A recent Gartner research study, titled How to Achieve Digital Business Excellence by Mastering Pervasive Integration, highlights the need for interconnections between business processes, on-premise & cloud/hybrid environments, IoT components, IT systems, and more. If organizations want to stay on top of dynamic business demands and remain aggressive in their industry, it is imperative that they implement a pervasive integration strategy into their business. An IT automation solution can be just what an organization needs to master this. In a new Case Study, we investigated D&H Distributing, a leading technology distributer of IT and electronics, on their use of automation to integrate disparate applications. With the right solution, D&H overcame integration obstacles by connecting different applications and systems throughout their business.
Almost another year has passed, and once again PowerShell has claimed the title for the ultimate scripting language of automation. PowerShell is the most popular scripting framework for Microsoft products and continues to grow in popularity due to its ability to evolve and integrate with other applications. PowerShell works with a variety of key Microsoft services and components, and the recent open source debut of PowerShell that enables the crossover of PowerShell scripts between platforms like Linux and OS X is just one example of how the product is evolving to stay competitive. Over the past 11 years, PowerShell has grown into the scripting language of choice for IT, and what most IT teams don’t know is that there is a way for them to not only improve productivity, but to drastically enhance their existing PowerShell scripts.
Have you developed your IoT strategy? The IoT (Internet of Things) refers to the massive network of devices around the world, characterized by their "smart abilities." These are devices accessorized with data-consuming and data-producing sensors that allow them to communicate with one another and with users. Perhaps the most commonly known and one of the earliest examples of an IoT connected device, is the smart phone. However, the smart phone is no longer lonely in the IoT universe, as now just about every device, from washing machines, to medical instruments, to cars, can be made "smart". The amount of devices continues to grow, as IoT innovators are constantly creating new and exciting ways for data to be transferred. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, the amount of globally connected things will reach over 20 billion. The IoT doesn't come easy though, as many organizations are facing difficulties with their IoT implementation and management. However, with the growing popularity of the IoT, it is imperative that businesses find a way to jumpstart their IoT implementation and overcome the potential struggles that they may face along the way.
In today’s massive digital revolution, the way we do business changes with each passing day. Advances in Big Data and the IoT are providing more information than ever before, and organizations need a way to stay in the know when it comes to their industry. Reading the news and following industry-related blogs are two ways most people stay up to date with industry hot topics; however, one of the most substantial developments that we have seen in the past 10 years is the evolution of social media as a business tool. Social media began as a way to connect with friends and family and has since grown into one of, if not the most, popular tools for organizations and professionals to directly reach and communicate with their audiences. Just check out LinkedIn’s official metrics—which show that business professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
This month, an article was published in Quartz revealing new insight into the world of IT staffing. Shocking statistics regarding college grads, computing jobs, and the future of IT got us thinking about the IT resources gap, and how organizations can combat the lack of comp sci. grads and still be successful in today’s ever-growing IT and business market.
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 of 2016, 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.
Self-service automation has become a major buzzword in the IT community; it is changing the way organizations work and the way people do their jobs. Taking a self-service approach to automation offers countless benefits to individuals and to the organization as a whole, for example:
- IT departments and end-users will both experience time savings and increased efficiency.
- Non-IT users will be able to resolve problems and get up-to-date information without the ongoing help of IT, improving time to insight and facilitating a better partnership between IT and the end-user.
- Organizations will see an overall improvement in productivity.
The IT industry is evolving at an ever-increasing pace. Computing resources have become highly available and affordable. There is now a range of servers, databases, applications, new services, and tools, but a lack of people available to manage them.
Efficiently accomplishing day-to-day operations is essential to the way organizations find success. When these processes became complex and messy, organizations looked to batch processing. Business operations that were run through batch processes were time-based, stable jobs, supported by reliable, steady custom scripts. As long as business requirements stayed the same, batch jobs were usable for years. Batch processing provided a simple way to manage workloads and tools. However, with the extensive amount of external applications and technologies existing today, batch processing is simply not broad enough to overcome the challenges that IT teams face in 2016.
