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.
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.
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".
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.