Compliance Drives IT Automation

Michael Vizard

While there's a lot of debate about the merits of IT automation, most of that discussion has been held within the ranks of the IT organization.

But as businesses everywhere continue to look for ways to reduce costs, one of the things that stands out is the ongoing costs of compliance. Naturally, business leaders start to ask IT executives about what they can do to automate the compliance process. And once that starts to happen, the move to automate processes cascades out first through various layers of security and then on out to the rest of the IT processes.

In effect, this means that compliance is starting to become a major catalyst of IT process automation. A good example of this convergence showed up this week in the form of an extension to the Business Service Management platform from BMC that adds a range of governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) capabilities.


According to Daniel Trevino, senior solutions marketing manager for BMC, IT organizations are more interested in approaches to managing compliance that automatically trigger some form of remediation. That usually requires automating the controls surrounding various security and IT system processes.

Trevino says IT automation has come a long way in recent years by providing transparency into the processes that are being automated. He concedes there is still a lot of resistance to automation because many IT people fear their jobs will be eliminated by IT automation. But Trevino argues that there's plenty of higher-value IT work to go around, and that automating rote, mundane tasks can be a boon to under-staffed IT organizations that can then concentrate more of their efforts on adding real business value.

No matter how you feel about IT automation, there's going to be a lot more of it around in 2011. Some of it may be delivered in the cloud, while other processes will continue to be managed on premise. The fact of the matter is that businesses need to reduce costs, and it's always better to be the one doing the automation rather than the one being automated.

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Nov 6, 2010 2:28 AM Gabby Nizri Gabby Nizri  says:

Well writen, IT shouldnt fear the IT automation as it will empower them, make them more efficient, more powerfull by doing more with less resources as they used to have and all of this keep them mobile and agile! think about the positive.. no need to be wake up at 2am or do stuff you are tired of doing, think also about the capabilities to orchestrate your IT instead of being one of the instruments! you are welcome to try our IT Automation! Gabby @ Ayehu.

Nov 8, 2010 4:47 AM Alan Swahn Alan Swahn  says:

There are new facets to automation that not only reduce software spend, but can help people deliver value to their organization. The new area is software license optimization. In the past many IT processes have been automated around software purchasing, deployment, measuring usage, and software removal/license reharvesting. The new frontier is to understanding what the product use rights (upgrade, downgrade, rights of second use) are associated with each vendor's software and applying them to reduce the number of licenses that are required. Flexera Software's FlexNet Manager Suite provides the product use rights library and optimization engine. The people driving the tools can expand their roles within IT and show concrete results.

Nov 15, 2010 10:47 AM XebiaLabs XebiaLabs  says:

Interesting forecast, Mike.  More and more companies are realizing that automation allows them to reduce costs and increase productivity, so it is not surprising that the presence of automation is growing so quickly.  While agile is an extremely effective methodology for software development teams, it tends to generate many deliverables, creating a backlog of deployments that are tedious and time consuming. This is where automation, specifically deployment automation, is so helpful for agile companies because it frees up a lot of software developers' time. Although many people assume that this will lead to job loss, it actually frees up time for the operations team members to do the jobs they were actually hired to do, rather than mere busy work, making them more effective employees.  Do you think automation will spread not only to more companies, but also to more industries, such as business?


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