IT Automation Enters the Cloud
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.
For more than twenty years, the term ‘IT automation’ was just that: the automation of IT tasks and processes. From the old days of batch processing to the evolution of job scheduling, the ability to process workloads had been strictly an IT operation, with the needs of the business an afterthought. Now the focus has shifted back to the needs of the business and IT automation solutions are flipping the paradigm by allowing organizations to define and manage workflows by defining a business goal or service, rather than trying to automate various IT tasks in the hopes that an entire IT service that satisfies the needs of the business magically emerges.
This shift in priority has been paralleled with the adoption of private and public cloud offerings. The “cloud” is critical in this process as it helps optimize resource utilization to workload demands. Private, public, hybrid, a combination of all three – it doesn’t matter. Workloads and processes need to run and it is IT’s job to ensure sufficient capacity to meet workload demands while exceeding SLAs. In addition, rather than provisioning server resources for peak demand – and paying the price for under-utilization during low workload demands, the era of cloud computing provides the ability to match workload execution with resource capacity in a “pay for what you consume” model. IT process automation is required to ensure that capacity matches closely with workload demand, thus eliminating the costs of idle resources between spikes in workloads.
By tying workload management to business requirements and leveraging “cloud automation,” IT process automation solutions can ensure optimal workload and capacity matching across the organization to better meet SLAs and reduce the overall cost of doing business. As a result, IT process automation have matured into single, automated platforms that incorporate virtual and cloud resources, giving an IT organization the catalyst to provide IT as a service, which is key to responding to the needs of a dynamic business.
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