Strategy: Automation and Orchestration

Aug 02, 2011


Prepare for Successful Deployment

Automation and orchestration can make IT more flexible and responsive to changing business requirements. Customers use automation tools to streamline repetitive data center processes such as server operating system and application deployment, decreasing provisioning time for new services and reducing the risk of administrative mistakes. Orchestration links a variety of automated tasks together to provision a new service.

The combination of automation and orchestration allows IT deployment to match the speed of business, providing rapid time to market for new initiatives. But there are also challenges in rolling out automation and orchestration. In this report, coproduced with Network Computing, we outline successful strategies to automate and orchestrate IT systems and uncover potential pitfalls to avoid.

In particular, companies must be sure not to underestimate the time or money required to deploy these products. Also, the complexity of your IT environment will have a significant effect on deployment and use of these tools. Finally, you have to prepare the IT staff for the changes that automation and orchestration will have on operations, and ensure they’ve been properly trained on the tools.

We recommend that companies strongly consider the use of professional services or third-party integrators when deploying automation and orchestration products. That’s because these products require significant integration with existing systems, so having experts on hand can smooth out deployment bumps.

We also recommend that companies take full advantage of the metering and chargeback capabilities of these tools, even if you don’t bill internal departments. These options can help IT track resource usage by department, which is critical information when it comes time to allocate budget and prioritize resources.

Finally, once you reach the deployment stage, notch up one or two easy wins to help maintain the project momentum. This will also improve the confidence of your IT team to tackle more complex phases of the deployment. (S3260811)

Research Report