IT automation is taking the business world by storm. Virtually every industry can benefit from automation—if you have an IT department, you can automate your IT processes. An enterprise workload automation solution poses endless benefits to organizations, from increased efficiency and resource savings to the lack of manual intervention, and so much more. However, there are times when organizations tumble into an automation pitfall. To avoid these trip-ups, Gartner has researched and identified 5 of the most common IT automation pitfalls and how I&O leaders can avoid them and drive their organizations in the right direction.
Within the last several years, the IT industry has undergone more than one seismic shift. The movement away from waterfall methodology toward Agile practices, as well as the shift to cloud-based applications, have transformed business requirements. As a result, IT departments risk falling behind, as they have to meet business demands while simultaneously handling day-to-day tasks using legacy tools.
Last November, Gartner looked towards the future and predicted that in 2016, 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide. Today is that future. Around us right now, billions of connected things are speaking to each other, passing data, and keeping our lives efficient and modern. From the things we wear (our smart watches, our fitness trackers), to the perks that make our lives easier (our navigation systems, our smart thermostats and lighting systems) to the places we shop (think pharmacy mobile photo printing, mobile coupons based upon buying preferences) the IoT is already heavily integrated into our lives. Think about all of these connections in our lives today—and now multiply those connections by four. Gartner reports that by 2020, the amount of connected things is expected to rise to 25 billion. What I&O leaders need to know is what is enabling all of these connections and how organizations and businesses are expected to keep up with the growth and manage these links.
According to research by Gartner, by the end of 2016 DevOps will be employed by 25% of Global 2000 organizations. While many organizations already have some form of DevOps automation in place, whether it be a collection of specific DevOps automation tools or a homegrown system, workload automation has traditionally been overlooked in the DevOps arena. With multiple siloed automation tools, DevOps processes become even more complicated and difficult to coordinate. But what many organizations don’t know is that with the right workload automation solution, they can take a consolidated approach and streamline the processes that make up DevOps.
What does it mean for an IT organization to adapt to change? In today’s high-tech world, even the notion of adaptation itself is changing. How can anyone keep up?
IT organizations are being pushed like never before. Timelines are shrinking, projects are multiplying, and tasks are becoming more complex. Computing resources have shifted from expensive and scarce to highly available and affordable—a mixed blessing, since plentiful resources simply allow business expectations to be that much higher.
Handling the flow of growing amounts of messy data from multiple sources throughout the enterprise is a complex process. Whether moving transactional data so that it can be reported upon, migrating application data from old systems to new ones, or integrating data from external suppliers or partners, the reliable management of data streams can present a challenge to IT organizations. Because these movements of data can be scheduled on a regular basis or executed based on specific triggers, ETL and data warehousing processes inherently lend themselves to automation. Automation brings a host of benefits to these processes including faster delivery times, improved productivity, reduced cost, decreased risk of error, and higher levels of data quality, among others. But the automation tools commonly available often don’t provide the flexibility that is needed for granular and end-to-end automation. For most organizations a different approach, a unified workload automation solution, is needed to achieve all the benefits that automation can provide.
Many people think of social media in the workplace and immediately dismiss it as a function of the marketing department. However, you don't have to be in marketing to reap the benefits of social media. Every department, especially IT, can profit from the use of social media. Whether it's accessing timely updates and information on products, getting help and support, or sharing your knowledge with fellow IT professionals, social networking is becoming a powerful tool for IT industry leaders.
The phrase, “the only thing that is constant is change” certainly applies to the technology industry, and perhaps most appropriately to the IT Help Desk. IT Help Desk professionals have the unique challenge of facing new and different requests and issues nearly every day.
Automation is quickly becoming an integral piece of many organization's core business operations. To stay competitive in today's complex technology environment, enterprises are relying heavily on workload automation and job scheduling software to streamline operations and connect disparate systems in their IT environments. However, determining the ROI of workload automation has been a challenge for many organizations.
As the tech world turns its gaze on embracing digitalization and technology disruption, oftentimes the unsung heroes left out of the spotlight are IT Operations professionals.
