Automation is an important topic for companies in many industries. Whether you work in IT or not, you’ve probably heard of automation and may already associate it with saving money, improving efficiency and reducing errors and risks.

Unfortunately, the term IT automation is often used incorrectly by people who aren’t IT experts. In many cases, the term orchestration best describes the IT management strategies these people are trying to illustrate.

Both automation and orchestration are essential to a successful digital transformation. In this article, find out what orchestration is and how it differs from automation.

But first, let’s review the concept of IT automation.

What is IT automation?

Automation is the process of having a single task or function performed without human intervention. When used correctly, automation makes time-consuming manual tasks more efficient and reliable.

In IT, there is a wide range of processes and tasks that can be automated, from deploying and implementing software to securing access points and creating service tickets for on-site and cloud-based tasks.

In cloud automation, for example, you can use automation and machine learning to deploy IT assets, manage workloads and classify terabytes of images.

What is orchestration?

At its core, orchestration is like managing a virtual environment or large-scale network in order to streamline and simplify interconnected workloads, repeatable processes and operations. Orchestration can plan and implement automated tasks between complex distributed systems and services, both on-site and in the cloud.

In an orchestrated environment, the majority of day-to-day IT functions are automated and manual human intervention is the exception, not the rule.

With current orchestration tools, you can automate the arrangement, coordination and management of complex IT systems, middleware and services in an IT environment, as well as directing automated processes to support larger workflows.

Since IT departments are now often tasked with managing hundreds or even thousands of applications and servers, manual administration can no longer keep up with current needs. Orchestration is essential for delivering cloud systems and applications that are high-performance, easily available and able to scale and evolve quickly. In essence, orchestration leads to increased customer satisfaction.

The difference between automation and orchestration

The biggest difference between automation and orchestration is that automation applies to a single task, while orchestration organizes many tasks to optimize a workflow.

For example, orchestrating an application means not only deploying an application, but also connecting it to the network so that it can communicate with users and other applications.

In a cloud IT environment, orchestration is often essential to ensure that activities that support a DevOps approach, like auto-scaling, happen in the right order, with the right security rules and permissions in place.

Talk to specialists about orchestration

Adopting an ITSM solution that enables automation and orchestration is a good idea for any IT department that wants to operate in a more efficient and effective way.

Open-source software like iTop Professional can be used to standardize both routine and complex repetitive tasks and workflows, reduce infrastructure backlogs, and give the end user control of a large portion of their IT service needs.

If you want to talk to specialists about orchestration, SEI Team is happy to help. Contact us to find out more about the potential of orchestration.