By Rich Benoit
When installing an enterprise IT solution like VMware vRealize Operations Manager (formerly vCenter Operations Manager), supporting the technology implementation with people and process changes is paramount to your organization’s success.
We all have to think about impacts beyond the technology any time we make a change to our systems, but enterprise products require more planning than most. Take, for example, the difference between installing VMware vSphere compared to an enterprise product. The users affected by vSphere generally sit in one organization, the toolset is fairly simple, little to no training is required, and time from installation to extracting value is a matter of days. Extend this thinking to enterprise products and you have many more users and groups affected, a much more complex toolset, training required for most users, and weeks or months from deployment to extracting real value from the product. Breaking it down like this, it’s easy to see the need to address supporting teams and processes to maximize value.
Here’s a recent example from a technology client I worked with that is very typical of customers I talk to. Management felt they were getting very little value from vRealize Operations Manager. Here’s what I learned:
- Application dashboards in vRealize Operations Manager were not being used (despite extensive custom development).
- The only team using the tool was virtual infrastructure (very typical).
- They had not defined roles or processes to enable the technology to be successful. outside of the virtual infrastructure team.
- There was no training or documentation for ongoing operations.
- The customer was not enabled to maintain or expand the tool or its content.
My recommendations were as follows, and this goes for anyone implementing vRealize Operations Manager:
- Establish ongoing training and documentation for all users.
- Establish an analyst role to define, measure and report on processes and effectiveness related to vRealize Operations Manager and to also establish relationships with potential users and process areas of vRealize Operations Manager content.
- Establish a developer role to create and modify content based on the analyst’s collected requirements and fully leverage the extensive functionality vRealize Operations Manager provides.
- Establish an architecture board to coordinate an overall enterprise management approach, including vRealize Operations Manager.
The key takeaway here: IT transformation isn’t a plug-and-play proposition, and technology alone isn’t enough to make it happen. This applies especially to a potentially enterprise-level tool like vRealize Operations Manager. In order to maximize value and avoid it becoming just another silo-based tool, think about the human and process factors. This way you’ll be well on the way towards true transformational success for your enterprise.
Rich Benoit is an Operations Architect with the VMware Operations Transformation global practice.