Earlier this month at Gartner’s IT Operations Strategies and Solutions Summit (IOSS) in National Harbor, Maryland, the spotlight was on IT Operations.
Cue drum roll….
Why yes, yes we do.
One of the hardest things about implementing an automation solution is figuring out how to start. Should IT departments target the most time-consuming manual processes or should they go after smaller tasks that turn into quick wins? After years of working with hundreds of companies in various industries to fine-tune their automation strategy, we’ve gained insight into key processes that can benefit from an automation solution.
People attend business conferences for a variety of reasons. Some go to learn more about their particular specialty, some go for the networking opportunities, and others go simply because their company bought them tickets and they have to. Conferences can often be stressful events with an overwhelming amount of information, awkward social events, and bad boxed lunches. But they can also be great learning and networking events where you get a lot of great information and make connections with industry leaders and peers. Plus, sometimes the food is actually good.
This past January, Advanced Systems Concepts conducted its annual Insights Survey to identify and understand new and emerging trends in the field of Workload Automation. More than 400 IT professionals from the Americas, EMEA, and APAC responded, with 28% indicating they were in a C-level, directorial, or managerial role, 26% identifying as engineers, programmers, and developers, 17% as analysts, 11% as administrators, and 10% as architects, and 8% as "other".
Launching a new upgrade is generally a stressful time for software companies. It can be very easy to forget some of the necessary steps or simply forget to communicate something to another department. Creating an effective plan is a key part of any release.
Workload automation software is not a new concept for most businesses today. According to Gartner, most large organizations have more than three separate automation tools in their environment. An organization might have a network automation tool, an IT process automation tool, an application release automation tool, and an ETL management tool, all serving their own specific purpose, but also having a lot of overlap and redundancy between them.
Most IT departments spend a lot of time, energy, and money protecting data from network threats or malware, yet they often fail to protect against the risk of a stranger (or an employee) simply walking into an unsecure data center or server room. If you just glanced over to your unlocked, ajar data center door, we’re looking at you buddy.
There is a lot of discussion around the concept of bimodal IT lately, but what exactly is it? Is it actually something new or is it one of those many things in the tech world that is something old with a new name? And what are they key components needed to adopt a bimodal approach?
Now more than ever, organizations have an increasing availability of data, right at their fingertips. But with this abundance of data, comes an increased amount of applications, technologies, and platforms that depend on each other to manage the capture, transfer, and analysis of this data.
A lot of times in work (and in life), it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day mechanical tasks, without ever really thinking about the big picture.
Especially in IT, with so many different technologies and projects, it can feel like a constant cycle of putting out fires and moving from one task to another just to stay afloat.
Complexity is a common theme in the IT industry. Complex scripts and code on top of various applications and business processes are becoming too much to maintain manually. It takes a lot of time to sort through all of these complexities, and time is valuable and rare in today’s world.
If someone were to ask you, “What is the biggest concern or problem businesses deal with today?” what would you say? A lot of people would respond that businesses worry most about profit, cutting costs, employee efficiency, or maybe customer satisfaction. What most people don’t realize is that while these are all points of concern, there is one pressing issue that can bring businesses to a screeching halt and sully reputations: Security.
Imagine you just moved into a new home, it’s the beautiful home you always dreamed about, but with one problem -- it’s what you would call a fixer upper. Now I’m sure that you (and your wallet) cringe at the idea of home improvement and renovating, and as a homeowner you are faced with many options as to where to begin.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is already big and it's growing at an exponential rate. Today, the leading analysts and experts are talking about billions of connected devices with tens of billions more expected in the next five years alone. But there are still a lot of questions around what exactly the IoT is, and how businesses will need to adapt the changes it's bringing.
Are you ready to step up your automation game? We've put together our best IT automation resources with tips, how to's, and best practices that will have your colleagues calling you an automation superhero in 2016.
IT professionals often ask us how they can bring workload automation closer to the business, particularly when it comes to Service Level Agreements, or SLAs for short. While reliable workload automation performance is essential for most organizations today, many organizations often struggle with a way to proactively manage workloads tied to SLAs.
