Accenture Embraces Expert Systems to Automate IT Management

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    In a sign that hyper-scale computing is on its way to the enterprise, Accenture this week announced an alliance with IPsoft, a provider of expert system software for automating the management of IT.

    Accenture CTO Paul Daugherty says IT environments in the age of the cloud are becoming too complex to manage without some form of automation being applied. As enterprise IT environments continue to scale, organizations need to enable a single administrator to be able to manage hundreds, even thousands, of virtual and physical servers.

    IPsoft Chief Change Officer Martijn Gribnau says the company’s core software is an expert system that leverages autonomics to automate the management of server, storage and networking functions based on the policies defined by the senior IT managers.

    In addition to automating many of the routine management functions within an enterprise IT organization, expert systems also offer the promise of consolidating the battery of IT management software that most organizations have in place today. A single expert system eliminates the need for many of products that IT administers currently rely on to manage any number of systems and devices, which usually result in a dizzying array of screens that make correlating IT events in any meaningful way especially difficult, the larger the IT footprint of the organization becomes. In fact, any time there is a performance issue or outage, the expert system is designed to provide a framework through which the enterprise IT environment self-heals itself, says Gribnau.

    In effect, Accenture in partnership with IPsoft is acknowledging the fact that within many organizations the complexity of the enterprise IT environment is moving into a phase that is beyond the abilities of humans to effectively manage. That may offer a bleak view of a “lights out management” future for many IT administrators. But the reality is, the future of the data center is one where there is one person and a dog managing it, and it’s the dog’s job to keep the person from actually touching anything.

    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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