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Datacenter Automation, Reality or Hype?

This year, there was a lot of action in the IT Process Automation space. It started when Opsware bought iConclude (now Process Automation System) and added the software to its network and application configuration software suite. Then BMC, buys RealOps ??? an iConclude competitor. BladeLogic goes public shortly after and the market responds by driving up the price on speculation that they too will be bought by one of the big players.

While software vendors are taking a keen interest in this space, how much can it really help an organization? Well, like everything else, it depends. If you have a lot of routine and manual tasks that need to be performed, these solutions do a good job at integrating systems and automating those tasks.

If you need more 'intelligence' and people need to make decisions, these software solutions can help, but you need to be careful that they solution is not more complex than the problem. Like many enterprise systems, you need to ensure that you select some bite size problems to solve before trying to solve all of your problems in a single project.

Take a look at your day-to-day operations and keep an eye open for routine processes that could be eliminated. Once your list gets long, take a hard look at these and see if they can help.