IT process automation and task automation are essential for an organization to embrace a service-centric IT model, especially if it’s powered by a cloud platforms. Automation and orchestration strike at the core of your IT operations, and you need to think carefully about every step that must occur toward achieving your vision without disrupting the existing business.
So where do you start? What should you automate first?
One approach has been to take a three-month audit log of incident remediation or service requests (and their fulfillment) and identify the three most repeated manual tasks and processes. You automate those processes, then repeat again, taking on the next top three candidates to automate or orchestrate. Over time, you undertake a journey of incremental accomplishment.
Although this will get your IT organization to its destination, there is another method — a more comprehensive and agile model — that factors in your business priorities so that the steps you take align to the area of highest focus and will deliver immediate value. We call this model “Journey to Value” and it delivers a roadmap that will be your guide through changes toward an orchestrated datacenter.
Let’s take a look at what goes into building this kind of roadmap and how it can help you develop a successful plan.
Journey to Value is an agile, results-driven approach with tangible outcomes. It’s based on stages that are characterized with “maturity” indicators — specific quality attributes that describe the approximate stage you’ve reached.
Each stage contributes a certain value and the more maturity you attain, the more business and strategic value IT offers to the business.
The model includes five stages, from “Awareness” through to “Optimized”, in which Stages 1–3 are for classic datacenter automation and stages 4–5 reflect private, public and hybrid cloud providers (Figure 1).
Fig. 1: Sample quality attributes and maturity indicators by stages for Journey to Value model for orchestrated data center.
Each stage also identifies specific IT capabilities and whether they are at a basic, advanced or matured state of development (Figure 2).
Fig. 2: Sample capability indicator by stages for Journey to Value model of orchestrated datacenter.
Focus on achieving quick wins and rapid value realization
The model is not linear like most typical maturity models that require you to progress through every step in sequence. The Journey to Value model employs an agile approach, so you can pick and choose capabilities from different stages that help you achieve some quick wins in line with your priorities.
First, review and rate each capability by its relevance to business priorities, effectiveness and pain to develop a heat map. Use a web diagram, bubble chart, score chart or a simple table to analyze this data (Figure 3). Look for capabilities that are relevant but not effectively executed or are painful to execute.
Figure 3: Sample of heat map approaches for prioritizing capabilities based on business relevance, effectiveness and pain.
Next, generate a list of capabilities based on quantified improvements, sorted by efforts and duration: quick wins, short-term wins, long-terms wins and extended value.
This approach also helps IT to re-visit backlog of “value” that was not delivered in the past, which inevitably happens when business dynamics shift priorities and projects are paused. Because the Journey to Value approach is not a one-time exercise, IT has a chance to revisit backlog items to be included in the current roadmap.
Generating the roadmap
The specific roadmap for your desired outcomes is produced using the information from the capabilities heat map and your list of capabilities based on effort and duration.
Here is what a final Journey to Value roadmap looks like for a typical orchestrated datacenter:
Fig. 4: Sample of final Journey to Value roadmap for Orchestrated Datacenter
As you can see in Figure 4 (above), The Journey to Value roadmap framework provides tangible outcomes with a result-driven approach that helps to improve predictability within IT on various activities initiated and in-progress. Most importantly, capabilities can be improved aligned with your priorities so you can rapidly realize the most value from IT process automation and orchestration.
Begin your Journey to Value
Thinking about embracing a new style of service-centric IT, built on IT process automation and orchestration?
HP has developed a workshop that helps organizations build a Journey to Value roadmap using the value-driven maturity model. Beyond identifying the roadmap specific for your environment, the workshop also helps you to define:
Desired future operating model for IT service based on business priorities
Choice of platform: private, public, hybrid IT, physical infrastructure and virtual infrastructure
Capabilities, architecture and tooling you need to develop
Nimish Shelat is currently focused on Datacenter Automation and IT Process Automation solutions. Shelat strives to help customers, traditional IT and Cloud based IT, transform to Service Centric model.
The scope of these solutions spans across server, network, database and middleware infrastructure. The solutions are optimized for tasks like provisioning, patching, compliance, remediation and processes like Self-healing Incidence Remediation and Rapid Service Fulfilment, Change Management and Disaster Recovery.
Shelat has 23 years of experience in IT, 20 of these have been at HP spanning across networking, printing , storage and enterprise software businesses. Prior to his current role as a Manager of Product Marketing and Technical Marketing, Shelat has held positions as Software Sales Specialist, Product Manager, Business Strategist, Project Manager and Programmer Analyst.
Shelat has a B.S in Computer Science. He has earned his MBA from University of California, Davis with a focus on Marketing and Finance.