There’s a level of frustration starting to build inside IT operations teams that’s about to boil over. Lucas Carlson, vice president of strategy for Automic, a unit of CA Technologies that provides an IT automation platform, says developers are bullying IT operations teams by programmatically invoking application programming interfaces (APIs) exposed by public cloud service providers. As the number of application workloads running in those clouds increases, IT operations professionals are losing control.
To ensure their continued relevance, IT operations teams need to leverage automation to inject levels of agility into local data center environments, he says. That would make it much less likely developers would feel the need to programmatically invoke IT infrastructure resources.
Carlson says achieving that level of agility will require IT operations teams to rely more on machine- and deep-learning algorithms to automate low-level tasks. Instead of thinking in terms of managing silos of compute, storage and networking resources, Carlson contends IT operations professionals need to reinvent themselves.
The artificial intelligence (AI) models based on advanced algorithms must be trained continuously. IT operation professionals could become the trainers of those AI models. In fact, Carlson says IT operations teams are approaching a critical moment in history: They can either wait for AI models to eventually replace them or they can leverage them to take back control of IT infrastructure.
However, developers tend to make decisions based on what they prefer versus what’s best for the organization. Before too long, multiple duplicate operations management frameworks are in place. Rather than incur all those management headaches and associated technical debt, Carlson says organizations need a single framework that can more adroitly accommodate the multiple roles within the DevOps team. It’s already long past the time when IT teams should have modernized their operations, he says.
The relationship between developers and IT operations teams has always been contentious. The more belligerent members of the developer community are even making a case for “NoOps.” In that context, all the IT dollars spent on operations are moved into developing applications because the management of IT infrastructure is completely automated. Given the amount of legacy infrastructure that isn’t likely changing anytime soon, achieving that level of automation inside the enterprise won’t happen for a while. But there’s no doubt that IT operations needs to get more agile. Because of that issue, investment in software-defined data center (SDDC) technologies is growing rapidly.
Instead of resisting that trend, Carlson says teams need to demand that internal IT operations be brought into the 21st century. It’s true that SDDCs infused with AI models will automate most of the lower-level tasks associated with DevOps. But those members of that IT operations teams who become the masters of building and training those AI models will be among the most highly sought-after individuals in IT.