By Nimish Shelat, Product Marketing Manager, HP Automation and Cloud Management
When starting a big IT project, having a clear understanding ahead of time about just what you’re getting into can help you make a realistic plan. And the best sources of insight are always your peers in other IT organizations that have already been there, done that.
So listen up! Last week at HP Discover in Las Vegas, during a “Birds of a Feather” Automation and Cloud Management Peer Event, five knowledgeable HP customers shared experiences about rolling out their automation, orchestration and cloud management initiatives. Moderated by Glenn O'Donnell, VP and Research Director at Forrester Research, the panel featured representatives from Allstate Insurance Company, Air France–KLM, Société Générale and Sprint Corporation.
1. Get buy-in
Forums where you can meet peers and current customers help you get a feel for how you can use automation and orchestration within IT. Partners are good sources of information for how it all comes together through deployment and integrations, but it’s important to see automation and orchestration in the context of other companies’ business process. Evaluate whether it applies to yours and then confirm if the tool can deliver today.
When it comes time to convince IT management and gain sponsorship for the project, don’t forget to use vendor and partner sales and management as your allies. If you have outsourced IT and are being billed by the hour, manage your service providers like other vendors. They need to help meet your objectives on cost reduction and service improvement by embracing the Automate - Orchestrate - Transform paradigm and associated solutions. Continuing with manual operations will only help their own billing.
2. Start small, move quickly
Panelists cautioned against trying to automate too many tasks and processes at first. It can bog down the effort and produce neither gains nor a fan club. Instead, they advised starting with a clear, narrow focus. Move fast – Fail Quickly – Recover Rapidly is the mantra. Apply lessons learned to the next stage.
3. Focus on process
The big hurdles the panelists encountered had less to do with technology, and more to do with people and processes. There was consensus that if they had to do it all over again they would redesign processes before automating. Automating existing processes “as is” requires revisiting processes or investing in evolving processes. There was a realization that just because something is done one way does not mean it is the most efficient way.
4. Service Quality trumps cost
As tempting as it may be, avoid making cost reduction a big focus at first, because it only serves to creates pressure on the project. Instead, focus on delivering quality. Savings will be a side product. Automation shaves small slivers off personnel’s time and is difficult to quantify. To really experience significant savings, move quickly to line up repetitive shaves of people’s time across multiple teams.
5. In communication we trust
Finally, panelists emphasized that as you work to orchestrate services across IT environments, it is essential to overcome internal IT silos through a combination of communications and trust building. In the end, achieving whatever goals your IT organization has will only be possible if your organization is able to get past finger-pointing.
Evaluate what HP Operations Orchestration can do for your organization
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