5 Big Trends in IT Automation
CREDIT: Automation image via Shutterstock
Is your company getting too big to avoid automation? It might be time to consider workflow automation.
Ben Rosenberg is the president and founder of Advanced Systems Concepts, which is a provider of ActiveBatch enterprise job scheduling and workload automation, which allows IT organizations to automate and conquer IT boundaries by simplifying the development of business processes into workflows that improve service levels and reduce the cost of operations.
Rosenberg says automation is here to stay and outlines the fivebiggest trends in automation for 2012.
Automation will change the way virtual and cloud environments are managed. Cloud and virtualization are accelerating the demand for automation. Why? Because running jobs and processes across diverse machines and infrastructure requires resources. In virtual and cloud environments, resource allocation is key for the execution of workloads and to receive the savings associated with cloud computing. Bringing virtualization and the cloud into the automation equation is an elegant way to automatically allocate resources to workload processing where and when they’re needed, and to return those resources for use elsewhere once the workload is completed.
Self-service automation will serve the entire organization. Business processes are increasingly interlinked and reliant on IT technologies. The concept of self-service automation is simple: The end user of a business process can choose from a service catalog within an IT automation solution and initiate the process themselves – without the need to involve someone from IT operations. For example, a business analyst needs an updated report from a BI solution. The process of updating such a solution could involve multiple IT technologies, but with IT automation, that's something the business analyst doesn’t need to worry about.
A single automation engine will emerge as an automation solution. IT automation is made up of a number of disparate automation solutions that can trace their roots back decades, such as batch processing, runbook automation and workload automation. The idea of IT automation is to bring all these foundational pillars under one roof into a unified and centralized automation solution that accounts for all these plus a number of complementary technologies and capabilities, such as infrastructure monitoring, running IT processes on-demand and automating the resources associated with cloud computing. This concept of a "single automation engine" has come to full maturation. Look for leading vendors to focus their offerings around this concept in 2012 and for the foreseeable future.
Automation will reduce the cost of IT operations. The number of disparate technologies comprising IT departments is growing, but staffing and budgets remain the same. IT automation will begin to serve as the catalyst to drive efficiency and reduce the cost of operations through the automation of time-consuming and resource-intensive processes, and through the reduction of errors from manual intervention and scripting. IT automation has been delivering these results for years, but in 2012, with automation moving to center stage and widespread adoption, its value will really become evident.
Automation will automate big data and data integration. Businesses, both big and small, are increasingly relying on data to make critical decisions in near real-time. As the volume of data increases, so does the number of disparate data sources that feed into data warehouses and business intelligence solutions. IT automation will become a linchpin in 2012 that automates the integration and movement of data between these disparate sources to improve data quality and reporting.