Writing an RFP for software and formalizing a list of specific requirements is a challenging task for most IT Professionals. Whether you have an existing solution in place and are looking to replace it or you are starting the search for a new solution, IT professionals not only have to look at present needs and how that software will fit into their existing environment, they also need to cast their gaze much further into the future to ensure the software they choose will have some staying power as technology and business needs change over time.
As we start looking toward 2016, we see a lot of new and exciting changes on the horizon for workload automation. While automation has always been considered a core foundational piece for IT to manage the IT environments, we’re starting to see a shift as automation is becoming a core driver of innovation and agility for the business. So let’s take a look at what’s to come for workload automation in 2016:
Financial closing is one of the most labor and time intensive tasks for the Finance department. Around month-end close, you’ll see Finance bracing themselves for the long days to come spent on ensuring financial statements are accurate, reconciling discrepancies, and creating reports. And when errors happen or the process is delayed, it comes at a heavy cost to the business.
The role of a Chief Automation Officer (CAO) for businesses was first espoused a few years ago as reporters, analysts, and automation vendors started to see the growing burden on the CIO and the need for more IT executive leadership positions. Here at the IT Automation Blog, we’ve considered the need for a CAO in previous blog posts and in conversations with automation users. Today, I want to revisit the idea of the CAO and see just how predictions about the rise of the CAO are shaping up with the reality of businesses’ organizational structure today.
Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Gartner’s Symposium/ITXPO in Orlando, Florida. ITXPO is always a great event filled with a lot of new ideas as well as a forum to speak with IT leaders about their views and experiences on current challenges and new technologies. This year, in particular, I noticed a significant overlap between what Gartner analysts were speaking about in sessions and the challenges and upcoming projects CIOs and IT Managers were talking about on the exhibit floor.
With the amount of data flowing in and out of various applications, databases, and systems, organizations today require a single, unified system to provide reliable and accessible data for individuals at all levels of the organization. And with the changes that are being brought about with IoT and big data, the importance of fast, reliable, and secure data processing is more important than ever.
In a very short amount of time, computing resources have gone from very expensive and scarce to highly available and affordable. The number of different applications, technologies, and platforms in the modern IT environment has grown significantly as a result of the accelerating set of business requirements, digitalization, and more, but despite this exponential growth in computing resources, IT staffing has not kept pace. The need for IT people continues to expand and finding experienced IT people with the right skill set is harder than ever. The difference between the number of computing resources and IT staffing has resulted in a critical IT Resources Gap.
While APIs have been around for more than a decade, today’s API-connected services are emerging as the preferred method for cloud, mobile devices, and virtually any end-point you can name. Most IT organizations are acting as both providers of APIs - creating APIs to provide internal system access, as well as API consumers - connecting their applications to externally provided APIs.
The Challenge of Data Overload
Data moves through organizations in a constant state, going from one individual, department, or office to the next. As new and different data sources like social media and wearables become part of the data pool that businesses collect and analyze for decision-making, data warehousing processes are becoming increasingly complex.
One of the key themes we’ve seen as we’ve attended Gartner events this year is the idea that we are now in the era of “bimodal IT”. With the expanding requirements business is imposing on IT, Gartner proposes that IT will have to undergo an organizational shift in order to be able to respond to this demand.
Many organizations today are turning to DevOps to deliver high quality shippable products faster and with fewer bugs. According to research by Gartner, by 2016 DevOps will be a mainstream strategy that will be employed by 25% of Global 2000 organizations.
With widespread DevOps adoption on the rise, application release management software is becoming vital to successful DevOps execution. In fact, Gartner predicts 50% of enterprises will implement automated configuration and release management by 2019.
Over the past couple of months on the IT Automation Blog we’ve talked about the benefits of migrating from a legacy job scheduler to a modern workload automation solution like ActiveBatch. For anyone looking to take the next steps, this Legacy Scheduler Migration Checklist Infographic is a good resource to help you start planning out your migration strategy.
