Data Center Automation: Why It's Time To Move - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
News
12/15/2011
01:25 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Data Center Automation: Why It's Time To Move

Cloud environments are driving data center automation and making it more difficult to do. But if you want to free up resources for other priorities, it's a must.

InformationWeek Green -Dec. 19, 2011 InformationWeek Green
Download the InformationWeek December digital supplement on IT process automation distributed in an all-digital format as part of our Green Initiative
(Registration required.)
We will plant a tree for each of the first 5,000 downloads.

Data Center Automation

Shifting spending from IT operations to innovation and meeting business needs more quickly should be key goals for every CIO. One way to do this is with a highly virtualized data center. But IT won't get the staff efficiency gains and cost savings from virtualization unless it automates more of the work IT does.

The message is starting to get through: 36% of the 345 business technology professionals we surveyed are already using process automation tools, while 32% have an implementation project under way.

Faster response time to service requests is the top process automation impact, cited by 25% of tech pros surveyed who have fully deployed process automation tools. Others cited reduced errors and shifting staff to new activities--which means freeing IT to focus on higher-value projects. Cash savings, though, can be elusive: Just 11% cut staff, and 5% cite cost reduction as a key impact of process automation.

Despite the lack of hard savings, private clouds are driving a new interest in automation; IT just can't deliver the highly scalable and more flexible virtualized data centers without it. Public cloud environments, in contrast, add complexity to process automation, as workloads tend to be set up in silos, but emerging cloud-broker technology provides a potential solution.

The difficulty IT faces with a process automation project will largely depend on its systems: The more standardization, the easier automation will be. Lots of homegrown applications and complicated workflows will increase the difficultly. Yet it's still worth pursuing. IT leaders must get a better grip on strategic challenges like better governance and cloud integration, but tech teams at the same time can identify small-scale projects for quick wins in 90 days or fewer, like integrating hiring and firing processes with Active Directory.

The Governance Mandate

Automation must start with governance--a process for aligning IT and business priorities and then ensuring that execution follows a well-defined process. It's discouraging that only 45% of IT pros who use or plan to deploy IT automation tools say governance is extremely important in process automation. That number should be higher.

Governance frameworks such as Six Sigma, ISO 9001, ITIL, and CMMI can provide a significant head start in helping standardize and formalize processes. These frameworks won't meet all of IT's needs, but they can significantly reduce the time to establish core process areas.

Two great candidates for automation are configuration and change management. Automating these can help reduce errors in the infrastructure and eliminate a lot of manual effort to keep systems up and running.

To read the rest of the article,
Download the InformationWeek December digital supplement on IT process automation.

Process Before Tools

Our full report on IT process automation is free with registration.

This report includes 27 pages of action-oriented analysis, with 26 charts. What you'll find:
  • A deeper look at what's under the hood of IT automation tools
  • A detailed look at how to enable process and workflow automation
Get This And All Our Reports


Also see:
What To Look For In Automation Products

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
10 Top Cloud Computing Startups
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  8/3/2020
Commentary
How Enterprises Can Adopt Video Game Cloud Strategy
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/28/2020
Commentary
Conversational AI Comes of Age
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  8/7/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Special Report: Why Performance Testing is Crucial Today
This special report will help enterprises determine what they should expect from performance testing solutions and how to put them to work most efficiently. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll