Cole: Enterprise automation has become quite a challenge, particularly in virtual and cloud systems. What are some of the key considerations in automating these new environments?
Fletcher: My first observation is that virtual environments are more of a concern for large organizations than the cloud today. Virtualization allows companies to maximize the existing physical infrastructure to help meet two objectives: reduction of TCO and agility to respond to business demand. Virtualization causes a scaling issue – nothing more. You have a cost optimization policy that pushes virtualization as a solution and you have to manage that environment. This improves Time To Market (TTM) for new services but potentially impacts Time To Delivery (TTD) of daily operations like SLA as you are servicing more environment instances with the same physical resources. IT operations managers must balance TTD measures and TTM needs on a regular basis. Automation from companies like ORSYP gives the assurance that TTD can be met and, with the right product, can ensure that you have the flexibility to adapt to new business demand.
Cole: Complex systems require complex automation stacks. How can enterprises avoid over-complicating their automation systems so that it doesn’t begin to hamper productivity?
Fletcher: That is a misconception. Complex automation stacks are not required. In fact, complex systems need simplification. The automation stack should be broad and deep, not complex. Job scheduling solutions are, and have been for a long time, more powerful than people think. There is a preconception that job scheduling is just about calendars and process execution, which is a limited and naïve view. These products have broad technical environment support and deep application integration and therefore many options and many solutions are possible – be it “straight through processing,” “business process acceleration,” “business process automation” or “composite applications.”
Job scheduling solutions are designed to automate, integrate and accelerate anything in the IT operations management environment. The only level of extra complexity is to deal with the unavoidable human intervention – for this, a layer of human work flow or Run Book Automation may be required.
Cole: As a newcomer to the North American market, what do you anticipate will be the main differences in IT environments compared to the European market?
Fletcher: We don’t anticipate any difference. Business models may be different and this is mostly related to how governments fund the economy or how finance is structured. For example, higher education in the U.S. costs the individual much more than in Europe, so IT systems get better investment in the U.S. in this vertical than they would in the UK or the rest of Europe. However, a telco is a telco, and globally their challenges and competition are well defined and well documented. This is truly a global market and all companies have the same IT infrastructure challenges.