A few months ago, I wrote a blog post outlining the benefits of cloud automation, and how it’s helping organizations across the world more effectively manage large scale workflows and rein in complexity. But when I re-read the post recently, I realized I’d left out something important - some prescriptive tips that will help you develop the strategies you need to start reaping the benefits of cloud automation. So without further ado, the following tips will allow you to implement effective automation solutions that will enable real reductions in operating expenses and improved efficiency:
- Don’t Feel the Need to Rush: Our experience with countless customers here at Embotics has taught us that, more often than not, the best approach is to implement automation in a gradual fashion. It’s usually not a good idea to try and “boil the ocean” with a major rollout, but to instead focus on the areas of your virtual environment or cloud infrastructure that are a clear fit, and provide the best overall benefit. Beyond providing immediate and quantifiable value, this approach allows you to work proactively with IT customers to understand what should be in your service catalog, and how customers might use a cloud for their workload placement.
- Focus on ease of integration: Automating provisioning has traditionally been seen as complex and time consuming, requiring extensive customization. This heavy resource cost tends to limit automation to basic scripting for midsize and larger organizations that don’t have access to professional services budgets or extensive IT and development resources. If you choose a cloud management platform that takes weeks or even months to turn up and configure, lengthy professional services engagements and continual care, you’re just solving one problem by creating another. The right CMP should not only provide the provisioning automation, but it should seamlessly integrate into IT’s daily activities - and not become its own overhead burden.
- Don’t lose sight of cost visibility: Having cost visibility into your cloud automation and provisioning can empower an organization, and is a critical component of any successful cloud management platform implementation. While it may be true that many organizations do not adopt a formal chargeback model, the simple act of providing cost visibility, also known as “showback,” can change end user behavior when they see what these resources are costing their company.