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Rimo3 2022 Predictions: The Rise of Automation

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

The Rise of Automation

By Samit Halvadia, Chief Technology Officer, Rimo3

"Nice to Have" or "Must have"?  Technology Adoption in the Enterprise 

As I am sure it has been for many, this year in particular has been a very reflective one for me as Chief Technology Officer of a growing technology company. When we were planning our IT spend for 2022, there were certain areas that we were going to grow our investments, and others that we were going to scale back, or eliminate completely. As I looked over the vendors and their offerings, I got to thinking, "what makes technology evolve from being a nice to have to business critical?" Is it revenue generation? Is it cost savings? Is it risk mitigation? Is it time to value? And more importantly, what is the next technology trend that is going to become business critical?

Now there are some very trivial, operational answers that are very straightforward. With the explosion of remote working, there was a massive growth in communication and collaboration platforms. Simple. Makes sense. But this isn't the typical path for wide-scale technology adoption in the enterprise. That happens over years, and sometimes decades. This took me down a historical technology adoption wormhole that started with VDI (an area I know very well), detoured through cyber security, and ended in data. And in going through this journey, I found myself looking at the various evolution of each of these areas to figure out where I think the next trend will be.   

Let me start with data. While I am not a subject matter expert in data, I have a dear friend who happens to be the CTO of a large logistics company that started looking for a more efficient way to manage their data in 2016. They had huge amounts of disparate data sources (as most organizations typically do) in unstructured, partially structured, or rigidly structured formats and locations. They had data marts, data silos, data warehouses, and legacy SQL running on blades in their datacenter... but the important thing was that they had access to all the data that they needed to run their business. It was just a lot of overhead, management, time, and cost to maintain and extract that data to use it in a meaningful way - and when you are running a logistics company, that is not ideal. But everyone was managing their data in the same way, so why invest in changing it?    

I asked my buddy that same question when they started exploring the concept of moving everything to data lakes. They were going to provide the exact same output as his current data sources... they weren't gaining anything new. That's why no one else was doing it. It seemed like a "nice to have". After an 18-month Proof of Concept, they came to a very stark realization; if this was implemented properly, the performance would be a huge competitive differentiator... and the cost savings would be material (assuming that they had well-thought-out queries and executions across stages -i.e., Lake> Vault> Mart). The caveat was that if you didn't have a well-thought-out environment, it would be 10x more expensive than their status quo (sound familiar, cloud-based DaaS?). By 2019, they had gone "all-in" on the concepts of data lakes, and other logistics companies were struggling to compete and follow. They had taken a technology trend from a "nice to have" to "business-critical" in their respective vertical.

"What's Next?"  Investment in Automation for Legacy IT Operations 

While I am sure that there will be several trends that will make the shift over the coming years, one that I feel has already started and will continue to pick up steam is automation. Automation is a word that covers so many areas of enterprise IT and can seem like a broad and "safe" prediction. More specifically, I think that 2022 is the year that some of the early adopters in the enterprise will start to leverage automation as it pertains to legacy IT operations.

The idea of legacy IT operations also covers a huge spectrum of daily change and configuration management activities ranging from data resiliency, business continuity, support ticketing, patch management, application testing, OS image management, security patching, etc. We have already seen some enterprises begin to invest in automation and orchestration, particularly in the IT Services Management (ITSM) space. In a market that was nearly non-existent a few years ago (support ticketing was enough... no one wanted to invest in the orchestrations and integrations that are seen as business-critical today) has grown to ~$6bn today and is poised to grow to ~$12B by 2025. While this space is not necessarily deemed as "sexy technology", if you consider the investments that customers, partners, and private equity are making into the likes of ServiceNow, Atlassian, BMC, and Ivanti - it's clear that they have made the shift from "nice to have" to "must-have".   

In 2022, I see that this trend is going to expand into other areas of legacy IT operations outside of the traditional helpdesk. Based on the conversations that I have been having with some of our strategic partners, customers, and other technology leaders in this space, I am confident that enterprises AND the SMB will invest in leveraging platforms that provide automation and orchestration around applications, patches, and workspaces delivery and management. Having lived and breathed this space for the last 2 decades, it's clear that Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and their technology partners have spent the last few years investing in their respective technology stacks to help deploy changes faster. As one CIO recently told me, "The pace of change hasn't changed, but the impact of the change has become more disruptive". Without automating the mundane, IT will struggle to cope with the pace of change. So even when you look at tools like Autopilot, PowerShell scripts, RPA, automated application testing, patch deployment rings - they achieve the same outcome as if you were to do it manually... but they do it in a fraction of the time. With organizations running very lean IT operations over the past 2 years, any platform that provides a reduced time to value (even if it is the same outcome but eliminates the costly human capital) and liberates the human resources to focus on innovation; that platform will fall into the category of automating legacy IT operations. And in my opinion, that ability to shift from coping with change to embracing it will go hand in hand with the shift from "nice to have" to "must have". 

#changetoday #changetomorrow 



Samit Halvadia 

Samit is a lifelong enterprise app nerd that has spent the last 20 years in a variety of companies with a heavy focus around application management including InstallShield (Flexera), App-DNA (acquired by Citrix), and most recently Rimo3 - and it seems as though he will never be tired of it. He knows apps. Samit is a lifelong sufferer of the Chicago climate, but refuses to leave because he is surrounded by all his favorite things: his beautiful family, platform tennis (paddle), and wonderful golf courses. Luckily, because of his combined love for technology and travel, he can dodge a fair amount of grey, wintry days.

Published Thursday, January 20, 2022 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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