Utilizing Automation in IT Services to Improve Your Service Delivery

Service delivery is at the very essence of infrastructure and operations (I&O). It is the measure of how successfully your IT organization is able to satisfy the needs of the business and its customers. The digital transformation of modern business depends on effective service delivery.

According to Ross Winser, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, “There is a dramatic evolution of infrastructure and operations happening right now. It’s no longer about hardware or software – it’s about delivering services that accomplish business needs. The future of infrastructure is everywhere and anywhere, and will be business-driven by nature.”

While there are many aspects that factor into the delivery of business services, the outcomes that matter most are measured in terms of availability, reliability and scalability. Automation in IT services is absolutely necessary to deliver these outcomes.

Driving Efficiency With IT Operations Automation

The primary benefits of AI and automation in operations management are well known. They bring about efficiencies in operations, help reduce costs and minimize unforced human errors. However, automation in the IT industry has come a long way since the early days of mechanizing repetitive activities. It is now poised to completely transform the manner in which services are set up, delivered and maintained.

The advent of AIOps has brought about the ability to glean previously unrealizable levels of insight into the state, operation and condition of the IT infrastructure. This ability depends on the availability of massive data sets and the application of artificial intelligence and other technologies to facilitate the collection, enrichment and analysis of the data.

When coupled with IT automation, we arrive at a point where these insights can be acted upon in a speedy and effective manner. The automated decision-making capabilities built into AIOps platforms provide a sound basis to kick off downstream workflow automations that then conduct remedial operations. This ability to automatically kick off remediation brings about immense gains in the mean time to repair (MTTR) of services. This in turn provides for orders-of-magnitude improvements in service availability and reliability.

IT Automation Makes Orchestration and Provisioning Easy

Orchestration and provisioning systems depend on automation in IT services to bring about new ways of ensuring availability and scalability. Entire service streams can be provisioned automatically and on demand. IT automations can be used to provision basic services with no human intervention and can process user requests to provide true round-the-clock availability.

Going beyond setup and configuration, it is now possible to automatically ramp up resources as and when the need arises, and to scale them down when usage is less. Threshold-based techniques are commonly used as a trigger in such scenarios. The outcome is the ability to actually get ahead of problems before they manifest themselves – a truly proactive approach to IT operations management (ITOM). The other side effect is the reduced cost due to the superior optimization and usage of existing infrastructure.

Automation is pervasive across all aspects of the IT service delivery supply chain. For decades, it has provided the means to route and notify tickets in incident and problem management teams. IT operations automation plays a major role in ensuring security, compliance and governance by ensuring that vulnerabilities are exposed and managed in a timely fashion.

The New Role of Automation in IT Services

As new services are developed, IT automations are used to test the services ahead of deployment. And as described earlier, once services are deployed, automations in IT services continue to ensure satisfactory operation and provide speedy, always-on remediation.

Automations in the IT industry also play a role in capturing, disseminating and leveraging the institutional knowledge that lies in pockets across the organization. They provide a way to take processes and structure them into workflows that can then be combined, shared and utilized in a more effective manner.

The focus of IT infrastructure and operations is increasingly moving away from the maintenance of infrastructure stacks towards the effective delivery of business services. The advanced capabilities that automations now provide are at the very heart of the ability to achieve this goal.

Infrastructure and operations organizations recognize this and are taking steps to leverage these capabilities by putting in place strategic automation initiatives. Today’ initiatives feature staffing and infrastructure that go well beyond the fragmented, tactically driven needs efforts of the past.

Service delivery is the basis of positive outcomes for businesses in the age of digital transformation. And the effective utilization of automations plays a large part in the ability to deliver IT services in a highly available, reliable and scalable manner.

*Smarter With Gartner: Top 10 Trends Impacting Infrastructure and Operations for 2019. Katie Costello, December 4, 2018.

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