The recent wave of high visibility outages and failures has brought attention to a problem that happens all too frequently in IT, but is seldom reported on unless the failure impacts the general public. At the root of the problem, from a technical standpoint, is the IT Resources Gap, a problem about which we frequently write. Computing economics have resulted in geometric growth in computing resources and availability of new and better applications at lower costs. But at the same time, IT budgets are showing little to no growth and IT staffing is lagging behind deployments as a result of insufficient budget and lack of available trained resources.
Earlier this month we published a blog post in regards to the U.S. Customs Outage. A nationwide system shutdown held up travelers across the United States, filling up airports with frustrated fliers who were unable to get where they were going due to these issues caused by a technical glitch. We also linked to a blog post we published last year, when the New York Stock Exchange and United Airlines both experienced outages in the same day. We recommended that organizations “predict the unpredictable” by implementing an IT automation solution to protect them from potential technical flops. This blog post proved to be predictive in itself when this past Monday, United Airlines experienced yet another “IT issue” which forced them to cancel a dozen flights and delay many others—the outage in all affected over 200 flights.
Monday night, thousands of travelers in airports across the United States were stuck for hours, due to a technical glitch that affected U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). A nationwide system shutdown from the hours of 5 pm to 9 pm plagued airports in Miami, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale and more, lining up fliers and forcing them to wait anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours. This of course caused massive frustration amongst both airline employees and travelers alike. Many people were angered and shocked that in today’s uber-digital day and age, technical hiccups like these can still wreak so much havoc and have such a widespread impact. Security is a major theme in the IT industry today--but many IT and tech users are focusing all of their energy on protecting their systems from digital hackers, and failing to protect their systems from the unpredictable danger of technology malfunctions.
Earlier this month, we attended Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference. We spoke with hundreds of attendees and had the opportunity to attend many motivating and exciting sessions. One session that we found particularly thought-provoking, the Gartner Keynote, Applications and Infrastructure and Operations: When Worlds Collide, focused on the idea of change in organizations—mainly changes occurring in the form of bimodal approaches and DevOps initiatives. The keynote utilized the hashtag #changeisthegame to stimulate conversations on social media about the session, and this inspired us to talk about the importance of DevOps in today’s organizations and highlight the key role that automation can play in these initiatives.
In September, we had the pleasure of attending Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta, Georgia. We spoke with hundreds of attendees who were looking for the next big thing to enhance their IT operations. The keynote presentation focused on everything new and exciting on Microsoft’s end, and the attendees were eager to learn how to incorporate automation into their Microsoft IT processes. Some hot topics that were discussed at Ignite were PowerShell, SharePoint, and Azure automation. Let’s take a closer look into the way automation played into these conversations:
Happy 10th Birthday, PowerShell!
Business mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are extremely common, and they take a significant toll on each and every department. IT teams face some of the biggest challenges out of every department during M&A and can sometimes be overlooked. According to a Gartner research study, improperly addressed IT challenges after an M&A can lead to increased operational risks and higher costs. The merger can be painless; however, Gartner reports that during each of the 5 phases that a company undergoes during a merger or acquisition, there are specific IT-related actions organizations should be taking.
No matter what the language is, script writing is labor intensive. Writing a new script means that you likely have spent hours designing, writing, testing, and de-bugging the code, and then testing and de-bugging it a few more times. And once they are written, these scripts have to be maintained and catalogued. In addition to these foreseeable challenges, there are the things you can’t predict; requirements can change and developers may leave, and that means you’re going to have to revise or rewrite older scripts.