How to Really Move the Needle with Forward! 3.0
Author(s): John Kunzier, Posted on February 17th, 2015
Today’s IT Department expectations are in transition. Your organization is looking to IT for more than just keeping the lights on and applications running. The business and operations want innovation to mobilize your workforce, web enable old applications and find the hidden insight from a big data implementation.
Your resources, like most parts of the organization, are stretched way too thin just to keep operations running. You are pressed to reduce more cost out of the datacenter delivering value faster while performing magic to keep it all running.
“Gartner is projecting 70% of organizations can reduce up to 25% of additional costs out of the datacenter.” Gartner 2014
What is IT to do?
I am not a datacenter operations specialist but in dealing with a number of different type of industries, labor costs are traditionally the hardest costs to manage and reduce. In many operations, labor is the biggest costs and the datacenter is no exception. Labor represents about 40% of cost in the datacenter according to Gartner, not just in the US but across the globe.
It would be easy to suggest to just reduce the labor in your organization but that does not solve the problem. You need people to drive innovation but when they are stuck managing, as one of our customers calls it, “knucklehead” tasks, it is nearly impossible to innovate. “78% of the IT execs said their tech department is overloaded,” according to CIO Insights 2014 in a study commission by Verizon.
Let’s look at how other operations departments have managed this problem. In the Philadelphia area, Wawa, a local convenient store chain, has automated the sandwich ordering process streamlining the process and maximizing the deli labor. Think about the numbers of variations in the ordering process and the potential errors. It is my favorite sandwich shop and they managed to increase customer service and dramatically reducing the number of people in the process.
Remember back in the day the number of people needed to check you onto an airplane. Most airlines now have self-service kiosks to print boarding passes, upgrade seats and check bags. Both industries have innovated manual processes to improve the customer experience and to optimize the labor performing the task.
In the datacenter or in many other operations, we need to take this approach to reduce the “knucklehead” tasks managed by IT labor today. IT departments have to adopt a mentality and culture of automation first and people glue second. “59% of organizations don’t have a holistic automation strategy”, CIO Insights Study 2014. If you can automate the building of a sandwich and checking a passenger, automating provisioning, application development and storage management is not a stretch.
This is the path we took with the new Forward! 3.0 platform. We implemented new servers and updated hardware bits but what really moves the needle is automation.
In Forward! 3.0, Unisys implemented a provisioning solution called Choreographer to deploy workloads to Amazon, VMware and to a Forward! partition. Virtual environments and partitions work together to deliver virtualized webservers and app server and partitioned database servers to consolidate database licensing by up to 50% and reducing servers by up to 80% with 115% better performance compared to traditional network infrastructures. This process can be automated through a self-service portal with automated workflow to maintain control, consistency and to support compliance requirements. Workloads can be provisions in minutes not hours or days reducing the administrative labor to deploy workloads regardless of the deployment model.
Simply put, Forward! 3.0 eliminates the “knucklehead” tasks by 5X and optimizes server utilization by up to 80%. IT labor can be redirected to high priority projects that drive value.
Forward! 3.0 automates the high availability setup process for SUSE. This reduces the administrative overhead to improve system reliability and up time. It reduces the setup from days, depending on the size of the deployment, down to minutes and the setup is consistent each and every time.
Our goal is to take the Unisys datacenter operations expertise and implement automation and systems best practices to help you identify and reduce Gartner’s projected 25% costs reduction in the data center. Redirecting labor from operations to innovation is the only way for IT to become the value generating partner to the organization while reducing the cost profile of IT operations.
Come find out more about the Forward! 3.0 capabilities at www.unisys.com/forward