Betweenthe hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. last Wednesday, July 18th, a rare event unfolded at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) - the largest stock exchange in the world shut down, bringing all trading to a stymied halt and leaving traders on the floor helpless until the NYSE reopened just an hour before the closing bell sounded. On the same day, the Wall Street Journal’s website went down due to technical difficulties and United Airlines grounded all flights across the U.S. for nearly two hours, resulting in travel delays, cancellations, and even hand-writing tickets for passengers at multiple airports.
IT automation is changing the way hospitals and healthcare organizations look at business processes. With workload automation, hospitals are able to do things that they never thought possible. It is allowing them to save time, money, and resources with one consolidated approach. However, many hospitals and healthcare facilities are not aware of the extent of the capabilities that automation possesses.
Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade from your legacy scheduler and you’ve identified a modern automation solution like ActiveBatch as a replacement, the next question is how to migrate to your new automation solution.
When approaching such a move, most organizations are concerned with the risk, cost, and time commitment the migration will incur. In order to ensure a successful migration, keep these 5 things in mind before you embark on the process:
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Gartner IT Operations Strategies and Solutions Summit in Orlando, Florida. Speaking with attendees, it became evident that organizations not currently using IT automation solutions were being prompted to implement them.
Some major reasons cited by attendees being driven to automate included efficiency, cost reduction, risk mitigation, and predictability. These were echoed during several of the conference sessions as well, with poll results revealing that more than 75% of organizations have automation goals and initiatives, but that their current strategy is happening only in specific functional groups, with central management of IT processes merely in its infancy. Despite the challenges of implementing enterprise automation, Gartner research is clear: Organizations should automate wherever possible and have clear objectives when evaluating and implementing a solution.
3 Successful Strategies for Migrating from a Legacy Scheduler to a Modern Workload Automation Solution
Deciding to migrate from your legacy scheduler to a modern IT automation solution like ActiveBatch is a big decision. Your organization can go about the process in many ways, but the most successful migrations act upon strategies that will benefit your company and fulfill the specific needs of your organization. Here are 3 Strategies to Consider for a Successful Migration:
This year at Microsoft Ignite 2015, we spoke with a lot of attendees looking for solutions to their everyday automation needs. As expected, with the global push toward cloud computing, cloud provisioning via workload automation tended to be something that IT professionals wanted to discuss, especially in the area of in-house virtual system provisioning. From our conversations, it often wound up as “something we are looking to do in the future”.
Every year, Advanced Systems Concepts surveys ActiveBatch customers around the world to gain insight on how leading IT professionals are using IT automation and the value that automation is delivering to the business. This year’s survey, conducted in January 2015, showed that workload automation is quickly becoming a critical part ofcloud, virtual, big data, andonboardinginitiatives, with the use of automation for these initiatives expected to double or even triple in the future.
Despite this increase in spending, organizations still have to worry about the basic costs of keeping the lights on and running the IT infrastructure behind the scenes. This is getting harder to do as the gap between the number of technologies IT has to manage and IT staffing levels grows wider. Workload automation serves as the key component in the middle, helping business adapt to technological change while reducing operational costs and enabling more agile, reliable operations.
Here are 3 Ways Financial Orgnizations Can Reduce Costs with IT Automation:
Cloud computing is delivering a host of benefits to today’s organizations in the form of increased flexibility, accessibility, ease of deployment, and reduced costs.
According to a joint survey of 1,300 companies in the U.S. and U.K. by the Manchester Business School, Vanson Bourne, and Rackspace, 88 percent of cloud users reported costs savings and 56 percent of respondents said cloud services helped them boost profits. Additionally, 60 percent said cloud computing has reduced the need for their IT team to manage infrastructure.
Long-term success in the tech industry is rare amidst constant technological changes, new startups, buy-outs, and more. Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc. has weathered the constantly changing nature of the tech industry for over 34 years, evolving from a two-person startup in 1981 to one of the leading IT automation solution providers today.
