With its roots in mainframe job scheduling, workload automation is often seen as a relic in today's age of cloud, Big Data, mobile management and DevOps. Do we even still need workload automation as a separate discipline or should we simply roll the management of batch jobs into other automation disciplines, such as IT process automation? Is the market for workload automation software stagnating or is there still potential for growth?
During this year's research for the 2012 EMA Workload Automation (WLA) Radar Report, we encountered a number of very interesting core findings. These research results mostly originated from dozens of conversations with end customers, who have been using WLA software for many years and sometimes even for decades. WLA, by definition, is a mature discipline, as it started during the beginning of mainframe times, then became more complex when organizations adopted distributed computing, and today is faced with a new challenge: the cloud. Please take a look at what our research showed as the most important aspects of a modern WLA solution. The following vendors were included in the report: Arcana, ASCI, ASG, BMC, CA Technologies, Cisco, Flux, MVP Systems, Network Automation, ORSYP, Stonebranch, UC4.
IT as a Service is one of the hottest topics these days. In a nutshell, it entails the radical alignment of all IT disciplines around strategic business requirements. Instead of having to beg IT for resources and services, as many of us are accustomed to, we can now pick all the resources and services from an easy-to-use online catalog. Workload automation features are finally becoming part of this service catalog, allowing business users to trigger, monitor, and even repair essential job flows.
A friend of mine recently asked why I am even still interested in enterprise computing when all the innovation is happening within the consumer electronics sector. Smartphones, tablet computers, e-book readers, and audio streaming devices have changed the way we live our daily lives. Now that I read the NYTimes on my iPad, I get through a substantially larger part of the newspaper, compared to when I was reading the paper edition. Now that I use "Read it Later," I finally get to actually read all the interesting website articles that I bookmark during my workday, while relaxing in the evening on the couch with my iPad. Since I have Rhapsody on my iPhone, I get to actually listen to my favorite rare albums while driving to work. My Squeezebox streaming music players on my nightstand and in my living room allow me to listen to my favorite global radio stations, or I can create my own custom channels, by entering a number of my favorite bands. My home alarm system is controlled through an online dashboard or an iPad/iPhone app, so that I can turn off specific motion sensors or the entire system remotely.