The question facing many IT organizations at this point is not whether they should automate the delivery and management of IT services, but rather which ones and how many should they get started with.
For the most part, IT automation has been the province of large enterprise organizations that had access to expensive tools and the IT staff required to master them. But a new generation of IT process automation tools is more accessible to small-to-medium businesses. Case in point is version 4 of the CA Process Automation suite of tools from CA Technologies, which features a redesigned user interface and dashboard along with support for Java and RESTful application programming interfaces (APIs) that make it a lot easier to use CA Process Automation to drive an extended sets of IT processes.
According to Stephen DuBravac, senior product marketing manager for CA Technologies, most IT organizations have come to realize that the complexity of IT is creating a need to embrace IT automation. The challenge they face, says DuBravac, is identifying and defining discrete processes in a way that makes it possible to automate them.
While there's no doubt that some IT folks are uncomfortable with IT automation because it almost by definition it changes job roles, the fact remains that, by and large, IT people would rather spend less time on manual tasks in favor of assignments that have more business value. In fact, one of the reasons that IT people get beat up for not being business savvy enough is the simple fact that they don't have the time to think about business issues because most of their day is consumed by trying to hold the IT environment together.
Ultimately, something has to give. The simple fact of the matter is that as IT operations continue to scale, companies can't afford to keep throwing bodies at the IT management problem. That means IT organizations need to find another way to think about managing IT or count the days until the complexity of the IT environment overwhelms their abilities. The latter event will obviously create the crisis needed to create funding to acquire the process automation tools. But that's not exactly the kind of attention most IT organizations are looking to draw onto themselves.