Brian McHugh


Recent Posts

Gartner's IT Automation Predictions for 2019

By Brian McHugh on Wed, Jan 02, 2019 @ 10:01 AM

Towards the end of each year, Gartner releases its predictions for the upcoming year. These predictions start a lot of conversations, get lots of coverage in the tech press, and are always useful.

There’s also a lot of them. Besides Garter’s two Top 10 Trends lists (Strategic Technology and I&O), Gartner has recently released dozens of its “Predicts 2019” papers. To help prepare for the new year, we've scoured Gartner’s trend and predictions, explaining eight of their 2019 automation expectations below.

A few major themes stick out:

  • AI is being used to optimize IT Automation
  • IT Automation is being used to optimize Big Data
  • As processes are simplified, Big Data will become accessible to the broader workforce
  • The role of IT is changing

Overall, 2019 looks to be a busy year for IT Automation, AI, and Big Data.

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Best Practices for Migrating to a New Job Scheduler

By Brian McHugh on Thu, Dec 20, 2018 @ 08:12 AM

If your job scheduler is making your job more difficult, it might be time to migrate.

Why Migrate to a New Job Scheduler?

Legacy job schedulers are often designed to support specific platforms and systems and can be heavily reliant on scripts. Which means that using a legacy scheduler to support a new technology or application requires researching, writing, and testing complex scripts. Which is time-consuming, error-prone, and the least scalable thing IT can do.

Whether native or home-grown, legacy job schedulers are limited in what they can offer modern, dynamic organizations because they lack the integration capabilities required to quickly build and automate complex workflows.

That’s problematic in an era of rapid digital evolution. IT needs to be able to quickly pivot to support shifting business goals and to leverage new digital tools to stay ahead of competition. This requires building end-to-end workflows that include integrated, automated processes that span a variety of applications, systems, and tools, without the need for custom scripting.

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Too Many IT Automation and Scheduling Tools?

By Brian McHugh on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 @ 08:12 AM



IT teams are automating faster than ever. But without a coherent strategy, automation loses its power.

Automation in IT

In a recent study by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), 56% of respondents reported having “too many scheduling and automation tools in place.”

This statistic isn’t too surprising, but as the study continues, it becomes part of a paradox.

It turns out that 75% of the study’s participants (56% of whom have too many automation tools) have recently purchased new automation tools and are likely to agree (strongly) with the assertion that “the need for automation is growing”.

Which means that the study’s participants —automation veterans from large companies— have recently procured new automation tools, believing they need more automation, yet simultaneously believe that they have too many automation tools.

This would hurt even Watson’s head.

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How to Improve Cloud Resource Management

By Brian McHugh on Mon, Dec 03, 2018 @ 08:12 AM

Cloud Computing: It's like having an overdue book charge at the library, for $15,000.
     

Common Cloud Computing Issues

Cloud computing offers amazing benefits for IT. Its variable, pay-as-you-go structure allows IT organizations to contract only those computing resources needed for specific tasks, at the exact time they’re needed.

The same pricing scheme that provides incredible efficiency, however, can be remarkably inefficient if not monitored. Because virtual and cloud computing resources are “invisible,” they can often be overlooked or forgotten when a job is completed. Yet the meter for these resources is still running. Like a library book that isn’t returned, the cost keeps rising; one IT director recently noted at an industry conference that her organization incurred $15,000 in unnecessary operational expense in a single month, simply because its public cloud resources weren’t “returned” after use.

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14 Industries the Internet of Things is Disrupting

By Brian McHugh on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 08:11 AM

The Internet of Things is disrupting the industries we work in, whether or not we're prepared. Here, we’ve compiled a list detailing how 14 major industries are already leveraging IoT.

What is the Internet of Things Being Used For?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next big disruptor in tech, with over 20 billion IoT devices expected by 2020 and a market valued at over $3 trillion, according to Gartner. Which means that IT (because you can’t have IoT without IT) is going to have a lot more work on its plate.

The power of IoT is that each “Thing” has sensors which can collect and send data and communicate with other “Things”. This allows companies to turn their warehouses (or shops, offices, factories, seaports, etc.) into sensitive, highly coordinated environments that are always collecting data —and always improving.

An IoT device has two primary capabilities: it can collect and send data and it can complete an action (like a robotic arm on a factory floor). IoT becomes exceptionally powerful when it is brought to scale, when an organization uses thousands of sensors to collect data or coordinates the actions of hundreds of factory robots, for example.

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Acquire New Skills For The IT Tools You Use Most

By Brian McHugh on Mon, Nov 19, 2018 @ 08:11 AM

Continuous IT Education

The IT tools we rely on can sometimes resemble unexplored mountains —full of features and possibilities that we’ve never ventured into, with unused drop-down menus and buried lists of settings that could be capable of anything.

As IT professionals, it’s important to optimize our use of key resources. That means understanding the full range of capabilities offered by the technologies we rely on most. But our days are hectic, our schedules unpredictable, and exploring features on our own isn’t always an efficient way to gain a better understanding of a technology’s capabilities.

Plus, our favorite IT tools are always improving. Updates are made, new versions are released, new features and capabilities are added. Keeping up with changes takes time.

So, how can IT professionals stay up-to-date and optimize their use of resources?

Topics: ActiveBatch
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A Brief Overview of IT Automation

By Brian McHugh on Tue, Nov 13, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

What is IT Automation?

IT Automation refers to the tools and practices used to automate jobs, batch processes, and workflows for IT.

Traditionally, IT Automation is used to automate repetitive, time-consuming, and error-prone tasks such as file movements and onboarding. However, there is a diverse range of IT Automation tools, some of which also automate more complex tasks involving cloud resource-provisioning and big data management.

Despite the wide variety of IT Automation tools on the market, all IT Automation tools allow users to schedule jobs for specified times or events. The rest of the features and capabilities vary, as well as the mechanics that go into developing the automated workflows.

For example, if an IT team is relying on one-off, custom scripts, then new scripts will be needed to automate new workflows. Or, if the IT team is using integrated IT Automation software, users may be able to automate new workflows using prebuilt job steps or APIs.

Topics: IT Automation
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Gartner Symposium/ITxpo (Orlando) Recap

By Brian McHugh on Tue, Nov 13, 2018 @ 08:11 AM

The 2018 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo was held in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is an annual series of conferences held around the world. From Orlando to Barcelona to Tokyo, the conferences are attended by CIOs, senior IT leaders, and market-leading vendors, all of whom converge to listen to and to learn from the best minds and thought leaders in IT.

This year, Gartner Symposium/ITxpo’s capstone event was held in Orlando, Florida, attracting over 9,000 IT leaders for five days of insights, networking, and keynotes. The event, held October 14-18, featured executive Gartner analysts, guest speakers, and over 350 sessions covering business strategy, leadership, and technology and information.

These three themes (business strategy, leadership, and technology and information) were essential to the Gartner Opening Keynote on Day 2 of the event.

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