Taking IT Automation to a Higher Level

Michael Vizard

When most IT people think about IT automation, it's usually in the context of eliminating the need to perform some cumbersome management task. Unfortunately, that approach to tends to sell the underlying technology short by not recognizing what can be done around entire business processes, not just IT tasks.


Karl Richards, CIO of TASC, a provider of a service that manages employee benefits programs, says one of the things that surprised him most about deploying the IT automation engine created by UC4 Software is how quickly his organization began to apply it beyond routine IT tasks such as managing the release cycle of application software. When they first acquired the software, the primary focus was to apply the technology in a way that would free up more time to manage a growing IT environment, says Richards.

 

But now TASC has discovered that the software can be just as easily used to integrate processes across multiple applications. That capability was always a part of the UC4 Software engine, but now the company has formalized that functionality in the form of a new Application Release Automation (ARA) application.


This whole approach to using automation to integrate processes at an application level isn't all that new. After all, people have been talking about business process integration and management for years. But the UC4 Software approach gives IT organizations a tool that they can more easily invoke to integrate business processes and IT management tasks versus having to hire expensive consultants to deploy some type of expensive application middleware platform.


More often than not, IT folks fully understand what needs to be done to automate a process as well as anyone else in the business. What they have lacked is the tools to easily make that happen. But once they gain those tools, TASC has learned that the IT organization can be a lot more innovative than most people in the business currently give them credit for.



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Nov 3, 2011 10:27 AM Stephen F. Heffner Stephen F. Heffner  says:

Michael -- your title caught my eye, because I work in IT automation.  However, my involvement is in an area of IT that is typically not included in discussions of IT automation -- the software engineering process.  I have created an expert system whose rules language can be used to automate the analysis, re-engineering (transformation), and translation of assemblers, 3GLs, 4GLs, XML, HTML, and proprietary, scripting, data base, and Domain Specific languages.  I refer to it as a meta-tool, because it's essentially a workbench for rapidly creating software engineering automation tools (we've created many, and those rules accompany it).  I have described it here not as an advertisement, but because it embodies concepts and capabilities of which most people in IT are unaware, and provides automation capabilities in an area of IT not usually considered for this kind of generalized automation.

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