Enterprise automation is the use of software to automate business processes in an enterprise organization. Enterprise automation software cuts down on repetitive tasks to free up employees, eliminate wasted effort, and improve the efficiency and accuracy of common processes.
The tools, technologies, and solutions that enable enterprise automation are typically scalable and have use cases across departments within large organizations. This guide will explain the many types of enterprise automation tools, their use cases, and the benefits of automation for enterprises.
Table of Contents
- Enterprise Automation for IT
- Enterprise Automation for Testing
- Enterprise Automation with Open Source Tools
- Enterprise Automation for DevSecOps
- Enterprise Automation for Code
- Other Types of Enterprise Automation
- Enterprise Automation Software & Tools from Perforce
Enterprise Automation for IT
Enterprise automation is the use of tools and technology to automate business processes at a large scale. Examples of enterprise automation for IT include automated compliance, automated code analysis, testing automation, automated integrations, and automated orchestration.
Automated configuration management is at the heart of enterprise IT automation. Configuration management keeps systems in a desired state so that IT teams can spin up, manage, and recycle commonly used resources faster.
What is IT automation? Get an easy-to-follow explainer >>
Continuous delivery is another staple of automation that helps enterprises get more done, faster and with less error. The difference between continuous delivery vs. deployment is that continuous delivery automates deployment of code to a staging environment for testing before it’s released; continuous deployment actually automatically pushes that code through the testing pipeline and all the way to production.
Enterprise automation has many use cases in IT. Now that we’ve covered some of the building blocks of enterprise automation, let’s take a look at some of the most common ways it’s used.
Compliance as Code
Compliance as code is the act of automating IT compliance policies in the form of code.
Defining compliance policies as code enables compliance monitoring across large infrastructure. It also lets teams alter, update, and correct compliance drift over time by changing the code that defines it.
There are two main reasons why enterprises choose to automate compliance as code:
- Failing a compliance audit is costly. Many large organizations are subject to multiple compliance rules and guidelines at once, and failing a single audit can cost millions of dollars in fines (not to mention the reputational damage). It’s practically impossible to manually make sure that infrastructure is compliant with all of them.
- Compliance management can be a huge time sink. When your security, compliance, and ops teams are tied up finding and fixing compliance errors, they’re spending less time improving processes and more time just catching up. It’s estimated that companies spend millions of dollars and hundreds of hours on compliance-related activities, even if they’re passing all their audits. That time and money isn’t going toward making things better – just catching up.
Learn more about how enterprises automate compliance as code >>
DISA STIGs and CIS Benchmarks are two examples of compliance rules that enterprises can automate.
DISA STIGs are compliance rules that must be followed by U.S. government and defense agencies and contractors. The “G” in “STIG” stands for “guideline,” and each of those guidelines could contain hundreds of controls to implement in a system to bring it into compliance.
Enterprises that operate with or under U.S. government agencies are required to meet DISA STIG frameworks to secure and protect their infrastructure. That means they have to:
- Define configurations that comply with DISA STIGs;
- Enforce compliant configurations with configuration management;
- Continuously monitor their DISA STIG compliance; and
- Be ready to prove compliance in case of a DISA STIG audit
Learn more about automating DISA STIGs >>
CIS Benchmarks are a set of infrastructure compliance rules that apply to many enterprises, particularly organizations in government, industry, business, and academia/higher education.
These benchmarks are created by user consensus, which means they’re generated by cybersecurity experts and peer-reviewed by an international group of cybersecurity pros. The more they’re tested and proven, the more reliable they are for enterprises who need to bring their systems into compliance.
Learn more about automating compliance with CIS Benchmarks >>
Security Automation Tools
Security automation tools automate security breach detection and response for enterprises. By automating aspects of IT security, organizations can stay ready for unexpected security events and respond to them quicker.
With security automation tools, enterprises can increase the efficiency and consistency of their IT security defense and response. Security automation for enterprises also standardizes secure infrastructure configurations, which cuts down on time spent monitoring and correcting configuration drift.
