In a very short period of time, computing resources have gone from very expensive and scarce to highly available and affordable. The number of different applications, technologies, and platforms in the modern IT environment has grown significantly as a result of an accelerating set of business requirements, digitalization of many business processes, and more.
The benefits to the organization of this exponential computing environment growth are clear, but have come with a caveat: IT staffing and talent acquisition has not kept pace. The need for qualified IT people continues to expand, and finding experienced candidates with just the right skill sets to manage IT growth is harder than ever. For example, positions like big data scientist and chief automation officer (job titles that didn’t even exist 10 years ago) are becoming more common positions at businesses, and the people to fill those roles are few and far between.
This IT resources gap – the difference between the number of computing resources and the IT staff required to manage them – has become one of the most serious problems affecting the industry today, according to experts. According to Gartner (News - Alert) Vice President and Fellow Dave Aron's 2016 CIO Agenda at this year's Gartner Symposium/ITXPO, 66 percent of CIOs believe talent scarcity is reaching crisis proportions.
To close the IT resources gap, many organizations have implemented multiple automated scheduling solutions. However, managing all of these different tools or silos of automation has become complicated and expensive. According to Gartner, most organizations have anywhere from three to eight automation tools in place. Each department employing an automation tool is attempting to solve its own issues, and department heads feel falsely satisfied that they have done this.
However, the CIO is seeing an entirely different scenario looking at the organization as a whole: Multiple siloed technologies mean multiple support staffs, multiple training programs, and higher licensing costs for multiple solutions. The result is a dismal big picture of lower efficiency, decreased agility, and skyrocketing costs. What’s more, the multi-silo scenario further exacerbates the IT resources gap, requiring more staff, spread even more thinly, with redundancies in responsibility for managing each individual solution.
How can the changing needs of business and the critical IT resources gap be addressed successfully at the same time? The answer can be found when simply adopting a new point of view, one that leaves behind a siloed approach to workload automation and shifts to a comprehensive, architectural one.
Today’s best architectural workload automation solutions allow for the consolidation of various point solutions, and the adoption of a unified, end-to-end automation strategy. This approach leads to greater agility within the IT environment, more flexibility in addressing the different IT needs at hand, and greater scalability as business requirements grow in the future. This type of comprehensive integration also offers improved API accessibility and centralized monitoring, leading to even greater economies of scale. And those economies let organizations make a much-needed dent in the IT resources gap.
No doubt, automated solutions are the answer to many of the challenges within the IT landscape today. But as computing resources continue to grow in breadth and depth, an architectural approach to automation is key to managing that growth – and the accompanying IT human resource gap – without adversely affecting business performance today, and in the long run.
Kaitlin Olcott is marketing communication specialist at Advanced Systems Concepts Inc.
Edited by Maurice Nagle