What is holding organizations back when it comes to automation? And how can organizations move towards IT infrastructure automation more productively? Here are a few issues affecting the rate of automation adoption in the IT world.
1. IT's orientation towards tasks
Automation is often implemented at a granular level - for example, network administration of IP addresses. However, managing these addresses is actually part of a bigger picture: the entire security management directive that embraces many different areas of the IT infrastructure as a whole.
Tying these pieces together into a universal infrastructure strategy is very difficult and prevents organizations from making the most of automation.
2. Complex IT environments
When the IT department deploys the service, that service might be deployed quickly and without any documentation. The team might not even properly script or refresh them for accurate application testing.
For example, app testing might require many instances of an operating system with changing components like databases. Since there are so many different system configurations, you can't guarantee that all the test systems will be taken down once testing is complete. And over time, handling these IT assets will become challenging. They will end up wasting resources that could have been provisioned anywhere.
Now you see why the complexity of an organization's IT environment is another factor inhibiting it from automating the IT infrastructure. IT teams are already facing such complexity at hand and are reluctant to potentially complicate their lives with automation.
3. Lack of leadership or strategy in infrastructure building
The IT infrastructure is the engine running behind all of the applications and data that empower a business. However, it's not visible to people who are not directly involved with it.
That's why the non-technical upper management and boards of directors might find the concept of automating it difficult. They have to understand the value of cloud infrastructure and what automation can bring for the company. If that's not the case, they might not be ready to agree with CIOs when asked for expensive automation solutions. These often compete with flashier projects like a new ERP system or investments in new tablets for the salesforce.
4. Tool sprawl
IT professionals are often tasked with researching all the different infrastructure tools available on the market and making recommendations. These recommendations result in purchasing decisions.
However, these recommendations are based on the features and capabilities of the tool - not on whether it cleanly integrates with the existing infrastructure. As a result, organizations experience tool sprawl because a set of tools that are hard to integrate become a wasted asset. The perfect automation tool will nicely fit into the toolbox of your IT team.
5. Upfront investment
There's no denying that IT infrastructure automation comes with upfront investment. To make sure that automation brings organizations the results they seek, it's essential to first identify the areas where automation should be deployed and where it will bring quick wins (or the greatest return on investment). After starting a project like this, implementing automation elsewhere will become an easier task.
IT infrastructure automation comes with its challenges but if you know about them, you are able to deal with them early on.