Automating the Virtual IT Lifecycle: Delivering Compliance, Command and Control with Process Automation
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Overview: There is a shift occurring in the way many organizations view their IT operations. The new focus is on the customer's perspective of IT's contribution to the business, whether the customer is a development team, internal business unit, or external customer or partner. This shift is significant for IT organizations, as it forces them to think of themselves more as service providers than support teams. This discipline is termed IT Service Management (ITSM), and it's distinction from traditional modes of management is articulated by the IT Service Management Forum as: "Providers of IT services can no longer afford to focus on technology and their internal organization, they now have to consider the quality of the services they provide and focus on the relationship with customers."
The concurrent rise of virtualization as the primary disruptive technology in the data center provides an excellent test case to develop and refine a new approach to IT management. Consumers of IT services have been conditioned by virtualization's capabilities to expect much higher levels of agility, responsiveness, and transparency from their IT providers. These consumers want to be involved in all aspects of the IT lifecycle, from the request for an IT service through approval, provisioning, management, and decommissioning.
This white paper explores the internal and external drivers for managing IT as a service, the impact of virtualization on the IT lifecycle, and the power of IT process automation to dramatically improve service levels, customer satisfaction, and overall corporate agility.