IT directors are struggling to cope with the rising complexity of disparate systems. According to new research from Novell, 90 percent of IT directors believe that they need more automation to cope with the difficulty of combining physical, virtual and cloud systems.

Furthermore, more than 50 percent of the respondents said that they were finding it difficult to manage their IT infrastructures as they cope with changing patterns.

According to the research, in the next 12 months 88 percent of businesses will include virtual machines, 44 percent will have private cloud services and 19 percent will have public cloud services.

Novell said that the results of the survey showed the level of confusion out there and the need for companies to add more intelligence to their application management. It pointed out that companies needed to adopt an intelligent workload management (IWM) approach to their IT environment.

It's an approach that has some analyst endorsement. Bob Tarzey, analyst and director, Quocirca said, "Computing infrastructure today needs to be versatile to adapt to changeable business requirements. However, if that versatility is poorly managed, costs can be driven up through misuse of capacity, risk introduced through inadequate security and value lost through sub-optimal performance of workloads. This is especially true as public cloud infrastructure is increasingly used to supplement internal resources. Intelligent workload management tools help resolve these problems."