The IT Automation Arms Race

Michael Vizard

Every time you turn around these days, some vendor or another is talking about automating IT processes. The latest example is the acquisition of Nimsoft, a provider of network and cloud computing monitoring tools, by CA.

CA is trying to position itself through a number of acquisitions to become the ultimate manager of all things related to cloud computing. But in order to do that, it has to automate as many IT processes as possible because given the scale of cloud computing, no IT organization can afford to throw people at the processes of many hundreds of thousands of physical and virtual servers.

Gerald Blackie, the CEO of Kaseya, a provider of managed services for systems management, says this trend is going to lead to alliances and acquisitions. In the case of Kaseya, the company has aligned to Amazon to provide systems management services via the cloud.

But as cloud computing evolves, it's also pretty clear that Microsoft, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM and every other provider of a cloud computing service is going to have to shore up their management capabilities via automation of IT processes.

Obviously, this trend is troubling to some in terms of its implications for IT jobs. But the process of IT process automation is well under way, so the only real questions are not whether this is going to happen, but rather when and, once it does happen, what does the structure of an IT organization start to look like?

Chief technologists will definitely be at the forefront of implementing this massive change to the way we manage all things IT. But before that happens, they might have to forget about everything they think they know about systems management today because it probably won't apply tomorrow.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Mar 17, 2010 2:03 PM Ayehu Ayehu  says:
The key challenges for adopting & increasing the level of automation in IT & Cloud environments tend to be people and process oriented rather than tools and technology. hence, vendors will have to educate customers not only on their own tools & solution capabilities but also the potential of IT automation . There is still a lot of market confusion in terms of what IT automation really is, what can be achieved, and where to begin. Most customers will need help from a business process engineering perspective to clearly identify and define processes and workflows, which can then be automated leveraging IT process automation tools and technology. Reply
Mar 20, 2010 12:03 AM Entrada Associate Entrada Associate  says:
There is no doubt IT Automation is hot - Forrester, especially, have been at the forefront of promoting the value of IT Automation and the likely direction. Of particular interest has been the merging of business process automation (BPA) and IT Process Automation (ITPA) where the dividing line between what is automation of an IT process versus a business process is becoming very grey. Most vendors have originated out of one camp or the other and have tended to remain firmly planted in their camp of origination. However, a couple of vendors out there seem to have crossed the chasm and have embraced both sides of automation and offer solutions that clearly offer both an ITPA and a BPA offering in one solution. Reply

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