HP aims to automate routine IT operations

The company's Automated Operations 1.0 set of products is intended to help businesses process routine IT tasks automatically

Running routine software updates is a costly and time-consuming chore that most companies would like to do without. According to HP, the company's new tools will automate many routine jobs, such as updating software and anti-virus applications, that consume expensive staff time.

The HP Automated Operations 1.0 set of products was launched at the HP Software Universe conference in Barcelona on Tuesday.

The company hopes that the suite will help organisations automate many of IT managers' everyday tasks, as well as many ad-hoc tasks, such as producing routine reports and responding to common queries.

The products are part of what HP calls a "strategic focus", built around six key objectives for its software division.

These products create "better business efficiencies by driving costs [down]", according to Tom Hogan, head of software for the company and the man charged with driving the strategy. The other objectives of the strategy are: achieving better alignment with businesses' needs, increasing innovation, better service quality, delivering results more quickly and saving costs through streamlining IT operations, and reducing risk.

HP Automated Operations 1.0 software suite is itself split into three main applications: IT Service Management, Business Service Management and Business Service Automation. The suite is the fruit of HP's aggressive acquisition strategy and comprises various components from HP OpenView, Peregrine, Mercury Interactive and Opsware.

HP's Business Service Automation software is a single platform which is intended to automate all IT processes and to help drive change across applications, servers, networks, storage and clients. The platform also provides a central configuration management database (CMDB) for reporting, which HP says will also reduce the cost and risk of change, while providing audit and compliance capabilities.

HP has enhanced its IT Service Management software and added related services that offer best practices through blueprints, training and assessments. The software is designed to help companies define, deliver and manage business services across their life cycle.

"We have been aggressively expanding our software portfolio in the last two years to broaden and deepen our capabilities, to help customers improve their top and bottom lines," said Hogan.

Partly because of its acquisitions, HP has grown the software side of its business to a current value of $42bn (£20bn), and it is now the sixth-largest software business in the world.

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