With so many different sources to gather news, updates, and trends from, finding the information you really want in today's digitalized world ironically seems more difficult than ever. Every day we at Advanced Systems Concepts look through our favorite blogs and social media for new things happening in the world of IT automation. Over time, we've built up a list of the top influencers in the industry who consistently provide engaging views and pieces on the most important trends and happenings in workload automation and enterprise tech.
Today we'd like to share this list of the top 10 Influencers (in alphabetical order) in the automation and enterprise tech industry with readers of the IT Automation Blog.
When Alice Smith walked through the doors of Umbrella Corporation on her first day as a Biochemist in the Research Division, she was excited to get started on the breakthrough anti-virus she had been specially recruited to design. After she had met with Human Resources to fill out paper work, she was led to her office, where she found a set of instructions containing her computer login and email address information. Despite trying the username and password several times, she could not log in to the system. Without an account, Alice couldn’t submit a trouble ticket and instead had to call IT directly to ask for help.
Workload automation software has evolved significantly from its origins as batch processing in early mainframe systems with rudimentary scheduling capabilities. As such, the requirements IT organizations need in automation software have changed.
Today, IT organizations are relying on automation as the unifying piece for IT and the business- providing greater interactivity for connecting people, applications, policies, and systems with a wide range of capabilities that allow users to automate more than ever before. This post seeks to provide an overview of the top 10 key requirements to look for when making the decision to implement an IT automation solution at your organization.
Back in 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that the working week would be cut to 15 hours as technology advanced and living standards rose. But despite the technological innovation over the past 85 years, people are working longer hours and taking fewer vacations than ever before.
Similarly, despite the advances made in the computing industry, IT is more pressed for time than ever before. The sheer number of technologies, applications, and products that IT organizations must maintain and update has surged over the years. In fact, according to research by Gartner, most large organizations have more than three workload automation tools implemented in their environment.
This month we had the pleasure of attending the Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to speaking with attendees and customers, we were able to attend several sessions from leading Gartner analysts. One of the presentations we thought would be of interest to readers of the IT Automation blog was Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst Ronni Colville and Research Director Robert Naegle’s presentation, Automation: Big Benefits for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Data Center, But Is It Really That “Automagic”?
2014 has been another year of growth and change for the workload automation industry. As the industry continues to evolve and mature, we are seeing workload automation becoming a key staple for most enterprises. According to leading technology analysts, 2015 promises to continue the trend of digitalizing business. From cloud computing and big data analytics to the Internet of Things, digitalization is expanding into every corner of our business and personal lives.
If you’ve ever left the air conditioning on full blast while you were away on vacation, you know the unpleasant surprise of seeing your power bill at the end of the month. Similarly, businesses who are using private or public clouds are struggling with the difficulty of managing cloud resources that need to be spun up and down depending on dynamically changing business needs. Just last month at Gartner ITxpo, we were talking with an attendee who had spent $15,000 more than budgeted in July on his public cloud due to machines that were never spun down.
A little over a week ago, I had the pleasure of attending this year's GartnerITxpo in Orlando, Florida. In addition to talking with CIOs and other technology executives during expo hours, I had the opportunity to attend several sessions on a wide-range of topics as well as mastermind keynotes with Satya Nadella, Steve Wozniak, and Peter Thiel. As promised in our last blog post, we want to share some of the key takeaways from ITxpo.
One of the most interesting sessions that I believe readers will find useful to their IT strategy over the next few years was Vice President and Fellow David W. Cearley’s session, “Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends for 2015”. Cearley opened the session by stating that the increasing digitalization of business creates a high potential for disruption to businesses, end users, and IT.
In a relatively short time, workload automation has evolved from static job scheduling to a fully architectural solution that spans the breadth of IT Operations. Now, modern automation solutions are swiftly making themselves a valuable resource in today’s emerging areas such as DevOps, cloud computing, and Big Data.
In an effort to measure how top IT decision makers view the changing role of workload automation software in their organizations, Advanced Systems Concepts conducted a survey of CIOs and other IT decision makers at over 100 of the top companies in the United States. Our findings show:
This year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is just a few weeks away. Advanced Systems Concepts is once again looking forward to the event as it gives us an opportunity to talk with analysts and IT executives about IT automation and their individual needs. We are especially excited for this year’s keynote speakers, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and Chief Scientist at Fusion-io, Peter Thiel, Technology Entrepreneur and Investor, and John Zimmer, Co-Founder & President of Lyft Inc.
