The term, “workload automation,” often conjures images of an army of robots zipping around an enterprise performing arduous tasks while the IT manager sits comfortably in a lounge chair at the back of the data center sipping a Mai Tai. Well, it’s not quite that Jetsonesque just yet – we’ll have to wait a few years for the robots and Mai Tais – but there is a fundamental truth in how workload automation dramatically reduces management effort and improves IT performance. Put simply, workload automation (sometimes still referred to as “job scheduling”) aggregates the placement and execution of individual business processes (i.e. applications, data bases, web services, or any other jobs that would be hosted by an enterprise IT system) to the optimal location (e.g. a server, a cloud, or a virtual machine) at the appropriate time to maximize performance and minimize costs.
Traditionally, software-based workload automation solutions have been adopted by larger enterprises as their secret weapon in optimizing IT operational performance, providing them with a competitive edge in the marketplace. Conversely, the majority of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have continued to rely on manual processes and unreliable scripting to place workloads. In fact, according to EMA primary research, 49% of SMBs consider “too many scripts” as a primary challenge to IT management. Due to limited budgets and a lack of IT infrastructure and knowledgeable administrators, many SMBs have believed true workload automation to be out of their reach – at least, until recently.
A recent blog posted by IBM Cloud Strategy Manager, Manish Aggarwal, exemplifies how the introduction of cloud-hosted workload automation makes the technology much more accessible to the broader SMB market. The write-up introduces readers to the simplicity of adopting workload automation via the IBM Service Engage cloud-hosted management solution. With a cost more commiserate to SMB budgets, cloud-hosted workload automation is a more attractive option for organizations with limited resources.
Key advantages for SMBs to adopt cloud-hosted workload automation include:
- No up-front infrastructure or implementation costs – no hardware or software components need to be purchased or deployed, so there is no investment or commitment
- Immediate availability – the environment is pre-built, so there is no need to install or deploy the solution
- Remote accessibility – cloud-hosted management consoles are designed to be securely accessible from any device at any location
- High-availability – cloud-hosted services are designed to be eminently available with built-in redundancy and disaster recovery
- Scalability – leveraging cloud elasticity means the service is always right-sized to support the number of workloads essential to the business
- Technical assistance – support is included in the costs of the solution, providing administrators with valuable technical assistance in deploying and managing their workloads
Leveraging the power of workload automation, SMBs can now dynamically place their IT workloads for improved efficiency and effectiveness, positioning them on equal footing with their larger competitors. SMBs can no longer hide behind excuses of budget constraints and administrative staff size for an inability to improve IT speed and performance. Cloud-hosted workload automation, such as IBM Service Engage, has leveled the playing field, allowing the true value of an organization’s applications and services to shine regardless of the size of the business.
For more information on workload automation and to follow the conversation, check out:
Service Management 360 blogs: http://bit.ly/1anzPYI
IBM Service Engage: http://bit.ly/Qh4bGW
Twitter: IBM Cloud ITSM
And follow my discussions on the topic at:
The Systems Café blog: http://blogs.enterprisemanagement.com/stevebrasen/