NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CIOs are under tremendous pressure to align IT investments and technology management decisions with their organization's strategic business goals. For many, cloud computing can provide the answer, but moving to the cloud won't help if the company isn't ready to take advantage of the efficiencies and cost savings a cloud solution has to offer. To help clients chart their course to the cloud, Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), has created a blueprint for IT transformation. The IT Transformation Journey is a step-by-step guide to assist IT pros in determining where they are, as well as where they're headed.
In the fifth stage of this journey, Automation and Orchestration, the focus is on applying ITSM to the virtualized data center. As customers continue through the IT Transformation Journey, one of the key challenges they face is balancing the time they spend managing their existing environment and making time to work on new projects. In fact, according to a recent Logicalis study, CIOs are looking to make significant changes to their day-to-day role, focusing far more on strategic initiatives. Almost half of the study's worldwide respondents say they would like to spend 30 percent or less of their time on day-to-day management, freeing 70 percent of their time for strategic initiatives. As a result, "optimize and streamline" has become the mantra for today's CIOs, and they often see the cloud as a means to that end.
Imagine that a functional cloud environment looks something like an onion with traditional infrastructure at the center and a self-service layer around the outside. Between the resources and the self-service portal, there must be distinct layers for automation, monitoring and governance. Automation and orchestration technologies can help alleviate the amount of time CIOs spend on technology management. Automation scripts the day-to-day tasks like moves, adds, and changes that an in-house IT staff would normally handle. Orchestration automates the deployment of new resources and workloads, and gives the organization the ability to dynamically change the resources applied to certain workloads at specified, pre-determined times.
Automation and orchestration are about the development of a software-defined data center that increases speed to deployment and ensures the availability of key compute, storage and network resources, while also enabling consumption-based metering and chargeback.
"Logicalis recently worked with one of our clients in the healthcare space to automate key aspects of their environment so that they could start looking at new projects like analytics. Once automation and orchestration are implemented into the environment, the environment is converged and virtualized, and the new projects are defined, it makes the transition to cloud much easier," says Brandon Harris, Vice President, HP Solutions, Logicalis US. "In this case, the customer needed to reduce the amount of time it took to deploy new applications and manage the environment on a regular basis. Because of our experience with HP's Cloud Service Automation and the HP Matrix operating environment, Logicalis was able to help the client implement a CloudSystem solution to automate their management of the environment and orchestrate the deployment of new applications freeing the customer's IT department to work on future projects."
Four Tools to Maximize Automation/Orchestration
Automation and orchestration are critical in helping IT pros prepare their organization to take full advantage of the cloud. For a truly optimized IT department, however, CIOs should also consider these additional tools.
1. ITSM: ITSM can be thought of as the mortar that holds together the individual components of the new IT delivery model. It allows for true alignment between IT and the company's business units. It allows IT to manage what it cannot automate, preventing chaos and bottlenecks in the process. It allows IT pros to ensure that what's working in an in-house data center and being delivered by disparate service providers all works cohesively together. And it prevents cloud sprawl and unchecked costs. Take an ITSM quiz here to see if ITSM can make a difference in your organization. 2. Service Desk: Service desks are designed to be the central point of contact between IT and its users/customers. If outsourcing an IT service desk can cut costs and increase the level of service to end users without sacrificing quality or impacting competitive advantage, it's clearly something that IT managers should examine. 3. Remote Infrastructure Management: Remote management services allow IT employees to access, store and monitor the organization's most business-critical data securely, anywhere at any time. In fact, taking advantage of a trusted partner's managed services may be one of the smartest and most cost-effective moves a CIO can make, freeing the CIO's staff for more productive, business-building tasks. 4. Professional Services: In addition to monitoring and management, CIOs must be willing to engage third-party engineers - either remotely or on-site - when it makes sense for a project that requires specific skills the IT department may not have on staff, or when added resources can cost-effectively free the organization's core IT team to focus on more strategic, business-building work.
Want to Learn More?
-- View the Transformation Journey microsite here: http://www.ict-log.us/qy1w1. -- Read about the first four stages in the six-stage IT Transformation Journey: component-level architecture, virtualization, converged infrastructure, and protection services.
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center and cloud services; and managed services.
Logicalis employs nearly 3,500 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex ICT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.4 billion from operations in Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific and is fast establishing itself as one of the leading IT and Communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.
The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of over $5 billion.
For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.
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SOURCE Logicalis US