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Satisfying the “need for speed” with automation


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I’ve stopped eating fast food for health reasons. But if the only thing I cared about was efficiency, I’d eat all my meals from McDonald’s. Nowhere is speed of execution and ease of purchasing more evident than in the McDonald’s drive-through lane. As you approach the speaker, someone is there to take your order. While you are driving to the pickup window, people in the kitchen are springing to action—taking items out of the fridge, reheating and packaging your meal. By the time you are done fumbling for your credit card, the familiar paper bag is brought to the window and you are on your merry way – your wallet a little lighter, your footprint soon to be a little heavier. Try ordering a cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake at a sit-down restaurant and see how long that takes.

How does McDonald’s do it?


Automation: The final step toward an agile IT Operations Bridge

Much has been written about how IT must automate to become faster. While this is certainly true, it really behooves us to acknowledge that most of the effort in automation is in the two steps that precede it: organization and standardization. This is the secret to McDonald’s success:

  • They have a limited menu of standard options. Even these days, you can still fit it on a single page. At a restaurant, you are more likely to be given something that looks like a book.
  • They have organized themselves in a way that pre-prepares everything as much as possible and have coupled that with roles, processes, and store layouts that maximize speed.

So when a customer comes in, everything is essentially automated. You could replace the entire staff and it would still work exactly the same way, and I have no doubt that if—someday in the future—machines became more cost effective, many of the world’s teenagers would need to look for alternative employment.

No one doubts that the same meal in the restaurant is healthier and tastier, or that it is more pleasant to be served at your table. But all this gold plating means it is also slower and more expensive. The same concept applies to monitoring. Sometimes you need the extras. While custom solutions have their place, what I am arguing is that they should be the exception, and right now they are often the standard.

So what can IT Operations do?


Bringing it all together

The “automate” stage of the agile IT Operations Bridge is where you reap the benefits of the previous stages. Having defined what a service is, you can now automate discovery and accelerate service modelling. Having defined monitoring standards, you can automatically deploy monitors as soon as you discover elements in your environment. You can also automate the creation of dashboards and reports by having defined the outputs (events, reports, etc.) of the operations bridge and the roles that would consume these outputs.

So imagine this scenario:

Your application team has adopted DevOps and is working on a new application. When the time comes to run a series of performance tests, they log in to a self-service portal and provision the infrastructure needed for the tests. As soon as this happens—in fact as it happens—CIs are created in your CMS. Based on these CIs, monitoring is automatically deployed, thresholds are set, and data collection begins. This means that during the tests, the team has performance data at their fingertips.

And the best part? IT Operations need not lift a finger.


Watch this video for more about the HPE Agile Operations Bridge service.


Miron Mizrahi is WW Solution Marketing Lead of Cloud, Converged Security, and IT Operations at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software Services. Follow him on Twitter at @MironMizrahiHPE.


Related Links:

HPE Business Service Management services

HPE Agile Operations Bridge

Blog post: Why your IT Operations Bridge holds the keys to increasing velocity

Blog post: Organization is the first step toward an agile IT Operations Bridge

Blog post: What an agile IT Operations Bridge and IKEA has in common: Standardization


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