On a daily basis, organizations around the globe are learning just how valuable IT process automation can be. But it’s not necessarily for everyone – at least on such a large scale. Determining which tasks and workflows to automate is the first step in the process of figuring out how much, if any, ITPA is right for your business.
First and foremost, while IT process automation can be great even for smaller sized companies, those with fewer than 5 VMs may find the benefits not worth the expense. Of course, there are probably still plenty of tasks that you can (and should) automate, such as routine checks, updates and backups. For best results, list out what items could be left to technology and then weigh your options. If you find the right product that suits your budget, even if your organization is smaller, it could work.
Businesses that feature 50 to 100 VMs will likely reap greater rewards from IT process automation, since templates, building and operating systems deployment can all be automated. If you do plan on leveraging an automation tool for VM management, the sooner the better. Ideally, having all VMs built using the same automation will make the entire process easier going forward. Checks and backups can also be handled by technology.
Where IT process automation really pays off, however, is in larger organizations. Not only can the things mentioned previously be automated, but at this scale, businesses can also begin using self-service options. Additionally, backup scripts and health checks can be married with configuration and compliance checks so that they can be automatically run. Manual review and high-level human oversight can bring everything together.
Finally, for businesses at the enterprise level where hundreds of visualization hosts exist, along with thousands of VMs, IT process automation isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. Otherwise, costs will get out of control. Key areas where ITPA is a must include the host building and provisioning processes as well as storage provisioning. Ongoing checks to ensure everything is working properly should also be handled by the automation tool. Again, human intervention will still be needed, but automation should handle the brunt of the activities.
Automation is a powerful and highly effective tool for organizations of all shapes and sizes, but the concept of simply automating everything doesn’t always make the best business sense. There must be a comprehensive needs assessment conducted and a clear understanding of the costs and benefits of implementing ITPA must be achieved prior to moving forward.