Further advancement of an automation strategy has implications for the teams that are involved, the skills and the technologies at hand, and for the organization’s culture and processes.
For team members, automation represents a great opportunity to shift from a niche administration role (server, storage, network) to a more holistic data center administrator role, made possible by the introduction of virtualization and automation. This change does not have to be immediate. It can start with a small core team that gradually spreads the new technologies and operating methods to the wider team at the right pace for each company and group of individuals.
New technologies are another key component in an automation implementation strategy. The adoption of a proper automation framework, including a flexible and versatile orchestration engine, enables the operational savings and efficiency that result in rapid service delivery and increased business agility.
Culture and processes must evolve to comply with the IT transformation needs. Having a well-trained IT team with the right skills and technologies serves little purpose if paperwork and authorizations defeat the benefits that automation brings. We can provision a new cluster to host the latest business application in less than an hour. However, if the process of authorizing the creation of new hosts, new storage volumes, and new IP addresses or edited network rules takes a few days to complete, all the investment in new skills and technologies is pointless. As technology evolves to facilitate and automate operations, so must the accompanying processes.