IT automation traces its roots back to job schedulers and scripts that were created to automate a particular task. In reality, however, what most organizations want is to be able to assign a level of service to a particular process and then automate the configuring and provisioning of all the virtual, physical and cloud computing resources needed to accomplish that goal.
According to Colin Beasty, product marketing manager for Advanced Systems Concepts, that's exactly what takes place when IT organizations utilize the predictive analytics capabilities now included in version 9.0 of the company's ActiveBatch Workload Automation and Job Scheduling Software. Announced this week, Beasty says this new release flips the IT automation paradigm by allowing IT organizations to start the IT automation process by defining a service, rather than trying to automate various IT tasks in the hopes that somehow an entire IT service will magically emerge.
There's been a lot of progress as of late as it applies to IT automation. But most of that progress has been confined to a particular platform. Beasty says Advanced Systems Concepts is applying IT automation to encompass VMware's, Microsoft's and Amazon Web Services' private and public cloud computing platforms. The reality most IT organizations face today is that any given service is dependent on multiple platforms that need to be holistically managed via a single point of control.
There is, of course, a lot of skepticism when it comes to IT automation simply because many IT professionals have more faith in their own abilities than any automated tool. But the simple fact of the matter is that with the advent of virtualization and cloud computing, IT administrators can no longer cope with the level of complexity that needs to be managed. Beasty says that once IT administrators see what IT automation tools can actually do, they are generally more than happy to be rid of the more tedious tasks associated with IT management.
Naturally, there are many IT professionals who are concerned that higher levels of IT automation will eventually lead to the loss of their jobs. But in addition to emphasizing the fact that IT organizations should be focusing on tasks that provide higher levels of value to the business, there is one other inescapable reality: As IT continues to become more complex to manage, it's only a matter of time before something goes catastrophically wrong. In many cases, that means that the only thing standing between someone getting fired and continuing gainful employment is going to be IT automation tools that not only reduce errors, but also enable the IT organization to meet service-level commitments regardless of how complex the underlying IT infrastructure eventually becomes.