Learn more about enterprise security automation tools >>
Patching always takes time, but automated patching ensures that the software you’re using remains up-to-date without manual effort. That keeps your systems secure, keeps your tools working their best, and helps you maintain a state of compliance across your infrastructure.
Patching is a routine task for all IT, but it’s particularly important for enterprises. The larger your infrastructure becomes, and the more tools you add to it, the more important it is to patch each piece of software – or risk it becoming a liability. It’s easy to let patching fall by the wayside (who hasn’t waited a couple versions before updating?), but for enterprises with large IT estates and a lot of compliance rules to live up to, automated patching is so lucrative that it’s non-negotiable.
Learn more about automated patching for enterprise IT >>
Automation for Testing
Enterprise automation for testing refers to the automated process of testing web and mobile apps. Enterprise testing automation is particularly prominent among businesses and organizations that operate on an enterprise level, such as banking, finance, healthcare, and retail.
With the rise in demand for high-quality apps for enterprise-grade services comes an increased need for advanced automation solutions. With enterprise-level apps, there is no room for error. Testing must be conducted early and often, especially for the most complex use cases. The sheer volume of tests makes automation a necessity to keep pace and ensure success.
Discover advanced automation solutions for enterprises, like voice recognition, biometric auth, and more >>
Automated UX Testing
Because enterprise-level apps facilitate services for high-level industries, a seamless user experience is key. As such, enterprise-level testing teams have an ever-growing need for superior UX testing to ensure a flawless user experience. User experience includes anything from load time to app speed to whether the app keeps up with advances in technology.
Learn more about the value of UX testing and best practices >>
QA: What Is Conversational UI?
Conversational UI (User Interface) is the process by which apps and software interact with humans via voice or text. Conversational UI mimics real-life interaction.
Conversational UI is only one component of the ever-evolving UX testing needed to develop the best apps on the market. Today’s testing teams require a platform that supports advanced automation solutions, such as testing voice recognition systems and other forms of conversational UI.
Learn more about how to use conversational UI >>
Perfecto helps solve even the toughest mobile testing challenges through its industry leading platform, from accessibility auditing and conversational UI to test coverage metrics and automation. As part of the Perfecto platform, Perfecto Scriptless Mobile helps teams automate tests for most complex native mobile use cases, including:
- Biometric authentication
- Geolocation testing
- Test 2fa (two-factor authentication)
- Image injection
- Network virtualization
- And more
Enterprise Performance Testing
Enterprise performance testing is a non-functional testing technique used to figure how well an application will hold up under a given load. In an enterprise setting, performance testing looks at app performance factors like speed, responsiveness, stability, and scalability before it's deployed.
Performance testing at the enterprise level can improve the user experience, increase productivity, improve scalability, and reduce cost by anticipating errors and failures before an app is deployed.
Ensuring application quality in enterprise IT doesn't have to be complicated. With BlazeMeter, enterprises can feel confident in the performance of their apps, no matter how complicated or robust their features may be. That starts with performance testing.
Enterprise performance testing should be an integral aspect of any organization's testing strategy. This means you are ensuring your app functions as it is designed to do in simulated real-word situations such as peak traffic events. A variety of types of tests can run your app through the gauntlet to ensure it comes out the other side with a flawless, seamless UX.
Learn what makes enterprise performance testing essential for development at scale >>
These BlazeMeter tests and services include:
- Load testing — Test both your mobile user experience and your backend under load in the cloud and scale up to two million virtual users. The solution simulates realistic mobile traffic patterns.
- Functional testing — Leverage the flexibility of open source tools to truly test the user experience and identify how the backend components of your application are running even while under high demand.
- API monitoring — Create API tests in minutes and start monitoring your APIs from early development through production.
- Mock services — Eliminate dependencies to test faster and more completely. Configure and integrate mock services with your BlazeMeter tests so they never have to be created and managed separately from the test.
- Test data — Generates synthetic data for Functional and Performance tests, and mock (virtual) services. Data can be linked and reused for multiple tests in BlazeMeter or exported and consumed by other tools.