The topic of this year’s Symposium is “Driving Digital Business”. As businesses increasingly rely on technology to be more competitive, CIO's and senior level IT executives must redefine their role in the organization and learn how to optimize digital opportunities and align new technologies with business needs. In particular, we’re excited to hear what new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has to say given the changes he’s made since taking the helm at Microsoft seven months ago.
According to Gartner, “job-scheduling tools have increasingly moved toward workload automation, reflecting the changing demands of moving from a largely static batch-processing environment to a more dynamic, policy-driven automation platform.” Gartner, Inc. in Magic Quadrant for Workload Automation, Milind Govekar & Biswajeeet Mahapatra, February 27, 2012.
Today more than ever, IT departments are shedding the role of support department and transforming into a key strategic partner to business operations. The importance of IT operations in making business transactions more fluid, reducing operational costs, and increasing productivity is unparalleled.
We had the opportunity to talk with many PowerCenter users at Informatica World in Las Vegas in May and they shared a lot of information about their IT Automation requirements, at the application and enterprise level, and how it could be improved. Application vendors, as we have previously addressed in our earlier posting, focus their resources (money and time) in developing the core capabilities of their products rather than enhancing their solutions with a robust automation system necessary to address today’s business and operational requirements.
Sponsoring TechEd North America 2014 presented us with the opportunity to speak with attendees across a wide range of Microsoft users including system admins, DBAs, enterprise architects, IT operators and managers. The attendees use a variety of Microsoft solutions including SQL Server, SharePoint, Active Directory, Exchange, System Center and more, in addition to many other non-Microsoft applications and technologies.
In recent years, the democratization of analytic, reporting and BI solutions has become a driving force in the growing complexity of data integration and data warehousing models. Add to the equation the growing complexity and volume of information thanks to Big Data, and it’s no surprise that the underlying ETL and data warehousing processes to integrate and access data from multiple sources is becoming increasingly complex.
Conversations with analysts and customers alike have uncovered an interesting trend playing out in the marketplace. Leading IT organizations are assigning automation teams and/or directors who are responsible for implementing an “architectural” IT automation strategy. The goal is to take an enterprise-wide analysis of the automation requirements of the IT organization as a whole and implement a strategy and solution(s) that unify silos of automation and streamline the people, processes and technologies.
Last month I had the pleasure seeing Don Duet, Co-Head of the Technology Division at Goldman Sachs, give a keynote presentation at the Gartner Data Center conference regarding the company’s data center strategy. As the global investment firm looks to commoditize an array of new digitalized services and products to its multinational workforce, the data center is being asked to increase agility while mitigating risk in the fluid, and sometimes volatile, world of investment banking.
Last week Gartner VP and distinguished analyst Ronni Colville gave a presentation at Gartner's Data Center Conference entitled Automation: The Lynchpin for Cloud & Data Centers. In it, she presented the concept that IT organizations are taking an “opportunistic” approach to automation by identifying automation opportunities as they arise and implementing platform-specific tools to solve those problems. It was a similar presentation to the one Colville gave at the Gartner Infrastructure and Operations Conference in June, so I won’t repeat the information already talked about in the first post, but rather focus on the new concepts and interesting poll results Colville presented last week.
In the past twelve months we continue to witness the evolution of IT into something bigger, faster and more adaptable than we could have ever imagined. IT automation is no exception to this rule and will continue to become more nimble in order to satisfy the accelerating pace of business and the resulting demands of IT. Workload automation vendors will continue to respond to these demands in 2014. Here are the top 5 trends we see reshaping our marketplace:
Never before have IT organizations been under more pressure to change, both from internal and external forces alike. Changing IT environments, new regulatory compliances, the Internet-based, 24/7 consumer or trying to gain a competitive advantage within the marketplace…these unpredictable forces thrust change on the demand and capacity of enterprise IT infrastructure. It’s resulting in an increasing rate of change to the systems and processes that the modern IT organization is responsible for. IT automation is no exception to this.
