For obvious reasons, you’ll rarely hear us indicate that there could ever be too much automation. To the contrary, the more an organization embraces and employs IT automation technology, the more streamlined, efficient, cost-effective and productive the entire organization can be. What we will say, however, is that implementing too many such automation tools can, in fact, have the opposite effect on operations, specifically for those companies using cloud technology. Instead of trying to mishmash everything together, enterprises should focus on choosing and implementing a more comprehensive solution.
Cloud technology has virtually revolutionized the way businesses operate. When leveraged properly, this type of environment should make everyone happier and more productive, from the CEO to the front-line end-users and everyone in between. The problem is, many companies approach cloud IT automation entirely wrong. Traditionally, IT personnel had to think in terms of compliance, availability, latency and how those things interacted together.
With the dynamics of cloud, however, IT now has to shift its focus on how to leverage all of those services to other business units. This shift has dramatically increased the complexity of the management process and while IT automation is ultimately designed to aid in this area, teams often muddy the waters and hinder progress by over-specifying and hyper-focusing. Instead of the cohesive infrastructure that’s desired, this creates a more fragmented, siloed and subsequently inefficient environment.
The key lies in choosing a comprehensive IT automation tool that can handle the complex and changing dynamics of IT and beyond. Given the dizzying number of vendors in the cloud management platform space, this task can be nothing short of overwhelming. Many fall into the trap of selecting multiple tools from different service providers while others succumb to the alarming number of acquisitions and changes that so many cloud vendors experience. What they end up with are several tools that are ultimately working against, rather than with, one another.
To avoid this, IT professionals should take the necessary time and apply careful consideration to the selection process. Rather than picking several different IT automation tools, decision makers should focus on weighing their options and making a more mindful investment. Of course, they must also be careful that they not end up with a tool that is not sufficient for their needs, or one that has way more bells and whistles (and subsequent costs) than what they require. The goal is to find a happy medium with a comprehensive solution that is most closely aligned with the specific needs, pain points and overall objectives of the organization.
In reality, there may always be a need for more than one single automation tool, particularly in the dynamic cloud environment. In fact, if Gartner’s prediction was on target, 75% of large enterprises already have more than four diverse automation technologies within their management portfolio. As a general rule of thumb, however, the fewer tools you implement, the better, so bear this in mind during the evaluation and selection process.
Another key thing to consider is avoiding the common mistake of approaching IT automation from an opportunistic perspective, rather than one that is systematic in nature. Because opportunistic decisions are based on individual needs and pain points, they ultimately facilitate the siloed environment of traditional IT where each department or team employs a different automation tool to meet their unique needs. As a result, too many tools lead to loss of control and marked inefficiency.
On the other hand, systematic IT automation covers the big picture, taking into account the needs, visions and goals of the entire organization, rather than each individual team or department. Consequently, automation tools are more strategically assessed and selected with the overarching purpose of bridging interdepartmental gaps and creating more streamlined operations across all systems, programs and applications.
If you’ve fallen into this trap and fear that your organization is employing too many unnecessary or redundant tools, the time to take action and turn things around is now. We recommend taking a step back, carefully assessing your current state and finding an IT automation solution that will allow you to trim down and run a much more efficient, effective cloud environment.