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How IT Process Automation Can Solve the Cloud Management Conundrum

How IT Process Automation Can Solve the Cloud Management ConundrumCloud technology has forever changed the way businesses operate. At the same time, organizations who are leveraging the cloud – either private or public – are finding it to a real challenge to manage those resources in a way that is both efficient and optimally effective. It’s not unheard of for a business to come in at tens of thousands of dollars over budget due to difficulty managing their cloud. Thankfully, IT process automation can provide a solution to this conundrum, allowing them to get the most out of cloud technology without tapping out their resources.

In the not-so-distant past, IT managers worried about things like running low on storage and sky-rocketing electric bills. These days, cloud computing and virtualization has provided a much greater degree of flexibility and scalability, effectively removing much of those worries. And it’s something that is gaining momentum, with Gartner predicting that almost half of all large enterprises will be using a hybrid cloud by the end of 2017.

Yet, despite all of these benefits and the more widespread use of cloud technology, managing these resources has proven to be a new and different challenge for many organizations. One area in particular is the decision of how to use those resources, since – at least for the time being – the cloud is not infinite. Without adequate monitoring, these resources can easily become unnecessarily depleted, otherwise known as virtual sprawl, or VM sprawl for short.

VM sprawl the rapid increase of virtual machines being consumed but not actually used. Over time, these idle resources continue to rise, subsequently driving up costs while simultaneously causing a negative impact on service level agreements (SLAs). The real conundrum in this scenario comes into play when IT must choose between purchasing more resources or simply performing less. Neither of these scenarios is good for the organization.

IT process automation is the ideal solution to this type of business challenge because it can essentially control the computing power based on need and demand. More machines can be spun up when additional power is needed and they can be spun back down when that need dissipates, such as during idle times. This type of workload automation provides a way for the enterprise to more efficiently and effectively provision resources across their cloud and virtual environments.

All of this being said, there are three key steps to ensure that your IT department can better manage cloud technology:

First, take inventory of all current resources. The modern IT environment is comprised of a complex combination of applications, systems, databases, programs and platforms. When cloud technology is being leveraged, it’s critical that the organization has a clear strategy for resource need and allocation. This will ensure maximum efficiency.

Next, use IT process automation to its fullest benefits. One of the biggest hurdles the IT team faces when it comes to resource management is reducing the amount of manual activities. IT process automation can and should be leveraged to eliminate these manual tasks and workflows, such as automated server provisioning based on intuitive data assessment.

Finally, establish and adhere to specific resource parameters. If you want your resources to be allocated efficiently and ensure that your SLAs are consistently being met, you must set specific parameters for your VM. This includes establishing a maximum and minimum and configuring the IT process automation tool to spin up or stop automatically based on need. Furthermore, provisioning alerts, notifications and escalations will help your IT team gain greater visibility and control over resource usage.

Without question, cloud technology has revolutionized the way companies are able to run their operations. Without the property management of these resources, however, the benefits of cloud and virtualization cannot be fully realized. Applying the above tips within a comprehensive infrastructure that incorporates IT process automation is the secret to more effective cloud resource management.

Could your IT team use a little help in the cloud management area? Start turning things around today by downloading your own copy of eyeShare IT process automation to use, FREE for 30 days.

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IT Process Automation Survival Guide




Combining IT Process Automation with the Cloud

Combining IT Process Automation with the CloudThese days IT professionals are under increasing pressure to deliver services to businesses more quickly and at a lower cost, to maximize efficiency levels their data centers, and to provide users with self-service IT access with timely, automated delivery. While all of this may sound a bit overwhelming, the good news is, it’s not impossible to accomplish. It’s simply a matter of integrating IT process automation with cloud services. Here’s how to accomplish this in just a few steps.

Create a catalog of standardized service offerings with the capability to provide a self-service portal for users. This frees up IT personnel, facilitating a more efficient use of time and resources. It also empowers end-users to handle many of the common, day-to-day tasks on their own, without the need for assistance from IT.

Implement policy-based controls to help maintain system integrity and keep the organization’s overall IT operations running smoothly with little hands-on intervention needed.

Manage the service lifecycle so that all components work together effectively and that accurate alerts can be sent in a timely manner to the appropriate party if and when a problem arises. When the service process runs smoothly and efficiently, improvements can be realized both internally among employees as well as externally in the form of better service levels.

Automate various aspects of their operations, including service and infrastructure provisioning, change requests, support services, user management, alerting and more. Using IT process automation to streamline these repetitive tasks allows IT personnel to focus on more mission-critical business matters that require human intelligence and a more hands-on approach.

Manage across various aspects of the infrastructure, including virtualization, network, storage, and applications. This broad solution creates a more centralized environment in which every area can be managed effectively and instantaneously, rather than each individually as silos.

Intelligent IT process automation tools combine all of these capabilities to provide a single platform upon which enterprises can build and support their private clouds. This creates a greater degree of efficiency, which also equates to a reduction in labor costs and other operational expenses.

Could your organization benefit from integration of IT process automation with cloud services? Find out now by taking a free demo today! Or, better yet, get started now with your free 30 day trial. Click here to download!





EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)




How Too Many IT Automation Tools Can Hinder the Cloud

How Too Many IT Automation Tools Can Hinder the CloudFor obvious reasons, you’ll rarely hear us indicate that there could ever be too much automation. To the contrary, the more an organization embraces and employs IT automation technology, the more streamlined, efficient, cost-effective and productive the entire organization can be. What we will say, however, is that implementing too many such automation tools can, in fact, have the opposite effect on operations, specifically for those companies using cloud technology. Instead of trying to mishmash everything together, enterprises should focus on choosing and implementing a more comprehensive solution.

Cloud technology has virtually revolutionized the way businesses operate. When leveraged properly, this type of environment should make everyone happier and more productive, from the CEO to the front-line end-users and everyone in between. The problem is, many companies approach cloud IT automation entirely wrong. Traditionally, IT personnel had to think in terms of compliance, availability, latency and how those things interacted together.

With the dynamics of cloud, however, IT now has to shift its focus on how to leverage all of those services to other business units. This shift has dramatically increased the complexity of the management process and while IT automation is ultimately designed to aid in this area, teams often muddy the waters and hinder progress by over-specifying and hyper-focusing. Instead of the cohesive infrastructure that’s desired, this creates a more fragmented, siloed and subsequently inefficient environment.

The key lies in choosing a comprehensive IT automation tool that can handle the complex and changing dynamics of IT and beyond. Given the dizzying number of vendors in the cloud management platform space, this task can be nothing short of overwhelming. Many fall into the trap of selecting multiple tools from different service providers while others succumb to the alarming number of acquisitions and changes that so many cloud vendors experience. What they end up with are several tools that are ultimately working against, rather than with, one another.

To avoid this, IT professionals should take the necessary time and apply careful consideration to the selection process. Rather than picking several different IT automation tools, decision makers should focus on weighing their options and making a more mindful investment. Of course, they must also be careful that they not end up with a tool that is not sufficient for their needs, or one that has way more bells and whistles (and subsequent costs) than what they require. The goal is to find a happy medium with a comprehensive solution that is most closely aligned with the specific needs, pain points and overall objectives of the organization.

In reality, there may always be a need for more than one single automation tool, particularly in the dynamic cloud environment. In fact, if Gartner’s prediction was on target, 75% of large enterprises already have more than four diverse automation technologies within their management portfolio. As a general rule of thumb, however, the fewer tools you implement, the better, so bear this in mind during the evaluation and selection process.

Another key thing to consider is avoiding the common mistake of approaching IT automation from an opportunistic perspective, rather than one that is systematic in nature. Because opportunistic decisions are based on individual needs and pain points, they ultimately facilitate the siloed environment of traditional IT where each department or team employs a different automation tool to meet their unique needs. As a result, too many tools lead to loss of control and marked inefficiency.

On the other hand, systematic IT automation covers the big picture, taking into account the needs, visions and goals of the entire organization, rather than each individual team or department. Consequently, automation tools are more strategically assessed and selected with the overarching purpose of bridging interdepartmental gaps and creating more streamlined operations across all systems, programs and applications.

If you’ve fallen into this trap and fear that your organization is employing too many unnecessary or redundant tools, the time to take action and turn things around is now. We recommend taking a step back, carefully assessing your current state and finding an IT automation solution that will allow you to trim down and run a much more efficient, effective cloud environment.

If you’re interested in learning more about how the eyeShare product has been designed and developed with this purpose in mind, schedule a free product demo today or better yet – download your free 30 day trial to get started today!



eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




How to Plug IT Automation Software into the Cloud?

These days there is increasing pressure being placed on IT professionals to deliver services to businesses more quickly and inexpensively, to evolve their data centers to become more highly efficient, and to provide users with self-service access to IT offerings with fast, automated delivery. The good news is that, while it sounds a bit overwhelming, it’s not impossible to accomplish. It’s simply a matter of integrating IT automation software with cloud services.

To effective meet these demands, IT operations teams must:

Create a catalog of standardized service offerings with the capability to provide a self-service portal for users. This serves to free up IT personnel, allowing for a more efficient use of time and resources, and also empowers other employees to handle many of the day to day tasks on their own, without the need for IT intervention.

Implement policy-based controls to help maintain system integrity and keep the organization’s overall IT operations running smoothly with little hands-on action needed.

Manage the service lifecycle so that all components effectively work together and accurate alerts can be sent in a timely manner and to the appropriate party when and if a problem arises. When the service process runs smoothly and efficiently, improvements are realized both internally among employees and externally with better service levels.

Automate various aspects of your IT operations, including service and infrastructure provisioning, change requests, support services, user management, alerting and more. Automating these repetitive tasks allows IT personnel to focus on more critical business matters that require human intelligence and a more hands-on approach.

Manage across various aspects of your infrastructure, including virtualization, network, storage, and applications. This broad solution creates a more centralized environment in which every area can be managed effectively and instantaneously, rather than individually.

Intelligent IT automation tools combine all of these capabilities to provide a single platform on which enterprises can build and support their private clouds. This creates a high level of efficiency, which also equates to a reduction in labor costs and other expenses.

Could your organization benefit from integration of IT automation and cloud services?





IT Process Automation Survival Guide