Blog Post Gartner Hype Cycle 2023: What's Next in I&O Automation?

Gartner’s annual Hype Cycle for I&O Automation report sheds light on innovation adoption, maturity, and ability to solve your real-life business opportunities. We’ve summarized 2023’s biggest changes here.

Gartner Hype Cycle for I&O Automation 2022

The Gartner Hype Cycle for I&O Automation is a valuable resource for IT professionals who want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in I&O automation. The report identifies the most promising I&O automation technologies, and it provides insights into their maturity, adoption, and ability to solve real-world business problems.

In this blog post, we will summarize the biggest changes in the Gartner Hype Cycle for I&O Automation in 2023. We'll also discuss the implications of these changes for IT professionals and businesses.

Go-Getters in the I&O Automation Hype Cycle

Many of the categories shown on the 2022 hype curve moved forward this year but stayed within the same phase. Some technologies moved into new phases along the path of innovation, at varying paces of speed. Among those moving forward by one phase:

  • Infrastructure Platform Engineering, Chaos Engineering, and Platform Engineering are now near the peak of expectations, marked by well-publicized activities of varying degrees of success. Platform Engineering is expected to offer transformational value and reach mainstream adoption in the next two to five years.
  • Intelligent Infrastructure, Intelligent Automation (I&O), Programmable Infrastructure, AIOps Platforms, and Infrastructure Automation all entered the trough of disillusionment, as I&O teams try to reconcile the results of their pilots against overly optimistic expectations. Intelligent Automation (I&O) has a moderate value rating, while the rest have high value.
  • Hybrid Cloud Computing and Continuous Delivery entered the slope of enlightenment, where the benefits of the innovation become more clearly understood. Both have a high value rating and are expected to reach mainstream adoption in the next two to five years.
  • Continuous Configuration Automation entered the plateau of productivity. It offers high value and it’s well on the way to mainstream adoption in the next two years.

Four categories moved off the hype cycle chart in 2022. Much like DevOps in 2021 and Workload Automation (WLA) in 2018, most have become so widely accepted and proven that they’re no longer considered hyped approaches — they’re mainstream drivers of enterprise initiatives. These mainstream categories include Value Stream Delivery Platforms, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), and Cloud Management Platforms. Hybrid Digital Infrastructure Management (HDIM) has been incorporated into Digital Platform Conductor Tools.

Newcomers to the I&O Automation Hype Cycle

Six categories are new this year. These new kids on the block can enter the hype cycle at any stage.

  • Digital Employee Experience (DEX) Tools help improve employee attitudes related to company-provided technology and devices.
  • Autonomous Endpoint Management (AEM) automates unified endpoint management (UEM) and DEX tools to enhance device stability and employee productivity.
  • An Error Budget is a concept in site reliability engineering (SRE) that balances rapid innovation with quality assurance.
  • Infrastructure Orchestration (IO) provides strategic workflow capabilities to enable the design, delivery, and operation of orchestrated services in modern hybrid IT environments.
  • DevOps Platforms provide a comprehensive set of tools and features that enable organizations to deliver software continuously using agile and DevOps practices.
  • Automated Incident Response (AIR) offers a centralized approach to handling alerts and incidents. It uses policy and rules engines to route alerts and streamline collaboration tools.

What about Service Orchestration and Automation?

New to the I&O Automation Hype Cycle in 2021, the Service Orchestration and Automation Platform (SOAP) category joined the curve already climbing the slope of enlightenment. This early-mainstream position indicates where initial, potentially inflated expectations recede, and true benefits are more widely understood. It’s a high-priority technology that’s expected to reach mainstream adoption in the next two to five years.

How did SOAP end up so far along, so quickly? It actually represents a modern evolution of WLA, which, as mentioned earlier, moved off the hype cycle a few years ago. Modern SOAPs extend WLA, job scheduling, and batch processing to support event-based scheduling in real-time, as well as cross-platform orchestration with one central command center.

SOAPs are designed to help businesses be more flexible and customer-focused in the cloud, big data, and DevOps. They create a strong base for future growth by enabling users to:

  • Automate in real-time. Use any combination of event-, time-, or batch-based prompts to create workflows that keep up with your business.
  • Facilitate business-wide agility. By connecting IT workloads with business workflows, you extend the role of automation beyond operational efficiency to support your transformation initiatives.
  • Centrally manage your hybrid IT infrastructure. Manage any combination of on-premises and cloud-based compute, network, and storage resources.
  • Orchestrate processes across applications. Create and manage workflows across multiple applications and platforms, no matter where they reside.
  • Data pipeline orchestrationPut the ops in DataOps by applying DevOps-like methodologies to your data science workload design and execution. Centrally orchestrate existing data tools to support enterprise-wide data science and analytics workloads. 
  • Empower citizen automators. Give business users, developers, and specialists appropriate access to the low- and no-code self-service automation tools they need to succeed.
  • Enable advanced observability. Gain a clear view of system activities from a comprehensive command center that provides alerts, dashboards, SLA monitoring, and much more.

SOAP solutions like Stonebranch Universal Automation Center (UAC) are a force multiplier in innovation, efficiency, and value. SOAPs even help organizations succeed with many of the other innovations listed in the hype cycle.

What's Next for You?

Take advantage of the research and analysis that’s already been done for you! Read the Gartner Hype Cycle for I&O Automation, 2023 report (Gartner customers only) or sign up with Stonebranch for complimentary access to the 2023 Gartner Market Guide for SOAPs.

Both reports show how important tools and strategies can help you stay flexible and keep up with business.

"Gartner, Hype Cycle for I&O Automation, 2023," Chris Saunderson, Cameron Haight, 14 July 2023. The Hype Cycle for I&O Automation, 2023 graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of the Gartner Hype Cycle for I&O Automation, 2023 report  (Gartner customers only) and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significance of Gartner?


Gartner is a leading research and advisory company that provides insights, advice, and tools to help businesses make informed decisions. Their expertise on various subjects ensures that their recommendations are trustworthy and valuable.

How does infrastructure and operations relate to business success?


I&O organizations play a crucial role in supporting a company's day-to-day operations. By effectively managing the technology infrastructure, I&O enables smooth business processes and helps achieve business goals.

What is the importance of automation in I&O?


Automation is a key trend in the I&O landscape. It helps streamline processes, improve efficiency, and reduce human errors. By automating repetitive tasks, I&O teams can focus on more strategic activities that drive business value.

How can I&O teams align with the latest technology trends?


I&O leaders must stay updated with the latest technology trends and identify opportunities to leverage new tools and strategies. By embracing emerging technologies and aligning them with business goals, I&O teams can stay ahead in the ever-changing digital business landscape.

What is the role of I&O in driving innovation?


I&O teams are instrumental in enabling innovation within an organization. By providing reliable infrastructure, adopting agile methodologies, and integrating new technologies, I&O professionals empower other teams to innovate and deliver new products and services.

What are some best practices for runbook automation?


Runbooks should be documented and reviewed regularly to ensure accuracy and efficiency. Tasks should be categorized according to priority and criticality, with automated processes used for high-priority tasks. Runbooks should also be tested regularly to identify potential bottlenecks and optimize processes. Additionally, permission and control should be established, and an audit trail should be kept to maintain compliance.

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