Available to use as code in your IDE or with a modern UI, the BlazeMeter platform includes UI functional testing, user experience testing, API testing and monitoring, performance testing, mock services, and test data synchronized across tests, services, and systems under test. All capabilities are deeply integrated in an intuitive workflow with robust support for popular open source and third-party tools. Teams can work the way they want to work, with enterprise scale and security and collaborative, actionable analytics.
Enterprise Automation with Open Source Tools
Enterprise DevOps teams are finding ways to automate more processes than ever, particularly those related to infrastructure configuration. As part of a greater orchestration strategy, open source automation technologies for enterprises help organizations become more efficient by enabling them to scale and simplify operations.
Open Source Automation Tools
Open source automation tools allow enterprises to automate processes in IT, infrastructure, and software development. Open source tools come with benefits like integration, community support, cost effectiveness, and customizability.
Open source automation tools can be used to automate a wide range of tasks and workflows, from testing to configuration to monitoring, and surveys show that many organizations use them for access to new tech innovations. They’re also rapidly growing in adoption: In a recent OpenLogic survey of open source software (OSS) users around the globe, 80% of respondents said their OSS usage increased in the preceding 12 months – some “significantly.”
Find more open source automation tools and use cases >>
Kubernetes orchestration is the use of tools to automate the creation, deployment, provisioning, and management of Kubernetes clusters (which run containerized apps). Common Kubernetes orchestration tools include Rancher, Kubespray, Kubeadm, KubeEdge, and others.
What is Rancher in Kubernetes orchestration? Find out in our blog >>
The trend toward microservice-based architecture and containerization means technologies like Kubernetes are becoming more ubiquitous in enterprise stacks. Many organizations are heavily investing in Kubernetes orchestration – a trend reflected in the 2023 State of Open Source Report, which showed that open source Kubernetes orchestration tools increased over the past 12 months.
Moving to Kubernetes? Here’s what you need to know about Kubernetes orchestration >>
Cloud orchestration is the act of automating infrastructure, network, and security management by bringing it into the cloud. Cloud orchestration can be done using open source tools like Kubernetes, which enables flexibility, customization, and longevity.
There are several enterprise-grade open source cloud orchestration tools for teams to choose from. There are different technologies for security, building and testing applications, infrastructure as code (IAC), and so on, making the choice of tools tricky. These technologies do not always integrate well with each other, resulting in fragmented orchestration with too many vendors and finger-pointing when things go awry.
Learn more about the benefits of using open source tools for cloud orchestration >>
Partnering with an organization like OpenLogic, which is vendor-neutral and can deliver full-stack support, can be useful for organizations looking to streamline their open source cloud orchestration methods. Using proven playbooks, OpenLogic can custom-build open source automation and open source orchestration flows appropriate for any business use case.
Enterprise Automation for DevSecOps
Enterprise automation for DevSecOps means integrating automated tools and software into the security testing and software development process at the enterprise level. With DevSecOps automation, enterprises can ensure that software gets built more efficiently and securely across multiple teams within the organization.
As more businesses are focusing on digital transformation and migrating to the cloud, attack surfaces are expanding. At the same time, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated. Automating DevSecOps helps companies scale development at the desired speed, while ensuring all vulnerabilities are identified, monitored, and fixed as part of the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) process.
Continuous Development for DevSecOps
Continuous development encompasses many DevSecOps processes including CI/CD, continuous testing, and continuous deployment. Automated solutions for DevSecOps at the enterprise level, such as static analysis, allow for continuous development that improves software quality while reducing risk and code vulnerabilities that could lead to security issues down the road.
Static analysis complements many DevSecOps processes in continuous development. It's a cost-effective way to scan code while it's being written, and it continuously provides feedback on any new coding issues and vulnerabilities. With the right tools, static analysis can also be easily automated as part of existing CI/CD processes.
Learn more about continuous development for enterprise DevSecOps >>
Automated Static Analysis for DevSecOps
Automated static analysis (SAST) for DevSecOps is the automatic scanning and analysis of application source code to uncover vulnerabilities. SAST for DevSecOps includes aspects like code scanning, continuous integration, policy enforcement, and vulnerability tracking, among others.
