According to Gartner, 75% of enterprises will have more than four diverse automation technologies within their IT management portfolio by the year 2017. That’s just around the corner! What does this mean for the data center? Well, without the right approach, it could actually spell disaster. With more tools naturally comes greater risk, not to mention increased complexity, higher TCO and a lack of adequate governance. So, what’s the best way for a data center to leverage IT process automation to achieve its full range of benefits while avoiding so-called “islands of automation?” Let’s take a look.
Businesses adopt automation for a wide variety of reasons. Some choose to automate because they simply don’t like to script, others adopt this technology when processes become too cumbersome and complex or when the transfer of knowledge becomes too challenging. In reality, many data center professionals admit that automation goes well beyond scripting and scaling issues, but rather helps them better manage their human capital investment. All of these things go hand in hand.
Take, for example, an IT department in which there is one dedicated employee who is tasked with writing and managing Python scripts. Now let’s assume that employee has decided to resign or retire. With budgetary restrictions in place, the IT manager doesn’t have the available resources to hire a replacement and, unfortunately, nobody else in the department knows how to handle Python scripting. It’s quite a dilemma, and it’s happens much more often than you may realize.
Data centers that rely heavily on scripting open themselves up to much greater risk, not to mention the extra expense in time, money and manpower they are wasting under such a setup. This is where IT process automation can really make a significant impact. Advanced automated tools offer plug and play options with a rich library of run book automation templates that can be modified and customized without having to write a single line of code.
But what about scripting? Isn’t it just a necessary evil for those working in a data center? According to Gartner Managing VP Ronni Colville, “scripts are one-offs and there is no place to put or manage them.” Rather than writing and managing them individually, a modern IT process automation tool can provide data center professionals with a database where they can store, protect, access and manage templated workflows in one centralized location. This facilitates greater control and visibility and eliminates the knowledge-gap issue while simultaneously improving efficiency and reducing manual errors.
Gartner’s Research Director, Robert Naegle, predicts that IT process automation of the future will become even more intuitive and dynamic, allowing data center professionals to focus less on processes and apply their skills to more challenging and rewarding tasks. Naegle also points to the fluid nature of the IT industry. With so many changes to regulations requiring almost constant updates to internal processes, having intelligent IT process automation tools will make it much easier to adapt to these changes and stay ahead of the game.
It’s clear to see that the future of the data center will hinge on its ability to adopt and employ the right technologies. IT process automation tools, like eyeShare, are helping to shape this not-so-distant future and paving the way for ongoing success.