CloudCloud ManagementDatacentreSoftwareVirtualisationWorkspace

How To Automate IT Service Delivery

Automated IT service delivery can be crucial to provisioning resources, helping to fulfil strategic, operational and tactical demand

The primary objective of most IT departments in moving to a dynamic data centre 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 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 email-based and ticket-based systems.

While many enterprise IT departments have implemented an underlying service catalogue 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, organisations can successfully optimise resources across the operational environment, freeing up additional working capacity to support ongoing and increasing business demand. To that end, they must:

  • Centralise requests, automate delivery and tightly integrate the underlying technologies
  • Ensure process automation across the enterprise including departments, domains and systems
  • Incorporate the service delivery strategy into the overarching cloud strategy in order to ensure a dynamic infrastructure
  • Automate fulfillment channels of that business demand across multiple IT domains including security, asset management and infrastructure management.

Four steps to the dynamic data centre

Step No 1: Automating and integrating service catalogue and service request delivery

While a service catalogue publishes standardised IT offerings, it is only as effective as the technology and processes it supports. Too often, enterprises are marred by multiple request portals and inconsistent procedures that leave internal customers confused and frustrated. Systems backed by email communications and ticket applications feel like black holes because there is no visibility into status for users and an abundance of redundancies and time lags on both sides.

What’s more, this lack of standardisation creates a situation where every request is treated as entirely new, leading to a tendency to reinvent the wheel and an IT environment where inconsistency and unapproved configurations are the norm — and the cost of delivery is high.

The answer is to first empower users with self-service capabilities that create necessary structure and enrich the overall experience in such areas as incident management, knowledge management, support automation, labs on demand, service requests, and subscription and request fulfillment and provisioning.

Continued on page 2