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The future of workload automation: insights from Gartner’s SOAPs Market Guide

Patrick Goslin's Avatar
Patrick Goslin Product Manager @ Tidal Software

Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms (SOAPs) represent a pivotal evolution in workload automation, offering a unified approach to orchestrating complex tasks across varied IT landscapes. This shift pushes workload automation solutions to be more agile and efficient, enabling businesses to meet dynamic market demands and drive digital transformation.

Initially released in 2020, Gartner’s Market Guide for Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms (SOAPs) created a new category to recognize the evolution of workload automation, SOAPs, extending traditional capabilities to new technologies like event-driven business models, cloud infrastructure and big data workloads.

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“Service orchestration and automation platforms (SOAPs) enable infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders to design and implement business services through a combination of workflow orchestration, workload automation and resource provisioning across an organization’s hybrid digital infrastructure.” — Gartner Market Guide for Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms

Gartner’s Market Guide provides insights, analysis and evaluations of the service orchestration and automation platform market. Helping IT leaders and decision-makers understand the current state of the market, identifying key players and their offerings and discerning the evolving capabilities of SOAPs.

The report covers market direction, analysis of various platform features, recommendations for adopting SOAPs and how platforms can address complex IT and business challenges. Gartner updates its Market Guides periodically to reflect new developments, trends and shifts in the industry, offering a comprehensive overview that organizations can use to make informed decisions about implementing or upgrading their service orchestration and automation solutions.

This article will explore the significance of SOAPs for workload automation, key capabilities of Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms and highlight how Tidal is equipped to empower I&O leaders, streamline business services and catalyze digital business growth.

The significance of SOAPs for workload automation

Since the release of Gartner’s Market Guide, businesses have changed their approach to workload automation technologies and strategies. The focus is now on agility and efficiency, and SOAPs provide the architectural backbone for orchestrating complex tasks across diverse IT environments. Organizations are better equipped to respond to business demands, leveraging automation to streamline operations and foster innovation.

At the core of SOAPs’ impact is the ability to integrate and coordinate workloads across various platforms and technologies. Businesses looking to optimize their operations in line with DevOps initiatives and the continuous deployment of applications and services need seamless integration across systems. Companies can quickly adapt to changes in the market, ensuring that they remain competitive in a fast-paced digital landscape because SOAPs are facilitating a more connected and responsive IT infrastructure,

The role of workload automation in achieving the benefits of SOAPS

Workload Automation (WLA) plays a pivotal role in realizing the full potential of Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms. WLA solutions, like Tidal Automation, are designed to simplify the management of complex workflows, making it easier for businesses to implement effective automation strategies. They provide a layer of intelligence that can predict and respond to IT infrastructure needs, optimizing resource utilization and minimizing downtime.

“By year-end 2025, 80% of organizations currently delivering workload automation will be using SOAPs to orchestrate workloads across IT and business domains.— Gartner Market Guide for Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms

Organizations can free up valuable resources by automating routine tasks and orchestrating workflows across various environments, allowing them to focus on innovation and growth. Machine learning and analytics within provide insights into performance and potential improvements, further enhancing the effectiveness of automation strategies.

Six key differentiating capabilities of Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms

The Gartner Market Guide identifies six key differentiating capabilities of SOAPs to help differentiate SOAPs from traditional IT workload automation essential for business and IT operations. Let’s review each capability and see how Tidal continues to innovate and evolve Tidal Automation with new capabilities and integrations:

Workflow orchestration

Workflow orchestration assists in automating and streamlining complex processes across various IT systems. It provides a centralized and graphical view of workflows, making designing and orchestrating applications and platforms easy.

Tidal offers a variety of ways to plan, design and manage workflows; one of those is the Business Views feature, an easy-to-use graphical flow designer with drag-and-drop, point-and-click functionality. Users can define and view the entire flow of a job stream graphically, including compound dependencies.

