The primary objective of most IT departments in moving to a dynamic data center is to automate 80 percent of existing requests so that they can be fulfilled with minimal staff intervention, while ensuring that the other 20 percent (which are typically more complex and custom) can be given the attention and expertise they deserve.
Automating such routine tasks as server provisioning and configuration management can make the IT department as a whole entirely more productive. Moreover, removing the human element where it is unnecessary significantly increases user satisfaction and speed of delivery. It also reduces risk because it decreases manual errors, heavy redundancies and painful time lags synonymous with e-mail-based and ticket-based systems.
While many enterprise IT departments have implemented an underlying service catalog technology, a comprehensive solution for service requests, subscription, delivery, cost allocation and measurement remains mostly elusive and an aspiration. If automating self-service for a traditional IT infrastructure is an ongoing goal, then it is an absolute necessity for those seeking it to evolve to one that includes a mixture of physical, virtual and cloud platforms. Only then can they address demand management across the entire environment and ensure that their resources are appropriately supporting that demand.
Automating service delivery
The key is to fully automate service delivery today and leverage that foundation as an integral part of the infrastructure-one where self-service extends to any and all technologies including private and public clouds-in the future. As a result, organizations can successfully optimize resources across the operational environment, freeing up additional working capacity to support ongoing and increasing business demand. To that aim, they must:
1. Centralize requests, automate delivery and tightly integrate the underlying technologies,
2. Ensure process automation across the enterprise including departments, domains and systems,
3. Incorporate the service delivery strategy into the overarching cloud strategy in order to ensure a dynamic infrastructure, and
4. Automate fulfillment channels of that business demand across multiple IT domains including security, asset management and infrastructure management.