IT leaders are usually excited about hybrid cloud automation. The automation of infrastructure provisioning and delivery of personalized, automated IT services helps make enterprises more responsive and agile. It also helps boost the productivity of development teams and speed time to market. So, how exactly do you go about the process of automating the hybrid cloud? What considerations should you make operationally, technically, strategically, and organizationally?
This business brief offers guidance that enables you to create your IT services strategy from a unique starting point — reality.
1. Never Automate Bad Processes
If you automate bad processes, you’ll make bad things happen faster. To avoid this, start by identifying, cataloging, documenting, reviewing, and refining key manual processes. Make sure you’re automating the right activities, in the right way, and at the right time. Optimize processes for speed, simplicity, and throughput before automating them. Remove any friction from silo boundaries – departmental, disciplinary, and technological.
2. Cross-Skill Existing Resources
Skilled cloud and DevOps personnel are expensive and hard to find. In fact, these skills are some of the most competitive in IT. Research by Vanson Bourne shows that more than 70 percent of DevOps leaders are choosing to retrain existing personnel. Only 50 percent are making new hires. When building a team, go for people with a track record in automation in different areas. You might want to avoid those with specialist skills in one automation product or technology.
3. Make Security a Priority
Automation systems and automation staff have highly privileged user IDs. If these IDs are frequently shared, it can be an audit red flag. The system becomes vulnerable to malicious and accidental incidents. Proper access management should provide essential control without denying users access to the tools and APIs they need.
4. Measure, Document, and Backup
When executed in the right way, automation becomes pervasive and mission-critical. But without proper documentation, you can create anti-patterns and tribal knowledge in your cloud deployment. Measurement allows you to know when systems stop working or run amok. Backups are a critical part of your cloud deployment. Without backups, you could easily suffer an irrecoverable failure.
5. Use Automation as A Catalyst for Innovation
Automation is a key process with an often-overlooked side effect. It allows enterprises to innovate. Automation frees up development teams and IT admins since they don’t have to perform manual tasks over and over again. With newfound time on their hands, they can test new ideas and create new services. These efforts can help solve core problems or improve the experience of the customers.
6. Make Sure You Can Flexibly Apply and Enforce Your Policies
Your cloud-based automation solution should provide business-relevant, personalized policies to enforce the unique needs of your organization. End-users should receive appropriately sized infrastructure applications or resources for the task at hand.
7. Don’t Neglect the Front End
User experience is a key consideration for your hybrid cloud automation strategy. Take time to understand user needs so you can create resources that people want to use.