; they only stop it from crumbling.
Fortunately, machines don’t get bored, and they don’t hand in two-week notices. Companies should entrust tedious tasks to automated processes and invest in staff training to ensure everyone feels professionally fulfilled.
4. Boost security
Excellent cloud security doesn’t necessarily cut costs directly; instead, it heads off incurring security compliance fines and paying reparations for security breaches. The global average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million, though the average cost in the U.S. is more than double that at $9.44 million. The cloud is especially vulnerable, as 45% of breaches occur in the cloud.2
Cloud automation cuts down on honest mistakes that could’ve led to a security compromise. When cloud architects are writing a lot of code, it’s almost inevitable that a missed command slips in; however, in an automated process, the machine never gets distracted or has a bad day at the office the day after a poor night’s sleep.
5. Invest in the future
Overwhelmingly, in a July 2022 report, 98% of surveyed CFOs agree that they plan to protect their digital acceleration efforts for at least the next 12 months.3 In a time of economic uncertainty and tightening budgets, this commitment to technological progress will pay off massively in the near and distant future. Take 2020 as an example: The companies with sound IT foundations were able to pivot to the 100% work-from-home model while keeping up regular business operations and still having the time and energy to focus on innovation. Having the latest and best foundational business tools not only allows non-IT employees to do their job well but frees IT employees to seek other technology solutions that’ll further enhance the organization.
Liberation from the cloud with Idem Project
The ultimate benefit of automation is easy to understand: It frees up time for brilliant employees to focus on value-add tasks, while entrusting regular maintenance and tedious admin tasks to a machine. What is more difficult to grasp about automation is the trust aspect. Can humans trust automated systems with critical tasks? The answer is yes. Automation has progressed incredibly in the last few years, so when calibrated correctly, it can be just as diligent as its human predecessors.
Idem Project is one such cloud automation tool that IT and cloud admins can trust to reduce cloud configuration into IaD. Explore Idem Project’s cloud platform download options and install today!
1Gartner, “What makes a great CFO?”