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Automation has been common in IT for a long time. Whether automation comes in the form of scripts, batch jobs, or other methods, it’s been a critical enabler of IT staff efficiency and consistency for years.

Recently, purpose-built automation tools for configuring servers, databases, application middleware, and more have grown in adoption. Run book orchestration tools have also been deployed to tie together sequences of routine tasks or automated actions.

In Our Experience

The typical IT organization has at least hundreds if not thousands or hundreds of thousands of automations operating across their environment. In many cases, only those who have written the scripts, programmed the jobs, or defined the run books have a full understanding of what the automation does, where it runs, and when. Others in the organization may have access to this information, while many more do not.

This means many decisions and actions are taken every day without a full understanding of the impact it will have on existing automations, and automations are modified without a full understanding of the potential impact this will cause.

The Risk of Not Managing Automations

Consider an automation that runs nightly and is responsible for moving and transforming data from one application to another. Most likely only a small number of people know this and it’s probably documented in a siloed automation tool. What if the server this automation runs on is taken offline for maintenance just before or during the execution of the automation? That could mean the data is not moved and transformed, impacting a business process the next morning and resulting in unplanned work to troubleshoot and remediate the issue.

Now consider that same automation. Perhaps other automations depend on its proper execution and then kick off additional actions to further transform the data and insert it into other applications or decision support systems. Perhaps the original author of the automation doesn’t know about these downstream dependencies on their automation – a very common case, or perhaps they are no longer even employed by the company. Let’s say someone decides to make a change to the automation and place the working data files on another server for improved performance. Now those other automations no longer find the data they need for their subsequent actions bringing those activities to an unexpected halt.

ITinvolve brings order to your automations

  • Ensure full visibility into all the automations running across your environment – including what they do, where they run, when they run, and who wrote them
  • Proactively make information about your automations available to teams planning changes that could impact them
  • Modify automations with a full understanding of the likely upstream and downstream impacts
  • Inform experts when changes are made to automations so they can modify dependent automations as necessary
  • Manage your automation content in order to avoid “property explosion” and unwieldy automations

Visualize Automation Dependencies