As many trivia fans know, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world. At 163 stories, the skyscraper soars so far into the sky that, from the highest floors, you can still see the sun for several minutes after it sets at ground level.
But one of the most awe-inspiring parts of the tower is something you can’t see – its foundation. Built deep into the ground, the concrete and steel foundation supports 450,000 metric tons of weight, which is the equivalent of about 800 fully loaded jumbo jets stacked on top of each other. With that immense amount of weight to shoulder, there’s no way architects could have successfully built something that expansive without getting the foundation just right.
The importance of a strong foundation may seem obvious when thinking about a building like the Burj Khalifa, but what about when thinking about workload automation? It may not come to mind for most people, but you’re here reading this blog, so I think it might for you.
Just as we continue to generate taller and taller skyscrapers, we also continue to generate more and more business processes that need to be managed through automation. And the ability to orchestrate the automation of these expanding processes is needed more than ever. But with the need for more sophisticated automation outpacing many of the technologies out there, how do you keep up without risking your automation “skyscraper” falling over?
From the Ground Up
To begin answering that question, you have to go back to when ground was first broken with workload automation. As many automation developers started creating their platforms, they built solutions for what was needed at the time. Many of those solutions were able to keep up for a while, albeit with costly on-premises servers and system-draining updates needed along the way, and some of them never could handle more than a set range of integrations. But, now, companies are seeing more and more limitations with those solutions as demands continue to grow because they just weren’t built with the best architectural foundations from the start. This is where Redwood’s different.
Redwood developers made sure to respond to the needs of the time when they created their workload automation solution, RunMyJobs, but they also saw a chance to build something smarter – something with a foundation that could handle future needs that weren’t even realized yet. So, they built RunMyJobs with an architecture that allows for limitless extensibility and vast customization, all while keeping customers in control of monitoring and updates, and cemented the foundation for workload automation success. But what makes a foundation like Redwood’s so special?
Built Strong to Last Long
There are two key pillars of RunMyJobs’ architecture that serve as the foundation of the solution, keeping even the most towering automation “skyscrapers” standing tall: being SaaS-native and being cloud-native. And, unlike other platforms out there, RunMyJobs was built with that strong foundation from the beginning, meaning you don’t have to question if it’s like having some extra concrete slapped on the foundation after the building got too tall and needed more support. With Redwood, that foundation is solid – and ready to hold up whatever you build on top of it – right from the start. This matters more than some may think because critical components of an automation solution like updates, security, scalability, resilience and more are enhanced when you have a SaaS- and cloud-native foundation. You want to get all of the functionality out of your automation software, with any mix of technology and without any of the hassle of on-premises limitations.
First things first – there’s a difference between starting out as SaaS and moving to SaaS down the line. There just is.
When you construct your product with a SaaS foundation like RunMyJobs, you build in all the capabilities, including administrative ones, and have a fully functioning, feature-rich product available to you out of the box. This doesn’t mean you won’t need updates eventually, but we’ll get to that part in a minute. What it does mean is that you don’t have to worry about your product being stripped down or not operating efficiently because it wasn’t planned for SaaS. Other providers may have moved from on-premises to SaaS now that it’s the way of the future, but it doesn’t mean they necessarily did it well.
And, as far as security goes, the same drawbacks rear their ugly heads with platforms not initially envisioned as SaaS. RunMyJobs was built with a very light footprint that means the automation of jobs filled with customer data occurs in the cloud but the actual data itself stays with the customer. Because other products weren’t planned to anticipate the shift in how data would need to be transferred when moving from on-premises to cloud, they have to punch holes in security firewalls and install heavy agents on the customer end to manage the data flows.
This is also true when circling back to those always-needed updates mentioned before. SaaS-native RunMyJobs has built-in, continuous auto-updating, with updates taking only minutes and happening on the customer’s timetable, not the provider’s, meaning they can be done efficiently during the middle of the day if so desired. Other providers sometimes require teams of people, hours of time and heavy agents to do updates because they weren’t designed to be seamlessly SaaS from the get-go like RunMyJobs.
Ahead in the Cloud
The idea of a cloud foundation may sound a bit odd to those not thinking in tech terms. You can fly right through clouds in those weighty jumbo jets from earlier, so building on top of a cloud seems almost silly. But a cloud foundation for workload automation is exactly what you want.
The strength of being cloud-native is part of what sets RunMyJobs apart. The depth and breadth of integrations, with even the most varied blueprint of ERP, on-premises, cloud and/or legacy systems a customer rolls out on the table, is unparalleled with RunMyJob’s architecture for scalability. The cloud-based setup means the whole lot of your applications, services, workflows and other processes can stack up on that foundation because it was always designed to have the capacity for all those things, along with the flexibility to adapt to changing environments to boot. Other solutions not built for the cloud may have been reworked to be in the cloud now, but they were originally built to only go so far. You can try to keep adding floors to make a regular building a skyscraper, but, if the foundation isn’t there to support them, you know you’ll run into problems.
Speaking of needing the right support, a good skyscraper foundation actually anticipates shifting in the structure above and is able to withstand it. A good automation foundation is no different. An automation solution designed for the cloud has the flexibility, and, therefore, resilience, to adapt to potential shifts in the system, including when things go wrong. RunMyJobs has that resilient foundation as a whole and also takes it a step further by empowering the business processes it automates to be resilient themselves. A shift in your automation structure, including full-on job failure, doesn’t crash the entire system. Self-healing processes are smart enough to fix themselves because there’s room in that cloud foundation for that shifting. Non-cloud-native providers are still spending time just getting their platforms moved over to the cloud and aren’t set up to achieve the autonomy that comes with having that resilient foundation from the beginning.
One commonly seen shift that many businesses see happening with automation nowadays is the need for increased capacity on the fly. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get the extra oomph, without extra add-on, server and licensing costs that others might charge, and you could even build in automation so your system automatically extends your capacity when needed? RunMyJobs does all of that. The cloud-based architecture allows you to be nimble with resource provisioning without disrupting your business processes. It’s like having a retractable balcony on your automation “skyscraper” that you can just pop out whenever you want to have free processing parties. I think we can cheers to that.
Looking Toward the Future
As the world continues to become more reliant on self-service and remote practices, your workload automation solution will need to be able to adapt, and having the right foundation under your solution will matter more than ever.
A recent EMA survey on enterprise automation culture asked companies the same question about their postures toward automation that they asked two years ago, and the results were enlightening. 74% of respondents said they are “somewhat or very creative in our use of automation,” which is up from 51% the last time. This change in numbers is a reflection of the rapidly growing need for customizable automation that can handle the complex infrastructures and hybrid environments of today’s working world. Companies need creative flexibility to be more fluid and responsive as automation becomes increasingly decentralized, but they need to maintain control over their environments in a central location to keep their automation orchestration working harmoniously.
What companies need is an automation orchestration solution that can grow and adapt alongside them as the need to be more creative with managing workloads expands. With its SaaS- and cloud-native architectural foundation, RunMyJobs by Redwood is that solution. So you can keep building, changing, expanding, contracting or otherwise growing your automation “skyscraper” however you want, and Redwood will be there to support it. Holding up 800 jumbo jets is no sweat.
Want to hear more about automation architecture’s role in your business success? Join our experts as they discuss just that in our on-demand webinar, “The Sky’s Not the Limit with Redwood: SaaS Automation Architecture Built for the Cloud.”