Broadcom this week published a global survey of 535 IT leaders that found more than three-quarters (78%) are moving to consolidate cloud automation tools and platforms. However, thus far, only 8% of respondents said they had completed that effort.
Overall, the survey also found more than 81% already have multiple cloud automation solutions in place, and 70% noted this issue had created significant challenges, including increasing time to automate (59%), time to report (52%) and time to remediation (52%) and higher costs (49%). In addition, 46% noted it’s more difficult to troubleshoot IT environments, while 41% noted multiple tools increase compliance risks.
IT teams also find that having multiple automation tools slows down software delivery (37%) and contributes to the over-provisioning of IT environments (32%).
Aline Gerew, head of automation for the Agile Operations Division at Broadcom, said the multiple islands of automation that have evolved on various cloud computing platforms now need to be centralized to reduce the current level of friction in the cloud. Those efforts need to start with platforms capable of unifying observability across all the platforms employed, she added.
The amount of consolidation that any IT organization can implement depends on the amount of political capital they have. In many cases, the applications and associated automation tools running in any given environment have been adopted by a department or business unit that exercises a lot of autonomy regarding IT. The issue that creates is multiple tools and platforms increase the total cost of IT. At a time when many organizations are experiencing economic headwinds, the need to reduce the total cost of IT naturally becomes a more pressing concern.
Rather than consolidate automation tools and platforms, the simpler option is to deploy an automation framework that is designed to be integrated with the various tools and platforms that are already in place, noted Gerew. That approach enables automation to be applied at much higher levels of scale to reduce costs without forcing every arm of an organization to standardize on the same tools and platform, she noted.
The survey found that, when it comes to cloud automation, the most important consideration factors are operational costs (62%), performance (53%) and operational efficiency (49%).
Responsibility for cloud automation will naturally vary from one organization to the next, but the survey noted that 67% of respondents currently have a cloud architect on staff and another 33% are planning to hire one.
That role is increasingly required as organizations find themselves managing a wide range of cloud computing environments, including software-as-a-service applications (57%), legacy applications that have been lifted into the cloud (56%), new cloud-native applications (46%) and legacy applications that have been refactored for the cloud (41%).
It’s apparent that cloud computing environments are becoming more complex with each passing day. There may come a day when artificial intelligence (AI) helps reduce the level of complexity; in the meantime, IT organizations need to find ways to streamline the management of cloud computing environments. Today, those environments are made up of applications based on a wide range of increasingly divergent architectures as the rate of application deployments exceeds the retirement of legacy apps.
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