Automation3 - (c) Red HatThe rise of automation has caused a great deal of excitement. Automated processes initially generated many benefits for organisations: by speeding up repetitive, time-consuming tasks, companies have been able to cut costs and make internal processes more efficient.

However, with the emergence of enterprise-wide IT automation, the focus has shifted. There is now a more fundamental advantage: by adopting automated processes throughout an organisation, a business can boost its value and enhance its agility. This level and depth of automated processes allows businesses to meet increasing customer expectations and stay ahead of the competition while bringing down operational costs.

As a result of this, the benefits of enterprise-wide IT automation have been embraced by organisations around the globe—including the UK. According to data from our new report — Thriving through change with enterprise-wide IT automation — when IT leaders in the UK, France, Germany and Spain were asked about the adoption of enterprise-wide automation, 100% of respondents said they recognised its benefits and its ability to help solve these challenges.

This article looks at the state of enterprise-wide IT automation in the UK and what the future holds for its wider adoption.

Understanding enterprise-wide IT automation

Before we dive deeper, let’s start with the main question: what is enterprise-wide IT automation? Simply put, it is when relevant IT processes across teams within an organisation are automated. This looks different depending on the organisation and its priorities.

Bringing people and processes together on a unified platform can help organisations realise the full value of IT automation. For example, the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform enables consistent creation, implementation, and management of automation across the organisation while continuously providing security and compliance. With a single enterprise platform for building and operating automation at scale, IT leaders can better navigate today’s challenging landscape.

The state of enterprise-wide IT automation in the UK

In the age of automation, IT leaders are facing what often look like boundless opportunities to upscale system processes. Enterprise-wide IT automation helps bolster cybersecurity, data governance, asset management and data recovery for a more seamless IT function.

Yet the implementation of automation across an enterprise is a challenging goal. IT leaders must often overcome obstacles preventing successful adoption across their organisations.

Nevertheless, there has been significant progress in adoption. Compared to other European countries surveyed in our report, the UK is the frontrunner for enterprise-wide IT automation. Of UK respondents surveyed, 27% said they have already achieved adoption. The UK therefore leads Germany at 18%, Spain at 16% and is over double the rate of adoption in France (12%).

Top benefits of embracing enterprise-wide IT automation

The responses from our survey suggest the benefits are crucial for businesses to gain a competitive advantage, advance their technologies, and mature with the changing times:


With the rise in cyberattacks, embedding automation throughout an organisation to protect users needs to be a top priority. 28% of UK IT leaders surveyed who don’t have an automation strategy and have achieved enterprise-wide IT automation see greater protection against cybercrime as the top benefit of enterprise-wide IT automation.

In addition, 24% of the UK respondents predict they will struggle to keep up with the rapid pace of the evolving tech and cybercrime landscape.


Breaking down isolated team structures is a key benefit of automation. It helps to foster better collaboration and information sharing.

Even so, this is especially challenging when enterprises have hundreds of teams all over the world. From all countries, 23% of IT leaders surveyed who don’t have an automation strategy and have achieved enterprise-wide IT automation cited isolated environments between teams as one of the critical challenges affecting businesses.


When automation is used in a meaningful way, teams no longer have to spend time on tedious, repetitive tasks and can instead focus on strategic and creative work. UK IT leaders surveyed said their top benefit of automation is more creative and strategic thinking (36%).

Three key challenges of implementing enterprise-wide IT automation


UK IT leaders surveyed said their top challenge (27%) in adopting automation is a lack of talent. This is backed up by data from recruiter Hays, showing that 95% of UK employers seeking tech talent have encountered a skills shortage over the last year.

Despite this, it is, in fact, people-focused challenges that are one of the most significant barriers to achieving enterprise-wide IT automation. These are often the hardest to address. Humans are critical to the success of an organisation, no matter the strategy. If new technologies are internally resisted, they simply will not be successful.


Solving “process” challenges preventing enterprise-wide IT automation is made easier when “people” challenges are tackled. Open cultures welcoming more teamwork and celebrating transformation helps bridge process siloes. The right platform or technology is a crucial part of achieving this as well.

However, regulations may cause problems. 36% of UK IT leaders who are yet to achieve enterprise-wide IT automation cited government regulations as a factor. But what we actually see is that as verticals become more heavily regulated, they also tend to mature in terms of automation.


Often, a company’s existing IT infrastructure is not yet sophisticated enough to complete enterprise-wide adoption. Automation has been around since the first IT systems, but its adoption has been isolated rather than integrated, implemented by multiple teams with varying levels of maturity. As a result, existing automation is founded on conflicting processes within an enterprise—which reduces collaboration.

How to implement enterprise-wide IT automation?

At Red Hat, we categorise automation adoption maturity according to two levels: organisations taking an opportunistic approach, automating processes as an afterthought, and those that embrace automation as a strategic tool.

For instance, during the coronavirus pandemic, DWP (Department of Work & Pensions) Digital was processing over ten times the normal traffic across its infrastructure. Meanwhile, millions were relying on them for financial assistance. To support them, DWP enlisted Red Hat’s technologies and expertise.

Impact of Red Hat’s technology on DWP Digital

Red Hat worked with DWP to help build a platform to host their strategic application programming interface (API) service that enabled process automation through a series of connected APIs. With Red Hat’s support, DWP Digital managed the sharp increase in Universal Credit benefit claims. In this way, Red Hat also enabled DWP to provide retirement pensions, bereavement benefits, and Universal Credit for low-income households.

Jacqui Leggetter, Head of Integration at DWP Digital, said: “DWP and Red Hat are innovating together. We’ve created a co-located team to work closely in a single team. It goes beyond just a vendor and customer relationship. We’re experimenting and creating the platform together. This has been ground breaking work, and is also a key enabler to us accelerating delivering our transformation.

Moving forward: Enterprise-wide IT automation with Ansible

To best ensure enterprise-wide adoption of automated IT and reap the benefits of greater collaboration, agility and security, UK companies need a strategy focused on people. For this, it helps to assess why people may be resistant to change—how might they feel if a portion of their tasks are automated?

As UK IT leaders feel the concern about tech development and more sophisticated cybersecurity threats, more and more want their businesses to be prepared.

With the Ansible platform, companies can implement a flexible, security-focused foundational strategy and manage employees through change. That way, they can achieve enterprise-wide IT automation that improves collaboration and fuels innovation. Doing so will position them to thrive through the turbulent modern business landscape while maintaining critical growth.

Red HatRed Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments. Award-winning support, training, and consulting services make Red Hat a trusted adviser to the Fortune 500. As a strategic partner to cloud providers, system integrators, application vendors, customers, and open source communities, Red Hat can help organizations prepare for the digital future.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here