Autonomic Computing helps to address complexity by using technology to manage technology. The term autonomic is derived from human biology. The autonomic nervous system monitors our heartbeat, checks our blood sugar level and keeps our body temperature without any conscious effort on our part. In much the same way, self-managing autonomic capabilities anticipate IT system requirements and resolve problems with minimal human intervention.
However, there is an important distinction between autonomic activity in the human body and autonomic activities in IT systems. Many of the decisions made by autonomic capabilities in the body are involuntary. In contrast, self-managing autonomic capabilities in computer systems perform tasks that IT professionals choose to delegate to the technology according to policies. Adaptable policy—rather than hard-coded procedure—determines the types of decisions and actions that autonomic capabilities perform.