DevSecOps teams focused on automating and safeguarding embedded software during development often build a DevSecOps pipeline to ensure that security is baked into the development process from the beginning. The goal is to implement DevSecOps processes for build automation, release automation, and continuous compliance to standards for safety- or security-critical embedded software development.
Learn more about building an enterprise DevSecOps pipeline >>
DevSecOps traditionally has distinct security-focused phases: model, scan, analyze, remediate, and monitor. AppSec software like SAST and DAST tools accelerate code reviews and enforce coding standards to make those phases faster and more efficient.
Automate Software Security with a DevSecOps Checklist
A DevSecOps checklist makes it easy for every member of your team to understand DevSecOps best practices. A DevSecOps checklist commonly includes creating a DevOps practice with aspects like analysis, shared goals, observability, automation, and, of course, security.
A DevSecOps checklist distributes security responsibility across your entire team. When your team is educated and aware of DevSecOps best practices, each member has a better understanding of how your DevSecOps pipeline is performing and can make informed security decisions. Including security automation in your checklist during the development, testing, and monitoring phases helps to keep your DevSecOps pipeline efficient and effective.
Start checking boxes on your DevSecOps checklist >>
Establishing best practices and team norms includes using SAST tools for code review, especially at enterprise scale. As your organization grows, you may need to address legacy code and reuse code strategically to ensure security and enforce coding standards in your codebase. Perforce’s static analysis solutions accelerate time-to-market by providing DevSecOps teams with continuous security and code compliance for embedded and mission-critical applications.
Klocwork is an essential SAST tool that uses open source engines and improves continuous development and automates DevSecOps processes by:
- Detecting coding vulnerabilities, compliance issues, and rule violations early in the SDLC and during code reviews
- Delivering fast feedback to developers about the precise location of security vulnerabilities and their cause
- Enforcing key coding standards such as CERT, CWE, and OWASP
- Reporting on quality and compliance over time and across product versions, branches, and deliveries
Static analysis tools like Klocwork are ideal for keeping development velocity high while ensuring cybersecurity. Built for enterprise DevSecOps, Klocwork accelerates enterprise automation. Klocwork integrates with large complex environments and can scale to projects of any size. It offers a wide range of developer tools and provides control, collaboration, and reporting for DevSecOps and the entire enterprise.
Enterprise Automation for Code
Enterprise automation for code helps DevOps teams scale their code alongside their project as it grows. With teams facing ever-tightening deadlines in order to remain competitive, enterprise automation allows teams to remain agile during development.
Configuration as Code
Configuration as code is the practice of managing configuration files — also known as config files — in a repository that helps to establish parameters and settings for applications, server processing, and operating systems.
Config files enable applications or products to work differently depending on the platform, hardware, and other technical specifications. This helps improve code performance across environments.
Learn more about the use and benefits of configuration as code in enterprise software development >>
Configuration as code is an effective enterprise automation practice that DevOps teams can use to streamline their pipelines. This practice provides enterprise teams with several benefits to help them remain competitive during development, including:
- Increased Productivity
These benefits have helped make configuration as code a common practice of component-based development, especially for enterprise organizations.
Component Based Development
Component based architecture refers to a software development framework where components are designed to be reusable. It helps keep architecture up to date automatically, without forcing teams to rebuild it from scratch each time.
Employing component-based development architecture helps teams to be more agile during development through multiple iterations. That’s made it one of the most effective and simplest ways for DevOps teams to implement enterprise automation for code.
Find out if component-based development is right for your enterprise >>
By using components, DevOps teams are able to breakdown their monoliths into software “building blocks” comprised of:
- Reusable and shared libraries
- Front-end components
- Back-end components
- Producer models
- Consumer models
These “building blocks” can then be effortlessly combined, reused, and versioned as need be.
Other Types of Enterprise Automation
What is API Automation?
API automation accelerates full lifecycle API management by automating all significant API product tasks across API creation, deployment, publishing, and consumption. API automation is a low-code or no-code approach that works alongside existing CI/CD processes.
