Automation Seasons Freezings Wrap Up and New Year’s Resolutions

by Madeline Zemer December 22, 2022 | 4 min read

It’s that time of year where you may feel pressured to pick your New Year’s resolutions. Well, we went ahead and tried to give you a head start. 2023 is the year we tame toil so we can focus on the fun stuff like engineering and innovation. 

Hopefully you have had the chance to follow along with us for the month of December for Seasons Freezings, the time of year you are locked out of production, so you have time to explore new ideas like automation 🙂. If you missed it, this blog links to Seasons Freezings content you can consider even when you’re back in prod.

Image of snowflake with "Happy seasons freezings! It's time to #automate" text.

Resolution 1: More engineering, less toil.

Customers still tell us that toil is plaguing them. A survey run by PagerDuty found that 43% of respondents spend between 11% and 30% of their time doing routine, manual tasks. That is roughly 8 days a year total spent on interruptions and repetitive work. In the new year, we encourage you to take back some of this time by implementing automation into your existing processes. 

You can get started simply by developing a list of repetitive tasks and “below the value line” work you can automate away. This could include server restarts, fetching logs, open/close/update ticket, infrastructure provisioning, updating user accounts, the list goes on. 

Next, organize subject matter experts and stakeholders, agree on how to standardize completing these repetitive tasks, and automate them using PagerDuty Process Automation products or Rundeck open source. Find out more about toil by checking out this blog by Damon Edwards.

Animated image of speedometer going from "toil" to "engineering time"

Once you’ve standardized the way to complete these operational tasks, maximize the value of this automation by delegating it out as self-service to end users. Start exploring self-service automation in your organization today. Watch this video to learn: 

  • High-impact use cases for delegating IT processes as self-service automation
  • Design principles for creating self-service automation
  • How to fit delegated self-service to the way your end users work 

You’re well on your way to “automate. delegate. celebrate!”

Make sure to watch this Twitch episode on how PagerDuty manages change freezes, thawing from a freeze, and how you can utilize a freeze to help tackle toil. 

Resolution 2: Reduce interruptions by automating diagnostics

Tired of pesky pages for the same incident? While we can’t suggest you ignore the noise, PagerDuty’s Automated Diagnostics solution is a fantastic way to reduce interruptions for common, recurring incidents. The key is automating your most common troubleshooting procedures and giving your responders the ability to invoke automation inside the PagerDuty interface. By automating diagnostics, you can limit the disruptions of day-to-day work for expert engineers and reduce resolution time across the board. 

Here are some useful Automated Diagnostics resources: 

  • This blog details the issues around the initial stages of a response process and why your teams should care about automated diagnostics.
  • We even have some out-of-the-box job templates for automating common diagnostics for Kubernetes, Linux, and other common components. Read this blog to learn more. 
  • Read the automated diagnostics solutions guide for more information on setting up the solution, use cases, and diagnostic examples.  

Resolution 3: Get more out of existing automation with integrations

We know many companies have a lot of automation that they use today. The challenge can be making that automation secure and widely available for others to use. Many organizations use Pagerduty Process Automation or Rundeck to centralize and standardize automation. 

To make this easy, PagerDuty Process Automation and Rundeck come bundled with many out-of-the-box plugins. Plugins provide a wrapper around scripts, interfaces, and utilities. Take a look at the full list

One very popular pairing is integrating Ansible into PagerDuty Process Automation or Rundeck. Many users integrate Ansible playbooks into PagerDuty Process Automation or Rundeck to orchestrate and schedule workflows across multiple tools. Watch this video to learn the benefits of using PagerDuty Process Automation or Rundeck and Ansible, and some helpful tips to get started. 

We would love to hear your new year’s resolutions for 2023. Tag Rundeck on Twitter to share! 

Contact us to learn more about PagerDuty Process Automation.