More automation needed in IT operations

15 September 2017

Fujitsu’s Olivier Delachapelle believes increased automation leads to application-focused teams rather than systems-level specialism.

Fujitsu’s Olivier Delachapelle believes increased automation leads to application-focused teams rather than systems-level specialism.

Keeping up with the pace of change and driving improvements is hard due to high routine workloads for many IT departments, according to a recent study from Fujitsu. 

In a survey of 156 IT leaders in a range of industries across Europe including the UK and Ireland, the world’s fourth largest IT services provider found that 33 per cent wanted to spend less time on admin tasks.

Instead, 56 per cent would prefer to devote more time to forward-planning, and 50 per cent on coordination and collaboration with others, with a view to improving IT infrastructures and processes.

According to the study, the complexity of tools, infrastructure and platforms represents the biggest hindrance to operations. But 61 per cent of IT departments also say they suffer from a skills shortage and a heavy reliance on manual processes and custom scripting. 

Fujitsu says all these factors mean that IT teams experience major bandwidth problems when it comes to key tasks: one in five say troubleshooting problems is a major issue for them, while a similar number struggle with deploying new applications and services, and implementing upgrades and reconfigurations.

The firm believes the research findings underline a “clear need” for a more coherent and automated approach to IT operations to reduce pressure on IT departments. It says the vast majority of respondents see automation as ‘highly valuable’ or ‘worthwhile’ throughout the operations cycle, from initial provisioning through routine operation and support to ongoing change management. 

Despite this, Fujitsu says few have appropriate automation capabilities in place.

The study reveals that only 21 per cent currently use fully automated, policy-driven resource provisioning, only 17 per cent have automated live migration of workloads, and just 12 per cent rely on automated self-diagnostics and self-healing.

While budget, complexity and time considerations are the main roadblocks to exploiting the full potential of IT operations automation, the firm also found that nearly a quarter of organisations already recognise how an integrated, software-defined data centre can help them implement an automation strategy. 

“There is clearly a strong correlation between the level of automation in an IT organisation and the quality of service delivery,” says Olivier Delachapelle, head of enterprise business, category management data centre, Fujitsu EMEIA. “Increased automation leads to application and business-focused teams, rather than systems-level specialism, a crucial success factor for digitalisation.”