By Ahmed Al-Buheissi
Automation is at the heart of any cloud implementation. It provides fast provisioning, resource monitoring and self-healing, capacity adjustment, and automated billing. Also, automation will ensure consistency, prevent errors and free-up valuable staff time to work in more innovative projects.
But in order to embrace automation, the organization needs a roadmap. This roadmap needs to be based on an understanding of the current state of the organization, in terms of technology, people and process. You must also examine where the organization will want to be in terms of automation and define “to be” state. The roadmap creation process will determine what tools, skills and services are required to achieve the automation target, and then schedule these improvements to achieve the requirements.
With a comprehensive roadmap, the organization can be well-prepared for the journey, in terms or time, budget and resources.
Three Steps to Create an Automation Roadmap
There are three recommended steps to take in order to create the Automation Roadmap:
- Assess Your Current State: Using industry best-practices, you need to start off by assessing the organization’s current state in terms of:
What technology is available and fully adopted, in areas such as virtualization, self-service, automation and orchestration? Even DevOps-related tools should be assessed.
Are related process and policies documented and implemented? For example, Service Definition, Request Fulfilment and Release Management.
Specific skills and roles are necessary for running an automation-oriented infrastructure. Some of these roles include Service Architect and Infrastructure Developer, which need to be documented, formalized and assigned.
Ensure that proper interaction procedures are in place, such as interactions between groups, to the business, and to service providers.
- Get Your Priorities Right: You need to identify potential processes for automation, in areas such as IaaS, PaaS, Proactive Operations and capacity Monitoring. Once these opportunities are identified, they need to be evaluated and prioritized in terms of process, impact and readiness.
- Put it all on the Map: Now that we know where we are and what we need, we can put it all on a time-line chart. When creating the roadmap some consideration needs to be given to the length of time for the roadmap, as well as time and order required for implementing tools and processes.
If you want to learn more about establishing your Automation Roadmap, please join my Quick Talk at VMworld in Las Vegas:
August 28th 2016 – 1pm
“Service Automation Roadmap: Approach and Samples”
Add session SDDC7876 via the VMworld Schedule Builder
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Ahmed Al-Buheissi is a Senior Solutions Architect with the VMware Operations Transformation global practice and is based in Melbourne, Australia.