There is a critical difference between APIs as technical artifacts and APIs as tools that foster digital completeness.
What is API automation, you ask? Learn more on our blog >>
DevOps APIs are the interfaces and endpoints that enable communication between tools, services, and systems in a DevOps environment. Examples of DevOps APIs include APIs for integration, configuration, monitoring, security, and collaboration.
DevOps and APIs go hand-in-hand. DevOps shortens application development lifecycles through automated processes like CI/CD. API management involves designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs to speed up digital transformation efforts.
When done right, both improve technical agility in an enterprise setting. When done right together, API management and DevOps put enterprise digital transformation in reach through more efficient application development lifecycles.
Learn more about why DevOps APIs are critical for enterprise DevOps >>
Multicloud Kubernetes refers to the deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters across cloud providers as well as hybrid infrastructure.
In Kubernetes multicloud, Kubernetes acts as an abstraction layer for managing containerized apps and workloads across cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP.
In 2019, Gartner reported that 81% of public cloud users leverage two or more providers simultaneously. The same year, an IDC survey on multicloud management found that the same percentage of enterprise organizations (81%) use more than one public cloud alongside multiple private clouds. Large enterprises lead this trend, with systems and infrastructure spread across multicloud and hybrid environments to support application workloads, maintain privacy, and reduce IT spending.
Kubernetes can standardize workloads and configurations across separate cloud providers. Kubernetes is technically a container orchestrator, often used for automating aspects of scaling, deploying, and managing applications. As multicloud environments have become increasingly popular, Kubernetes has proven immensely useful in managing complex, diverse environments – especially at enterprise scale.
Learn more about Kubernetes multicloud management best practices >>
Full Lifecycle API Management
Full lifecycle API management refers to managing an API’s entire lifespan, from creation to retirement. It’s critical in enterprise IT, where the creation, monitoring, and retirement of APIs are crucial to enterprise functions like scalability, security, reliability, onboarding, and collaboration.
Full lifecycle API management requires an effective API strategy for finding, reusing, governing, and securing APIs. Full lifecycle API management also goes beyond simple API lifecycle management. Full lifecycle API management connects to your broader software delivery environment, enabling CI/CD. API lifecycle management, on the other hand, focuses just on the process of managing the APIs.
Learn more about what is full lifecycle API management >>
IT efficiency measures the performance of an organization’s IT systems and processes against their resource usage. IT efficiency tells you how well your IT utilizes hardware, software, time, and human effort to drive results and deliver value. Automation is one of the most direct ways to increase IT efficiency.
Enterprise APIs in particular benefit from automation. Even if you only use a handful of APIs right now, any degree of scaling your IT and development practices is going to mean scaling up your APIs. Increasingly, APIs are becoming a primary channel for businesses to reach their customers, partners, and vendors.
Because API sprawl is a necessary growing pain for large organizations, a higher cadence of API product updates brings about its own set of challenges for enterprises:
- Scaling APIs without compromising quality and consistency
- Maintaining security and compliance, both with internal corporate policies and external regulations
Managing IT efficiency with API management is a huge benefit of enterprise API management. APIs can actually provide access to valuable enterprise resources, but they have to be configured properly to ensure consistency and effective review and runtime monitoring.
Learn more about how to increase your IT efficiency >>
The Future of API Management
The future of API management is in digital transformation. The utility and use cases of APIs are likely to be impacted by aspects of digital transformation like security and privacy, AI, severless, hybrid environments, containerization, and more.
A strong API strategy will be essential to keeping up with these trends and changes. Without a strategy to capitalize on the future of API management, enterprise organizations in particular are at risk of being left in the dust – as business opportunities expand and the industry opens to new ways of doing business.
Learn more about on how to prepare for the future of API management >>
API Automation Tools
API automation tools simulate API testing, integration and deployment, monitoring, and management. Examples of API automation tools include API security testing, API performance testing, API virtualization, API documentation, and API analytics.
Learn more about API automation tools >>
auto_arima is a function in time series analysis libraries that applies automated configuration tasks to the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model. auto_arima is used to automate selection the best parameters for time series problems, like sales forecasting, commodity pricing, stock market predictions, and more.
