The Path of Least IT Automation Resistance

Michael Vizard

When it comes to IT automation, there tends to be a lot of skepticism surrounding three basic issues, none of which really have much to do with the actual technology.

The first is the fact that most IT professionals are pretty proud of the custom scripts they have developed themselves to automate various functions. In fact, many of them view their ability to write such scripts as one of the things that differentiate them most from their colleagues, which is one of the reasons they don't tend to document those scripts very well.

The second is that should IT automation technologies be applied at scale, many IT professionals fear for their jobs. A lot of the tasks that keep them busy would be automated out of existence. Management keeps saying that this is a good thing because it would allow the IT staff to concentrate on things that are higher value. But in most organizations no one seems overly focused on training the internal IT staff to take on those tasks before their existing jobs are automated out of existence.

Finally, a lot of the IT automation tools on the market are fairly complex and require a lot of customization. This makes the learning curve relatively high, which just convinces the IT staff that the commercial IT automation tools are not really designed to automate the IT tasks that really need to be done.


While the first two issues will require some proactive management on the part of IT leaders, the latter issue speaks to the nature of the IT automation tools. According to Ben Rosenberg, founder and president of Advanced Systems Concepts, a provider of IT automation and job scheduling software, the average IT professional will warm to IT automation when presented with a tool that is easy to learn and solves 90 percent of their routine tasks out of the box. For that reason, Rosenberg says Advanced Systems Concepts makes sure that all the connectors needed to automate the functions across the most commonly used platforms are included within the company's ActiveBatch toolset.

Trying to impose IT automation from the top of the IT pyramid on down can be a political and technical challenge. Rosenberg is making the case that when presented with IT automation tools that are easily understood, IT staff members will more readily warm to the concept because, just like everybody else, they want to get home on time. That's especially true at a time when <strong>the IT environment is getting more complex than ever thanks to the rise of virtualization and cloud computing</strong>.

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