by Muneer Mubashir, HP Cloud and Automation product marketing
Your “To Do” list is not getting any shorter. The pressures on IT grow daily, with unrelenting demands to get more done faster with fewer resources. Whether you’re grappling with mobility, big data or cloud services—or all three—too often the growing complexity of technology makes it a challenge to accomplish all that you and your team need to do to support the business.
But the show must go on! Time is finite—even the power of cloud computing can’t make more hours in the day—and the other resources you have at your disposal are typically either staying constant, or shrinking. So how do we grapple with these time and resource constraints?
There is little choice but to become ever more efficient. Improve your processes. Examine systems. Take a careful, structured approach to assessing every minute step of every task you and your team performs to squeeze out better productivity and higher quality. And whenever and wherever possible, automate.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Where do you start?
Here is a brief look at HP’s three-step best practice approach for automation in the next-gen data center and across IT.
1. Automate all tasks and operations
Start with manual tasks like provisioning, patching and maintaining compliance across all infrastructure components, including servers, clients, networks, storage and databases. One specific step is to take your existing Run Books that are used on a daily basis and automate those tasks. This will quickly free up resources for more innovative projects, like automating IT business processes.
2. Automate IT business processes
Next, take your automated tasks and standardize on best practices. Automate your Incident Management process, for example, and your Change Management process to increase agility and quality of service—this allows for a reliable, repeatable process for delivering a service.
Once you add automation to manage your IT operations, you can extend this approach to create even more value. For example, incorporate events from networks, end-user events, and business transactions. Also, expand automation to include network, server, and storage provisioning.
The goal is to put as much of the infrastructure as possible through a single console—and build in as much automation as possible to enable an adaptive, self-healing IT infrastructure that delivers high availability and performance and requires minimal labor to maintain. Figure 1 offers a relative comparison of the business value versus time to value of various automate processes.
3. Automate service delivery
By standardizing and automating your routine tasks and IT processes, you are positioned to have a well-defined service that can be delivered on demand and better meet the demands from the business. It also opens up the opportunity to automate cloud service delivery. Use cases with high ROI that should be prioritized include self-service capabilities, automated service provisioning, catalog service and private cloud infrastructure and platform as a service.
Of course, it’s important to use the right tool for each required task. HP recently announced four new releases in its portfolio of cloud and automation products, and Figure 2 provides a diagram of how they work together to deliver value to the business.
Discover how HP can help enable IT efficiencies, agility and scale by automating end-to-end application delivery as well as building, orchestrating and brokering hybrid cloud services.