I think we need to develop a vision / strategy that builds autonomic computing into the enterprise architecture. Anything that we can do to automate the management and maintenance of infrastructure will free up the creative ability of human resources to focus on the development and creation of new systems to enhance the way we do business and improve the services that we deliver. That is where value is found. Here's a good article on the vision of autonomic computing.
Michael Vizard mentions that Ozzie Papic of Net Integration Technologies has developed a Linux distribution that includes self healing capabilities. He writes of the benefits of such a technology:
The thing to remember is that the number of applications that computing can be applied to are huge. What's holding back our progress--and the overall industry--is the amount of money required to support an application. As those costs drop, the number of applications will increase. So instead of seeing a world where 80 percent to 90 percent of an IT budget is dedicated to ongoing support and maintenance, we could live in a world where 50 percent or more of IT budgets are actually dedicated to new applications.
I'll take a look at the NITIX product to see how it compares.