In today's fluid 24/7 world where business demands are real-time and IT is being asked to “script” business processes into automated workflows, old-school batch processing can no longer cut it. Posting a job to run every night at 3 AM was fine 10 years ago, but today these processes have to be run in real-time and workload automation is the key to industrializing business processes to save companies time and money. Here are three of the most common business processes that Advanced Systems Concepts Inc. sees customers automating with ActiveBatch to save money and ensure SLAs are being met.
Last month we had the pleasure of attending the Gartner Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit in Orlando, Florida, where Gartner VP and distinguished analyst Ronni Colville gave a presentation entitled Automation: The Lynchpin for Cloud & Data Centers.
Most IT experts and professionals would agree that virtual and cloud computing has the potential to bring efficiency and value to enterprise computing in ways never seen before. Cloud computing is evolving at an unprecedented pace, with many organizations jumping directly, in varying degrees, to private or public cloud use.
Attending Informatica World presents the opportunity to speak with IT professionals about one of the strongest use cases for job scheduling and workload automation: the end-to-end automation of ETL, data warehousing and business intelligence (BI) processes.
We had the pleasure this week of speaking with a long standing customer for an update about their implementation. Turkiye Finans has been an ActiveBatch user since 2009 and Mucahit Yavuz, IT Operations Manager at Turkiye Finans, has been part of the ActiveBatch project from the beginning.
Recent discussions with customers and industry analysts uncovered a common theme or notion pertaining to the approach organizations are taking, or failing to take, when it comes to implementing an IT automation strategy.
Last month Gartner announced the retirement of the Magic Quadrant for Workload Automation. The announcement has created significant buzz amongst various social media channels, such as LinkedIn’s Enterprise Job Scheduling & Workload Automation group. Here’s the opening summary courtesy of the Gartner announcement:
Fluidity is the new mantra in workload automation. Management demands, data sources, SLA requirements, computing infrastructure—everything attached to IT is turning more flexible, more diverse and more nimble in order to satisfy the accelerating pace of business. At the center of it all, job scheduling and workload automation is becoming more important than at any time in the last 30 years. In the past twelve months we’ve witnessed the continued evolution of business IT into something faster, bigger, and more adaptable than we could have imagined even a few short years ago. Workload automation technology is responding with new solutions that will be increasingly visible in 2013 and beyond. These are the key trends we’ve identified that are re-shaping the segment:
Attending the Gartner ITExpo this week has presented the opportunity to demonstrate the value of workload automation to a different constituency group – C-level IT executives and upper management.
Cloud computing is transforming just about every facet of enterprise IT. Yet one of the stalwarts of IT—workload automation—may actually hold the key to making the most of this revolutionary innovation.
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) IT failure was one of the most highly publicized IT failures this year, underscoring the increasing dependence that financial service institutions, and other industries, are placing on their respective IT organizations. Some, including the bank’s CEO, have blamed the failure on the need to dedicate more resources to maintaining and updating the legacy systems and applications that so many of the bank’s critical processes have become dependent on.
It’s always nice to see a customer who’s putting what the Forrester and Gartner’s of the world are touting into practice. Admittedly, vendors like ourselves can enhance our offerings with new capabilities faster than customers can sometimes digest, and workload automation is no exception.
But that’s not the case with one ActiveBatch customer I spoke with this afternoon, a large cellular infrastructure provider that builds and rents space on cell phone towers across North and Central America. This company is using workload automation to automate a myriad of accounting and banking processes for nearly 2,000 vendors that support its cellular towers. This can include customers who rent space on individual towers to power companies that provide the electricity to those same towers.
It’s always interesting speaking with customers, industry analysts and vendors alike regarding the intersection of IT and business. It’s become clear that many IT organizations continue to struggle with the centralization of company-wide computing needs and the role IT process automation can play in answering the needs of the business via the capabilities of IT.