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Automation as Manna? What One Study Says About Some Cloud Projects

It's very simple for vendors to commission surveys that demonstrate the needs for their products and services. Sometimes these self-serving surveys provide interesting information; sometimes they are so biased that they lose all credibility.

A recent survey conducted for automation software vendor UC4 among British IT decision-makers is different because it basically says that if IT shops don't automate their operations, they will not be able to initiate cloud projects. The UC4 press release cites the burdens faced by admins, the abundance of siloed systems and the general malaise faced by IT organizations as they struggle to keep their heads above water. It also notes that 38 percent of respondents view automation and orchestration as key components of their cloud strategy.

In my opinion, this whole tack of blaming legacy infrastructures for the alleged inability of companies to initiate cloud projects smacks more of scare tactics than it does of benign benevolence. I'm not bad-mouthing the value of automation here -- its true value is widely understood and understandably valued by IT organizations that want to add business value by streamlining their operations. Having said that, I am curious to know what percentage of companies that are implementing or have implemented cloud projects were only able to do so after significantly automating their operations.

I've been paying attention to this stuff for a while now, and I have yet to hear a great chorus chanting about how only God-given automation has been able to open the cloud doors that had been so securely locked in the past. Actually, isn't one of cloud's key benefits its ability to enhance system performance by offloading a lot of the burdens associated with non-automated environments? Isn't it possible to kick off a cloud project and let it increasingly make life easier?

Automation: Yes. Automation as the only key to cloud: No.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 06/28/2011 at 12:48 PM


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