What Should You Automate and Integrate?

ClearPath Forward3 minutes readOct 24th, 2012
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IT automation can help drive greater data center efficiencies, and repeatable integration processes — supported by strong integration technologies — to help quicken the pace of bringing new IT services to the business. But where should you automate, and what and how should you integrate to move the needle from administration to supporting business innovation while managing your IT budget? The ClearPath Appraisal Service can help you decide.

The ClearPath Appraisal Service measures IT maturity in two dimensions – Integration and Automation. The Appraisal is used to identify your current and desired destination states, and makes recommendations for the best IT initiatives to match your business needs.

We measure integration maturity using Service Oriented Architecture as a benchmark – from no integration; to ad-hoc, case by case integration; through SOA enabling services and interfaces; to using SOA business services including service orchestration; to full SOA lifecycle consistency and optimization. A key question we ask is whether there is an architectural vision based on SOA that is being actively implemented and utilized.

To determine automation maturity, we assess how far along your IT organization has come in implementing and using technologies and processes to automate common IT tasks, for example whether you have automated workflow for operational tasks; whether output management and print transformation are in use; whether you have automated Disaster Recovery processes; all the way through identifying what it would take to approach a “Lights Out” data center where the infrastructure senses and responds to changing IT conditions, events and issues automatically, in other words, without manual intervention.

We then provide recommendations to get you from your current level of integration and automation maturity to where you want to be – your desired Destination State – in a series of prioritized, easy to swallow steps.

The ClearPath Appraisal Service identifies where you can use automation to move your IT staff to higher business value initiatives and activities that drive business agility and growth. It helps you streamline your Integration capabilities so you can bring new business services online quickly and efficiently to better meet business demand. This helps you move the IT budget needle from administration to supporting business innovation.

Our white paper, Understanding IT System State – Experiences from the ClearPath Appraisal Process, discusses on our experiences with the ClearPath Appraisal process in understanding IT systems state.

In my next blog post, I’ll talk about understanding your total IT costs in business terms using our TCO Assessment Services.