Why Automation (still) Matters

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Back in 2005 I wrote a blog post called “The Lazy Administrator”.  In that post I outlined the importance of automating mundane tasks so that your life wasn’t spent clicking through countless dialog boxes and installation screens. It has been over nine years since that first post, surely all of IT has been automated by now! There have definitely been quite a few improvements in the past 9 years. I have had the opportunity since then to work on some pretty amazing products like the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit that has greatly reduced the pain of Operating System image creation and management. PowerShell has now become the standard for scripting and it has been deeply engrained into nearly all Microsoft products. There are also entire products like System Center Orchestrator whose sole purpose is to automate IT processes. There are even new certifications and standards around IT Service Management that stress the importance of automating IT processes.

 

So given all of these changes why am I writing a blog post on Why Automation Matters? Simply put, it is still not being done in a lot of cases. There are still thousands of System Administrators around the world that are clicking through wizards over and over again across many more thousands of client and server systems. Hundreds of thousands of hours are wasted on manual processes where automation could save the time. However even with the inefficiencies, System Administrators are being asked to perform at a much higher capacity than ever before. Gone are the days where you had one IT person for every five or ten servers. We have now reached a point where you are lucky to have one administrator for every few hundred virtual servers and in some cases one IT administrator for every few thousand virtual servers. At this scale these inefficiencies have to be eliminated. Business users are now tech savvy and are used to having immediate results with their Internet and consumer services. They are expecting similar results when it comes to IT. Sadly IT has not been able to meet the demand so this has led to a huge movement of rogue IT. If you can’t get your business users a virtual server stood up in a few minutes or hours, they will just go to Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services and stand up their own servers. If you can’t get them proper computing equipment that best meets their needs, they will go and buy the equipment and start using it on your network. Even if you lock down network access, business users are bypassing those rules by using consumer services like Dropbox and other file sharing utilities to get access to the data they need where they need it.

 

This challenge is why I joined Model Technology Solutions. Our goal is to work with your organization(s) to eliminate the inefficiencies of manual processes and find ways to automate as many of your IT processes as possible. Our goal is to take IT Service Management from being a buzz word to an actual reality in your organization. It doesn’t matter if your systems are on premises or in the clouds, you still need proper automation to truly use IT as a business advantage and not as a cost to doing business.

It will be a fun challenge and expect to hear much more from us on automation as we continue to work towards the goals of The Lazy Administrator.

 

Tim Mintner