Workload Automation: Predicting Trends in 2014

workload_automation_011514.jpgDuring 2013, four converging technologies that are disrupting almost every business and market today have been acknowledged by the IT industry. Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) are also referred to by Gartner as the “Nexus of Forces”. When we talk about SMAC in our BMC Exchange events, we often break it down into two “Mega Trends”:

  • Consumerization: Mainly mobile, social and the general concept of keeping user interfaces as simple to use as possible
  • Industrialization: The transformation of the IT infrastructure to become more efficient and flexible by adopting cloud, big data, streamlined enterprise apps and embracing automation.

The 2014 Workload Automation trends are perfectly aligned with the general IT mega trends and are repeatedly expressed by customers in almost every meeting we have.

Deliver Digital Services – Faster

Digital services is what we consume today – so consequently, what business deliver.  And with the “anytime, anywhere” expectations that users have today, the rate of speed at which applications need to be delivered has increased.

By considering the batch job and workflow need in the early design and development phases of projects, you can reduce the time it takes to implement applications in production. Instead of scripting homegrown wrappers that will later be automated by generic scheduling tools, use a Workload Automation solution that provides native abilities to interact with the application, monitor its SLA, analyze workloads completion status, take automatic corrective actions in case of a failure and alert on problems. We have recently heard from a new BMC customer that using Control-M for Hadoop they were able to decrease their Hadoop implementation project time by 46%, about 6 months of development effort! And Hadoop is not a unique example. Same goes for SAP, file transfers, database queries or any other business application.

Collaboration & Self Service

Recently I had the pleasure of writing a text message on an old mobile phone keypad, and while I was struggling with switching between digits and letters, case sensitivity modes and languages, I suddenly realized how hard it is to switch back from my iPhone touch keyboard to what used to be an industry standard up until about 6 years ago. The adoption of smartphones and tablets, and the introduction of wearable devices such as Google Glass are all catalysts to increased users demand for easier, simpler and more accessible technology that behaves the way the average human expects.

In 2014, Workload Automation solutions will adopt this approach, providing client software and mobile apps with simple interfaces that are designed to meet the needs of the specific user persona they are targeted for – operators, schedulers, application developers or business users.

Self Service interfaces which allow application developers to submit workload change requests without opening helpdesk tickets, submitting manual forms or becoming Workload Automation experts will appear in 2014. This will help developers focus on building better applications that are aligned with their business demands, instead of developing scripts that automate workloads within these applications. Collaboration between application developers and production control should transform into a common practice in 2014, the same way the iPhone changed the mobile industry in 2007.

Expanding automation scope for what you know and what you don’t know

In 2014, organizations will increase Workload Automation’s span of control to cover more business applications than before. Simple-to-use, automated tools will allow the consolidation of workloads from multiple schedulers and business applications into a single solution providing a focal point of control. The production control team will no longer be required to use different tools and interfaces in order to manage batch activity. The use of automatic workload discovery tools will grow in 2014, allowing organizations to identify critical batch elements which they have not been aware of.

In 2014 Workload Automation will evolve from the IT “basement” to the desktops and smartphones of application developers and business users. The increased ROI and reduced time to value will become visible to all stakeholders. Self service, collaboration, workload conversion and workload discovery will become industry standards. It is going to be an exciting year!

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Tom Geva

Tom Geva

Tom Geva is an IT Workload Automation expert. Tom served as a Control-M product manager for more than 10 years and was responsible for translating the workload automation market requirements gathered from customers and analysts into product and business strategies, roadmap and specifications. Tom is deeply involved in the development process of all the Control-M releases. As a Sr. Solution Marketing Manager he frequently speaks in conferences and workload automation events. Tom holds 19 years of experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining BMC Software in 2001, Tom spent 4 years as a production control manager in the Israeli Defense Force and was responsible for workload automation and mainframe education services.