IT environments are complex and fragmented says Axios Systems…
There is no doubt that organizations today struggle with the complexity of their IT environments. Under pressure to provide more (and better) IT services to their customers, the footprint of services, devices and applications is rapidly expanding.
For example, Gartner Inc. estimates that in 2020, the number of Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints across the enterprise and automotive industries will rise to 5.8 billion smart devices.
Meanwhile—at the infrastructure level—virtualization, hybrid cloud models, and new microservices architectures are complicating the technology stacks which support the services in the portfolio.
According to F5’s State of Application Services Report 2020, 87% of organizations are using a multi-cloud architecture, meaning service components may live both inside and outside the corporate firewall.
The challenge (and the opportunity) in today’s fast-moving business environment is to use this diverse, complex and distributed set of components to quickly stitch together new services to meet rapidly changing business and customer demands.
But how can you manage a complex, fragmented environment when you don’t have a centralized view of the full environment, or centralized control of the component parts?
And how can you do it all at a faster pace, so that IT is able to lead (instead of lag) the business’s digital agenda?
A unified IT management system will help you gain complete visibility and tame the complexity of your IT environment—removing the painful barriers and giving you the acceleration you need.
Unified IT management
In many organizations that we see, the IT management software footprint is in as much disarray as the broader IT infrastructure. Multiple point solutions for incident management, change management, digital interaction, project management and others are cobbled together in an attempt to build up a complete and accurate picture of the Service Portfolio landscape and how it’s performing.
Usually, this means organizations are spending as much time maintaining their disjointed IT management platform as they are managing and improving their service portfolio. These heavy overheads keep IT people in firefighting mode and prevent the IT group from progressing to higher levels of maturity.
For our customers, the compelling value of our unified IT management product, assyst, is that it combines all of their needs in a single enterprise-class product—so they can get the visibility and control they need without the overheads of a fragmented IT management platform.
Centralized automation is critical to success
When it comes to providing IT services, automation is critical to efficiency. In the digital age, IT customers expect service delivery at digital speed, e.g. right now. This means there simply isn’t time for manual process steps in the delivery process. It is necessary to use automation to eliminate manual effort. Where the technology exists to automate a task, continuing to work manually is a classic case of waste.
When we automate, the customer get a better customer experience (faster service, no human errors). For IT, the savings in terms of manual effort are transformative; allowing you to re-route resources to new IT projects which support the organization’s digital agenda.
To apply end-to-end automation—to orchestrate services—you need to be able to string together a number of actions across different IT systems. But even when each task in a value chain can be individually automated, service orchestration (the ability to automate the whole chain) is impossible without a central system in which you can model, manage and trigger these automations to do 100% of the work with zero human intervention.
This is another compelling feature of our assyst IT management solution: it enables our customers to manage all their service delivery and service support processes in one place.
In many cases, the improvements that our IT customers have made in service delivery automation have been noticed by other corporate service providers and many of these “non-IT” service providers are now using it to improve service management across HR, facilities, finance/procurement, marketing, citizen services, and more. This is the Enterprise Services Model, which takes a holistic and collaborative approach to improving the corporate services experience for the benefit of all employees.
Integration is a big part of the answer
Of course, to give you the centralized control over automation that you need to orchestrate IT services, you will need to connect your IT management platform with the component systems which are to be orchestrated in the service delivery process. It’s called service orchestration because it is analogous to a conductor and an orchestra. The conductor directs the components. The difference is that service orchestration doesn’t require the conductor to be present: the conducting is captured in the drag-and-drop delivery process—making it highly scalable. A service orchestration system can handle dozens or even hundreds of processes simultaneously and without any human intervention.
Our assyst product has a purpose-built integrations platform—supported by hundreds of pre-built connectors—to allow our customers to quickly connect assyst to the systems they need to control in order to create end-to-end service orchestrations. These can be quickly connected to a service in the assyst service catalog so that the whole customer experience is self-service. Meanwhile, your IT people are free of firefighting and available to support innovation projects.
Boosting the perception of IT
For example, one of our customers, a $3B service company, was able to quickly connect systems with our assyst product to enable end-to-end automation, radically reducing IT workload and accelerating speed of delivery: “Integrations have enabled us to create some powerful automations to streamline our business processes.” As a result, they were able to dedicate more time and attention to improving services and the customer experience, which boosted the perception of IT.