In an effort to address the needs of my Global 2000 client base and to stay current with evolving trends in the overall Information Management industry, I have begun to cover the IT Automation market. While I have been working diligently to establish myself as a global thought leader over the past 10 years in eDiscovery and Information Governance, I have also maintained an awareness of the technology and trends in IT Automation. These trends begin to really catch my attention in January 2013 when Gartner announced the retirement of the Magic Quadrant for Workload Automation. Gartner commented, “Since workload automation is becoming part of a wider systematic approach to automation, Gartner is retiring the Magic Quadrant for workload automation. IT operations leaders must evaluate workload automation in the context of broad data center or application and process automation efforts.” My eDiscovery and Information Governance followers may wonder what any of this has to do with eDiscovery and Information Governance. The simple answer is it has a lot to do with automating the management of the ever increasing volumes of Electronically Created and Stored Information (ECSI) and associated IT systems and infrastructure.
The term Workload Automation was originally coined by Gartner Group Vice-President Milind Govekar in the 1990’s to describe emerging trends in IT management that represented an evolution of traditional job schedulers which needed to react to major architectural changes in applications and IT infrastructure and the dynamic demands of IT. Job schedulers have been around almost as long as the modern mainframe computer and refer to the process of controlling unattended background program execution commonly called batch processing.
However, with IT organizations required to manage increasingly complex processes that are codependent on one another and that span technological, application, departmental and geographic boundaries, IT automation is undergoing a dramatic paradigm shift. The time has come for IT automation to consolidate and unify into a single point of control that enables both IT and business professionals to automate processes that span the spectrum of user requirements from mundane job scheduling to complex Information Governance workflows.
I envision the same workflow management software that enables a credit union to automatically run the nightly batch jobs required to balance its ledgers also enabling any Global 2000 corporation to ensure that its document management policies are automatically enforced. There are currently many vendors in the marketplace that can manage job scheduling and others that are attempting to automate document management policies. And, there are other vendors such as IBM, BMC and HP that contend they can do it all. However, I believe, as is the case in all technology paradigm shifts, there will be a dramatic shakeup of the current vendor “leader board” in IT automation. Some well known legacy vendors will fade into the sunset, other legacy vendors will evolve and adapt, new players with software built on exciting new technology stacks will emerge and there will be a period of consolidation and acquisition as the market normalizes.
All of these factors are why I will now be investigating, analyzing and providing commentary and opinion on the evolving IT Automation market.
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