Brad, nice post but i think monitoring is obvious and common sense, when you write about automated tools, you can spend all the time in the world monitoring your systems, but if you are not able to quickly identify, analyze and resolve the problems, youre really no better off than you were at the start of the process. Simply put, monitoring just isn't enough to keep IT operations running efficiently (i believe this is the big challenge). Think about what happens in the event of a system outage. Whether its internal IT or a managed service provider, the focus immediately becomes about time to resolution. The longer critical systems are down, the more devastating an impact it will have on an organization. With regular monitoring, time is not on your side. Every moment you spend manually working to resolve the situation, your service levels are dropping. This is where automated tools get's in!
I would suggest taking sometime and writing about the benefits of automation tools and also to list some of them, i can also think of at least 100 ways sysadmins can use automation tools, i can work with you on listing those...
BR, Gabby Nizri
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