The IT Automation Arms Race

    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.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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