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How Demand and Capacity Management can Streamline Service Requests in your Cloud Environment

Eric TisdaleBy Eric Tisdale

What does Request Fulfillment have to do with Demand and Capacity Management in Service Management? Are these process areas still relevant today, as IT concentrates more on delivery of Cloud Services?

As we know, the Demand and Capacity Management processes are closely related, with increases or reductions in demand driving capacity plans and delivery. Service Requests in Request Fulfillment are often thought of simply as wishes for “stuff”. Linking these three process areas and connecting and leveraging of ITSM and virtualization tools at your disposal will be key to supercharging your ability to handle cloud requests.

Leveraging automation will streamline provisioning of requests for both private and public cloud offerings. When your Request Fulfillment process is synergized with the Demand and Capacity processes, you will provide high value to your customers. Why? Because drastically reducing provisioning times and facilitating application and infrastructure teams means IT is much more efficient at providing services.

Do you have these issues?

  • IT tells me they can build a virtual server in a few hours. Why does it take us 90 days to deliver?
  • Why are we just now hearing of this new requirement? I was told this project was approved in last year’s budget, but this is the first the first request I have seen. Why doesn’t the Business communicate with us (IT)?
  • How could this project have doubled in size in a week? What could have changed since our last demand report?

For successful and timely delivery of components for any server, storage, or application request, the below areas should be well thought out and planned:

  • Re-imagine your Request Fulfillment approval process with automation tools by creating application and infrastructure blueprints that facilitate delivery efficiency
  • Don’t be afraid to ESTIMATE! Too many times folks in IT think they have to have every Gigabyte accounted for and each contingency covered to provide an educated guess for future demand. As requests move through their lifecycle, think in terms of:
    • Small, medium, or large request
    • 40%, 60%, 90% confident that the request is accurate
    • Estimates at 120, 90, 60, and 30 days out from delivery
    • Engage all stakeholders (Program Management, Account/Business Relationship Management, Infrastructure and Line of Business Architecture, etc.) in the gathering and input of demand data
    • Enable capacity management to become more agile and adaptable in responding to resource demands by providing comprehensive visibility into current capacity to allow enhanced demand forecasts with virtualization management tools that you may already own
    • Abstract applications from infrastructure, and then infrastructure from resource pools to drive agility in the fulfillment process
    • Utilize predictive analytics in virtualization tools to assists in applying demand and allocation-planning principles for enhanced utilization of resources, leading to shorter fulfillment cycles
    • Break down the silos that inhibit your Request process. Enable linkage of each ingredient of a service request into a single request record and integrate all electronic or paper forms utilized for demand funnels, requirements gathering, etc. into your service request tool.

Future posts will explore the above topics in more detail.

Building key relationships between the Demand and Capacity Management and Request Fulfillment processes and integrating them within your environment will culminate in a greatly enhanced procurement and request delivery experience for your customers. You many find that you have many of the enabling tools necessary and simply need a strategy and plan for implementation.

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Eric Tisdale is a Transformation Consultant based in Louisville, KY.