These advances have created new sources of revenue for businesses that will benefit from faster delivery time of automated processes. With automation, managing increased batch workloads is now possible across a single point of control. This will allow businesses to better plan future changes to workload, as well as understand the potential impact of changes on IT and their business. Service level agreements (SLAs) can also be met with ease, and assist expansion plans across to the rest of the organisation. As batch workloads increase from delivering IaaS services to customers, workload automation will help to lower costs of ownership, increase flexibility, and delivery greater value to customers.
Helping coordinate multi-vendor solutions
Many innovative technology solutions have emerged in recent years, leading to a wide variety of choices on the market. Previously, companies preferred to purchase solutions from a single vendor, but it is now common for businesses to invest in different brands of software for patch management, server provisioning and others.
This multi-vendor strategy has significant impacts on automation. There is a stronger need to review and orchestrate pockets of automation to optimise workflow, because different tasks are delivered by different vendors. It is now even more important to run heavy-duty tests on the process to ensure that all the tasks are accounted for. This is where good automation processes come in, to coordinate these multiple software solutions so that they run perfectly in sync.
As businesses increasingly turn to multiple software solutions, automation will ensure that every part of a company's IT system will continue running efficiently. With a well-planned automation system, different software systems will work for and not against each other, with minimal disruption. In the long run, this will help businesses keep their services running at maximum capacity, while reducing outages and downtime.
Additionally, to achieve and optimise the benefits of the cloud, organisations have to automate end-to-end processes. It is no longer about automating only a certain part of the process, or only the mission-critical areas. Automating the processes in data centres lays the foundation for the cloud and optimises the value for both the organisation and its customer.
While automation used to be seen merely as a cost-cutting measure, it has become a much more holistic solution to building a more robust IT infrastructure. To truly benefit from automation, businesses need to ensure that their automation objectives are well aligned with their business priorities and policies, and make the most efficient use of resources, both IT and business, to create greater value.
When effective automation is in place, it should orchestrate and optimise resources, regardless of where they reside, either locally or in the cloud. In 2012, automation will help organisations make the right set of options available to users - ones that will ultimately help enterprises stay competitive as they enter the cloud.
Chip Salyards is vice president of BMC Software Asia Pacific.
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