Event-driven automation

Event-based triggers enable organizations to shift from time-based scheduling to event-based automation, providing more control based on clearly defined events. Organizations can automate IT processes that involve manual steps (or require scripting) and trigger automated workflows when defined events happen, increasing reliability and decreasing manual effort.

With Tidal, organizations can orchestrate events and actions across a multitude of target applications and systems without custom scripting. Our event-action approach supports the idea that an event can have many effects and result in multiple actions.

Self-service automation

SOAPs provide users with a self-service administration console with role-based access controls (RBAC) to manage the visibility of their automation workflows. They make IT operations teams more responsive to business needs while allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks.

Tidal makes self-service easy to deploy and provides self-service automation to users across the organization without compromising schedule integrity or security. Administrators can apply fine-grained role-based access control (RBAC) to give teams privileges to just the capabilities they need and limit the parts of the schedule they can view and change.

Scheduling, monitoring, visibility and alerting

Ensure visibility into IT processes and help meet SLAs with real-time service monitoring, alerting and scheduling capabilities. Users can monitor the status of scheduled workloads in real time with trigger actions should failures be observed, improving SLAs.

Tidal Automation supports a “plan-predict-optimize” approach to your scheduling, providing real-time monitoring and alerts to optimize and protect critical paths. This level of visibility and control makes it possible to take proactive measures quickly, keeping processes functioning as intended to meet their SLAs, no matter how complex.

Resource Provisioning

Accurately provisioning and de-provisioning resources in cloud-based, on-premise, and hybrid environments without manual involvement is valuable for allocation based on demand.

Tidal lets you provision a multitude of operating systems, applications and devices with pre-built agents and adapters. Schedule activities to manage resource utilization within your overall business processes and gain control over how and when valuable resources are used across the enterprise.

Tidal’s resource provisioning and management is accomplished through our extensive set of integrations covering legacy resources with no scripting required.

Managing Data Pipelines

Provide the ability to programmatically create, schedule and monitor data flows using a data pipeline. These pipelines must be defined as code to maintain, version, test and integrate with other tools.

Tidal Automation simplifies the complexities of creating, scheduling and monitoring enterprise data flows. Tidal seamlessly orchestrates data management, movement, processing and storage to ensure data gets where it needs to at the right time for each step of a business process.

A new era of IT automation

Gartner’s Market Guide for Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms (SOAPs) showcases the evolution and essential role of SOAPs in modernizing workload automation. By integrating complex tasks across varied IT landscapes, SOAPs enhance operational efficiency and agility and drive digital transformation. Highlighting capabilities such as workflow orchestration, event-driven automation and resource provisioning, the guide predicts a significant shift towards SOAPs by 2025, emphasizing their importance in streamlining business operations and fostering innovation.

The Tidal mission closely aligns with the insights and trends highlighted in Gartner’s SOAP Market Guide. Tidal Automation is 100% focused on workload automation with an unmatched customer-centric approach. Designed to offer a unified platform for the centralized management and control of job scheduling across various business, operational and IT processes,Discover how Tidal can revolutionize your IT operations and why you should make the move and migrate by signing up for a demo today.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Service Orchestration and Automation Platform?

    Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms (SOAPs) are comprehensive solutions designed to automate and orchestrate workflows, IT processes and business services across various environments. They enable businesses to streamline operations, enhance efficiency and adapt to changing market demands.

  • What is Gartner's Market Guide for SOAPs?

    Gartner's Market Guide for Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms (SOAPs) is a research document that offers an in-depth analysis of the SOAPs market. It aims to assist IT leaders in understanding the capabilities, key players, and current trends in service orchestration and automation, guiding them on how to effectively implement these platforms to enhance operational efficiency and support digital transformation efforts. The guide emphasizes SOAPs' role in automating complex workflows across various IT environments, helping organizations navigate the evolving digital infrastructure landscape.

    Explore Gartner's insights on SOAPs and how Tidal fits in.