Why Automate Virtual Infrastructure, Why Do it Now, and Why Do it with vRealize Automation

Our IT culture has shifted from managing infrastructure to the management of services. We deliver a self-service catalog to our consumers who manage their environment. Providing our consumers with the self-service catalog reduced delivery of workloads from weeks to hours and it significantly increased their overall satisfaction. – Senior IT director and enterprise architect (Large Healthcare System in western Pennsylvania healthcare system)  

Automation is a journey. The primary reason to adopt automation is to streamline manual processes, enabling your information technology teams to focus on more valuable activities. The goal is to shift lifecycle management of workloads and day-to-day actions to the internal consumer. We look to the future to see where we want to end up and then plan how to get there.  

  • The first decision: your end-state – do you want a self-service or IT as a Service model?  
  • The second decision: which delivery method do you want to use, imperative or declarative code, and do you have the skillset to support the method of choice?  
  • Imperative is IT as a Service. It is programmatically based and relies on your IT coding team.  
  • Declarative can be consumer self-service or IT as a Service.  

Whether you are focused on a private or multi-cloud environment, either method can be employed. But only the declarative approach can deliver self-service capabilities to your internal customers. Here is an example of an organization using the declarative method and its impact.  

Examples:  

  • A well-known children’s hospital in Pennsylvania adopted lifecycle management/process automation.
    • They chose vRealize Automation due to their desire to build out a self-service catalog 
    • Once they deployed vRealize Automation they, they trained their consumers and turned over lifecycle management. 
    • This allowed the Automation Engineers to focus on delivering platform updates and new services for their consumers. 
    • They benefited by avoiding 13,000 helpdesk tickets in their first year by implementing day two actions. 
      • Based on a conservative estimate of a 20-minute resolution per ticket, they avoided 4400 hours of an FTE’s time or 110 weeks (about two years).  
      • Equally as important, this freed up the help desk to focus on level two, and level three issues 
  • Why Do it Now?
    • Why not do it now is the question to be asked? 
  • Information technologies’ role is to provide the infrastructure that supports business-critical applications.  
    • IT cannot be a bottleneck.  
    • The ability to deliver quickly and consistently gives your organization a competitive advantage.  
  • Process automation moves IT from a delivery arm of your business to a support arm. That means:  
    • Self Service: Internal application owners, Database Managers, and DevOps Engineers, lifecycle manage their environments.  
    • Risk Mitigation  
    • Automation of Day-to-Day tasks – You leave room for error when you repeatedly perform a task every day. Invariably it happens. Why is it because we are human, and human beings’ fat finger the keyboard?  
    • Creation of a process that ensures prompt delivery of your customer requests.  
    • Remove backlog of customer requests 
    • Increase internal customer Net Promoter Score (NPS)  
  • Why Do it with vRealize Automation? 
    • vRealize Automation uses the declarative code: build it, and they will come
  • Many organizations utilize commercial off-the-shelf applications.  
    • In this scenario, coders are less relevant.  
    • The declarative method enables IT to build out the relevant use cases for their customer base and make them available in the self-service catalog.  
  • Build use-case templates 
    • Day Zero- deployment of new workloads or services 
    • Day Two – manage the environment.  
    • Day N – retirement  
    • Place all use-cases in a self-service catalog.  
    • Let your Internal consumers consume  
  • The benefits of automating your virtual environment 
    • Deployment of workloads and services is consistent and reliable.  
    • IT or the internal consumer can deliver in hours versus weeks. 
    • IT can monitor compliance and remediate it as needed within minutes vs. hours. 
    • Support teams can recover time and focus on bringing more value to the organization 
    • vRealize Automation deploys and manages across the public, hybrid, and private clouds with the same processes 

Credit goes to Steve Lieberson, Tom Gillaspy and Cosmin Trif. You can find Steve on Twitter and LinkedIn, Tom on Twitter and LinkedIn, and Cosmin on Twitter and LinkedIn


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