Learn more in our guide to auto_arima >>
Data Analysis Process
A data analysis process is a series of steps for cleaning and interpreting data. A data analysis process defines a set of best practices for data science that makes it applicable to every new project.
Automating your data analysis process helps you get the most out of the data you collect and store. To be useful for decision-making in enterprise IT, a data analysis process must maintain the integrity of the data as it’s cleaned and interpreted. There are seven key steps for turning data into actionable information with a data analysis process.
Learn more about the 7 steps in the data analysis process >>
Memory Testing Software
Memory testing software refers to software used to evaluate the health of memory in a system or application. A memory leak often refers to vulnerabilities in unmanaged applications that leave memory unreachable or unusable (or “orphaned”) once released.
The most common cause of memory leaks in software development is vulnerable code that becomes part of an application. Memory testing software for enterprise organizations helps them identify vulnerable code earlier in development, address vulnerabilities as they impact code, and get closer to code perfection.
Learn more about memory testing software >>
Testing Memory Leaks
Testing for memory leaks is essential to mitigating vulnerabilities in software. Memory leak testing often involves identifying illegal memory management, like buffer overwrites, and validating a C or C++ application's use of memory.
Memory leaks can be catastrophic for an application. They can result in hangs, buffering, and crashes. Often, developers run their own memory tests during active development, but memory leak testing is often limited (or overlooked entirely) later in the development cycle. But that increases the risk of problems being reported by end users and customers – which is devastating for enterprise software.
That’s why it’s important to add memory leak testing to your CI build. There are plenty of benefits to adding memory leak testing and memory usage analysis to the CI process that go beyond catching problems early.
Learn more about the benefits of testing memory leaks in the CI process >>
Automating ALM (application lifecycle management) covers a broad range of tasks, from requirements management to deployment and maintenance. ALM automation can increase efficiency across the entire product development lifecycle.
ALM automation can save time by streamlining a wide variety of processes and tasks, such as:
- Locking workflow states
- Change control loops
- Security permissions
- Viewing/auditing history
- Email notifications
With a solution like Helix ALM, the system automatically tracks and documents everything that happens throughout the course of product development, from requirements to testing to issue/bug management – along with any other project artifacts that are unique to your process.
In addition to saving time and reducing errors, this also automates traceability – one of the key benefits of ALM automation. Traceability is essential for organizations in highly regulated industries, but it’s also valuable for any company building highly complex products where quality and safety are important. By automating traceability, Helix ALM helps teams prove compliance with industry regulations and ensure product quality and safety.
Learn more about ALM automation >>
Event-driven architecture is a software design architecture where services communicate by reacting to events within the system, rather than relying on calls.
For large enterprises and globally dispersed semiconductor companies, it can be a challenge to keep teams aligned on best practices for IP management, informed of IP changes, and collaborating effectively on chip design. Event-driven architecture can help address these challenges and enable the scalability, flexibility, and resilience needed to do work at enterprise scale.
An event-driven architecture, also known as an event-driven platform, uses events to trigger and communicate notifications and other services within the system. In Methodics IPLM, these events can include things like:
- Permissions changing on an IP
- A new IP has been onboarded to the system
- New versions of an IP have reached the prescribed quality level and are ready for testing
- New users have been added to the system
By automating notifications of these events, Methodics IPLM’s event-driven architecture helps keep stakeholders informed of important changes and potential issues. The event-driven platform can trigger a simple email notification or an action, like running a specific test or even a complex workflow integration.
In addition to improving visibility, event-driven architecture ensures that nothing falls through the cracks, no matter how large your organization is or how complex your products are.
Learn more about event-driven architecture >>
Enterprise Automation Software & Tools from Perforce
Perforce Software solutions can automate repetitive processes in your enterprise to increase efficiency and accuracy – and, more importantly, free up your talented team to do the work they do best (instead of cleaning up the everyday mess).
Check out how the tools we’ve mentioned in this guide can help build, test, maintain, and grow your best enterprise with less manual effort.