When it comes to IT automation there has long been a debate as to whether or not one should invest in a ready to use software or to simply have it scripted instead. Before making a decision either way, here are a few important points to consider.
Like it or not, scripting is a slow, time consuming process. It’s also challenging from a maintenance perspective. The risk of human error is high and it can be difficult to track and fix these errors, which makes managing existing scripts even more complicated. When something goes wrong, nobody knows what happened. In many cases, it can be hard to even figure out who even wrote the scripts in the first place.
Furthermore, it’s difficult to maintain adequate documentation and keep that documentation up-to-date. Not to mention the lack of ability to audit and record each script execution, particularly when there is no unified language, no consistency and nobody who controls those scripts.
In other words, it’s another frustrating waste of time for busy IT personnel.
There are other factors that must be taken into consideration as well. As mentioned above, scripting is a slow process, thereby requiring more time and added cost, further eroding efficiency levels. In reality, the overall cost – in terms of both money as well as IT team resources – is quite often higher than if one were to just buy software in the first place.
Simply put, scripting is not real automation. It’s only one small component of IT automation.
So what can actual IT automation provide? Firstly, it’s incredibly easy to implement. In fact, on average, it takes only a couple of hours to get an IT automation platform up and running. Before you know it you can begin capturing, documenting, auditing, and controlling all of your processes. IT automation also delivers measurable ROI, allowing users to see its value from day one.
Let’s look at an example. Consider one of the everyday tasks a typical IT person has to carry out as part of his or her routine tasks: disk space cleaning on servers. With scripting, the task and subsequent policies must be implemented on each and every server, along with such details as when to delete, what to delete, who will approve that change and more. It’s difficult to know what part of the execution has been done and if there was a failure, let alone what caused that failure to occur in the first place.
With IT automation software, on the other hand, these processes can be easily managed and controlled by using a visual workflow to see on one central dashboard the status of each task.
Even if your IT manager insists on using scripting, with the help of a visual IT workflow designer, you can improve your scripts and maintain full control and visibility. Your boss will be impressed by how fast and efficient you complete your daily tasks and appreciate that he can have full view of these tasks. IT automation can be your little force multiplier.