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Just Stick to the Script?

Written By Gary Catlin
Feb 9, 2023

Have you ever patched your servers using scripts only to realize that you missed another script for pre-update configuration compliance that had to run beforehand?

Most IT organizations start with scripting simple, repetitive tasks in either Python, PowerShell, or Perl to help provide the quickest ROI. Common pain points solved for are creating user accounts, installing patches, software, and provisioning resources such as virtual machines (VMs), etc.

As IT environments get more complex and convoluted, scripts get more challenging to manage. The work it takes to maintain them becomes more taxing.

If your automation is limited to only scripts, you aren’t really doing enough!

With the dawn of the scripting era years ago, everyone believed repeatable automations could be easily created for anything that mattered. But the truth is, command line interface (CLI) only plays a small part in the overall process automation. If you’re just automating specific tasks, you’re missing significant opportunities to strategically transform your business.

The key to maximum operational efficiency cannot be achieved at the individual task level. It must be done at a process level: improving operational velocity cannot be achieved only with individual task automation through scripting, but it’s also about sequencing the workflow, orchestrating tasks across a hybrid IT landscape, and finally automating the hand-offs and the approvals.

And that’s why you need IT Process Automation (ITPA).

Gartner defines ITPA as solutions that “coordinate the execution of work, sequence the timing of subordinate workflow and scripts, and orchestrate the delivery of multiple tasks and services across different IT groups and models.”

Orchestration plays an important role in process automation. It is the thread that ties the different tasks and point automations together to build a process workflow. Bringing your scripts into an automation platform can help you:

  • Re-use scripts for multiple automations by converting it into a library
  • Maintain an audit log of what it was run and what the output was
  • Sequence tasks into a workflow and make decisions based on the output and take another action
  • Standardize and use source control to track changes
  • Make it available for different IT teams to use
    • For example, SME-approved scripts can be triggered off directly from ITSM platforms to give them a head start on diagnosing an IT incident.

ITPA is not about re-doing your automations. It’s about standardizing your existing automations while building out new workflows and runbooks.

Processes that can get an uplift with ITPA platforms:

Orchestrate infrastructure provisioning​

  • Automation for package deployment, hypervisor management, config backup and restore​, and filesystem management​
  • Provisioning and configuration for local/remote accounts​, cloud instances​, and VMs

Application provisioning and delivery​

  • Automation and orchestration of app diagnostics and health checks​, app installations, install and config of monitoring agents​

Incident response and resolution ​

  • Automation and orchestration for performing proactive health checks​, validation and detection of false positives​, alarm/event handling​, and ticket enrichment.

Organizations achieve real ROI by implementing an end-to-end automation platform that can leverage scripts. For example, Telecommunications company Zayo recently improved efficiency in their Network Control Center operations by using Resolve’s unified automation platform, reducing customer call times, and lowering Mean Time to Identify (MTTI) and Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR).

Request a demo and discover how you can achieve operational excellence in IT and achieve a more than 90% time savings for many tasks previously done on the command line.

About the author, Gary Catlin:

About the author, Gary Catlin:

Head of Professional Services

A highly skilled, experienced, and driven professional services leader, Gary Catlin has spent years supporting every aspect of the software sales lifecycle, including architecting and delivering large-scale hands-on implementations, managing and leading project delivery, presenting to both technical and C-Level audiences, and driving best practices and innovation in automation implementation methodologies. He has an extensive technical skillset across network, integrations, and automation, as well as building up powerful soft skills that allow him to engage with and build relationships with customers and prospects while leading and driving delivery engagements. Having worked with hundreds of customers from all verticals, Gary brings a deep understanding of the OSS/BSS world, as well as IT Service Management (ITSM) Automation—and more importantly, how all these things fit together.