UPDATED 15:58 EDT / MAY 26 2023


Ulta Beauty embraces transformative power of automation in IT strategy

Automation is seeing a huge rise in utilization as industries across the spectrum adopt the artificial intelligence-based technology.

This technology not only simplifies tasks, it expedites the time taken to complete these tasks by an exponential amount, freeing up time and resources for other important projects. Even retail companies, such as Ulta Beauty Inc., a large-scale beauty chain store based in Illinois, are embracing the innovative capabilities of automation to supplement and enhance their IT infrastructures.

When we talk about automation within Ulta; we’re talking about giving back labor hours, giving back productivity hours to our technology professionals, who can be working on the harder problems that are facing our business and our guests,” said Jesse Amerson (pictured), IT director of performance, automation and quality at Ulta Beauty.

Amerson spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Paul Gillin and Rob Strechay at Red Hat Summit, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Ulta is deploying automation in its infrastructure, what day-to-day problems the IT team works to solve and what’s next for Ulta Beauty. (* Disclosure below.)

Automating migration

There is a large overlap between cloud, where workloads are located and executed, and automation. Moving to the cloud requires a lot of reworking and looking “under the hood,” checking applications for cloud support, configuration, cloud version compatibility and more, which can be streamlined further with automation, according to Amerson.

We’re talking internally now about a cloud operating model that is inclusive, Ansible, and it talks more about the broader life cycle than just the automation and where’s the automation in that journey,” Amerson said.

One announcement made during the summit Amerson was excited about is Ansible Lightspeed, an AI-driven service designed to streamline AI automation by generating code with IBM Watson Code Assistant. Lightspeed cites its sources for code recommendations as it suggests them.

“That is super cool, because it’s a teaching aid within that application. Imagine going out and you’re citing, and suddenly, ‘Oh OK, I understand now why this was recommended,” Amerson said.  Yes, sometimes there’s going to be a relevance conversation, but more often than not, there’s probably going to be, ‘Oh, I just learned something else because I saw the source.’“  

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Red Hat Summit:

(* Disclosure: Red Hat Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Red Hat nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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