BMC Pushes Automation to the DevOps Left

Original article

Much of the inherent conflict that exists between developers and IT operations teams often comes down to how IT automation processes are implemented. IT operations teams generally have their own preferred tools for automating operations while developers have another. To resolve that issue, BMC Software unveiled Control-M Workbench, a set of development tools that extends an application programming interface (API) to allow developers to embed instructions for automating infrastructure using BMC Control-M automation platform.

Gur Steif, president for digital automation at BMC Software, says Control-M Workbench moves the responsibility for automating the IT infrastructure resources that their application consumes, including the ability to code, debug and test workflows. The IT operations team can then more easily deploy that application in a production environment, he says.

In effect, BMC Software is enabling IT organizations to put the control of how jobs are executed in a production environment in the hands of developers by moving that function further to the left of the DevOps life cycle. Control-M Workbench represents the first time BMC is venturing beyond its traditional IT operations base to create a tool that will primarily be employed by developers.

Steif says the goal is to enable IT operations teams to manage much higher volumes of application rollouts. In return for spending a few minutes on installing Control-M Workbench, IT organizations can deliver application 20 percent faster, while running jobs using 50 percent fewer full-time employees. In addition, Stief says production incidents can be reduced by up to 25 percent and batch processing failure rate can drop by as much as 80 percent.

Control-M Workbench is clearly part of a trend to give developers more control over and responsibility for IT operations. A recent survey of 650 IT decision makers conducted by BMC finds 94 percent of IT decision makers expect automation to spread into all other areas of business by 2020.

In addition, the survey notes that 73 percent of IT decision makers believe businesses that do not embrace IT automation to achieve the larger digital business strategy within the next five years will cease to exist in 10 years. The top three areas of investment priority in the next 24 months to achieve those goals are containerization, workload automation/scheduling and DevOps. Almost 9 in 10 (89 percent) respondents concur that IT automation needs to achieve their desired digital business objectives.

However, there are considerable obstacles that need to be overcome, including lack of budget (67 percent), skills (44 percent) and time (51 perent). In fact, 42 percent of the respondents concede that when it comes to digital business initiatives there are conflicting objectives between business units and CIOs that can get in the way of crafting a comprehensive IT strategy.

DevOps, of course, is more about people and processes than it is technology. Then again, DevOps isn’t going to be willed into existence without providing the tools needed to change the processes. Given the chicken-and-egg relationship between processes and tools, it becomes incumbent on the IT leadership to serve as the catalyst for bringing it all together.

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