OpsRamp: 4 pillars for IT Ops automation

This is a guest post for the Computer Weekly Developer Network written by Bhanu Singh in his role as SVP of product management and cloud operations at OpsRamp.

OpsRamp is a specialist in service-centric AIOps platform technology for hybrid IT infrastructure monitoring and management.

Singh suggests that in the age of digital transformation, IT environments are more complex and expansive than ever (yes, we know that part)… but he also suggests that in response, enterprise IT leaders have increasingly embraced automation solutions that offload the burden of repetitive and time-consuming tasks from their already overworked IT staff to let them focus on higher-value activities.

However, many are finding that increased system complexity is creating a new list of challenges to tackle.

Singh writes as follows…

Specifically, they’re finding that in many cases integration with existing tools is more difficult than they expected, that many automation tools aren’t robust enough to address the growing complexity of multi-cloud environments and ephemeral, cloud-native workloads, and that they have to cede control over key business processes when they automate.

Worse, once they have implemented automated processes, they realise that the rules- and policy-driven nature of automation isn’t well suited to the dynamic spirit of today’s IT landscape.

So what’s an IT pro to do?

Here are four potential solutions for overcoming even the most complex IT automation challenges.

#1 Dedicated automation management

Virtually every business is already divided into functional teams and dedicated resources. IT automation isn’t much different. Creating a dedicated automation team or appointing an automation administrator provides the manpower needed to coordinate and update thousands of rules to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently.

#2 Adopt more point tools

One automation challenge most IT teams do not face is a lack of available tools. These days, there’s a standalone tool for virtually any IT need. Organisations with sufficient resources can generally find solutions that fill in important automation gaps and further reduce the strain on already overworked IT teams. This, however, is often an expensive proposition, and it’s all too easy to introduce complexity if you’re not careful.

#3 Divide automation workloads

Because most organisations are trying to centralise their IT operations rather than segregate them, divvying up automation workloads across lines of business or siloes is a bit counterintuitive. But done right, an organisation can realistically tackle the massive volume of constantly changing automation policies and keep business moving along.

#4 Turn over automation to AI

Applying AI to IT operations — AIOps — not only automates the most time-consuming, repetitive tasks, but also higher-order and more complex ones. AIOps learns to identify warning signals amid massive volumes of information that humans might miss, contextualise their importance, and take appropriate and decisive action immediately without human intervention.

IT automation has benefitted organisations far and wide over the years.

But as businesses become increasingly digitised with more infrastructure, services, and data streams, they’ll need to find new ways to balance offloading repetitive tasks with maintaining complete control over an ever-growing infrastructure.

OpsRamp’s Singh: don’t divvy up (automation) until you wise up.


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