Automation is one of the best ways to increase the overall efficiency and agility of your organization. The rapid adoption of IT automation is one of the most exciting trends that I see across the industry today.
Though it can take many forms, I like to break it into 3 broad types which are specific to IT monitoring and event management.
Automatically gather additional data to help streamline the diagnosis of events. This could include grabbing the output from a CLI command, testing the network connectivity and path, or pulling additional information from an asset database. The ancillary data is appended to the event or ticket and saves the operations team the time and effort of manually obtaining it. Automating this data collection has an additional benefit, as well. It reflects the state of environment within the data during an event, rather than when a human gets a chance to manually investigate the incident.
Automatically trigger scripted actions when specific events occur. This might include starting/stopping a process, rebooting a server, or kicking off an orchestration script. Any action that you can script can become an automated remediation action.
Automatically share information to streamline operational workflows. This might include tool-to-tool or tool-to-human notification. Tool-to-tool automations are particularly powerful because they increase consistency and speed resolution, while also reducing human error.
A great example of this is an integration with a CMDB. By using discovery and change events to automatically update a downstream CMDB, the information in the CMDB is guaranteed to be correct and actionable.
Workflow automation can take advantage of the broader API industry trend, as well. Tools expose data and services through programmable interfaces to enable powerful tool-chains with the help of an API integration.
So, how does automation really work? Here is a very simple example:
- An an organization processes 100,000 events per year (less than 300 each day)
- 15% of events are identified as common, and time-consuming to close
- Organization implements techniques to automate events
As a result, the implementation of automation reduces time to collect data, investigate, and resolve each incident by ten minutes. In addition, the annual savings from automation amounts to 312 staff days.
Imagine if your organization could free up this much time. What new business initiatives could you tackle? Is it worth a few days to identify and build some automations? How far could you take this?
ScienceLogic’s Runbook Automation and open APIs are ideally suited to this type of implementation.
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