ITaaS (IT as a Service) cannot fulfill its promise without process automation. Automation delivers consistency and agility on demand and enables global orchestration of services. But, the biggest challenge is to find the right automation tool for your organization. The tool must have the capability of integrating hundreds of subsystems that exist within the organization or is scattered across client locations and facilitate their migration to Cloud based service systems. It must also subsume the thousands of automation tools that have been collected and included as part of the data center setting in the organization and transform them for Cloud orchestration. The implication is that process automation and global orchestration for Cloud migration is all about asset management, service management, network management, IP management and directory services.
Global orchestration must coordinate and sequence individual automation capabilities. The organization may have to use off the shelf products like VMware and integrate them with custom in house software developments while maintaining an appropriate overview of all the systems and sub systems that must be included in the automation process for migration to the Cloud based data and application delivery system.
The process of automation for the Cloud has been compared with automation of factories during the Industrial revolution. Traditional IT services like traditional factories were hands on and labor intensive. Process automation begins with a focus on the process. The process requires an end to end view of IT service delivery systems, optimization and standardization of components, and streamlining of processes. Automation creates a low touch delivery system that is intensely process-based, with the capability of handling multiple processes simultaneously. This accelerates delivery of services and improves the quality of the product delivered. Standardization, efficiency, speed, and cost savings are the mantras.
Obviously, the Cloud-based automation process is not simple when there are multiple systems and sub-systems that need to be integrated. A modular planned approach to the problem of automation may yield better results. Alternately, end users can choose to automate some services with off-the-shelf software tools initially, and move on to integrating and automating other manual processes that are critical to their business.
Since the expected gains from Cloud-based automation and global orchestration are expected to be substantial, building a business case for automation will be easy. The process will enable the delivery of organization wide IT and facilitate the absorption of IT consumption growth over time.