One important lesson learned over this last year is the business need for agility and operational efficiency, irrespective of market conditions and global events. As the world continues to navigate the impact of the global pandemic and prepares for whatever may come next, there has never been a greater need for IT to future-proof their business with tools that can deliver on-time, responsive and flexible technology.
The power of automation
Automation can be a powerful tool for modern IT organizations looking to deliver higher-quality services more efficiently. Eliminating repetitive tasks and manual process approvals through automation can help organizations ensure best practices are being followed and deliver services more predictably.
Regardless of where your organization is on the journey to the cloud, what type of applications you have deployed, or what type of infrastructure you have in use, automation can drive improvements across the entire IT organization. But the challenge lies in knowing where to start using automation.
Start with self-service IT
Automated self-service access to technology enables IT to deliver the technologies their stakeholders rely on more quickly, while at the same time maintaining control and decreasing human error. It’s a win-win. It also creates a flexible but stable technology environment that can quickly respond and adapt to changing business needs, such as those brought on by the recent shifts in the way we work – first with a drastic shift to remote work, and now, transitioning to a hybrid workforce.
Within a hybrid workforce, it is paramount that employees are able to access the technologies they need to do their jobs, from anywhere, and self-service IT enables that. Employees can request and gain access to the resources they need when they need them, from home or the office. Without a self-service model, it can take IT days or even weeks to meet requests for new services, and because users require these services to get work done, productivity is significantly hampered when the wait time is that long.
Self-service IT provides IT teams with one of the most valuable resources of all – time.
Time is money, and when IT teams are constantly bogged down with manual processes, they don’t have time to focus on more important business priorities, like leveraging technology to innovate and create differentiators that drive revenue growth.
Deliver a seamless self-service experience with a hybrid cloud management platform
One way IT can deliver on automated, self-service IT is by leveraging a hybrid cloud management platform, like Snow Commander. Hybrid cloud management platforms can simplify cloud management by transforming IT departments into agile, efficient Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that provide self-service access to technology via a comprehensive portal, fueled by a powerful workflow engine.
The self-service portal
A comprehensive, self-service portal allows users to request new VMs or cloud instances, or request changes to their existing setups. It saves time and reduces errors. A portal also provides IT stakeholders, who don’t have an account with the cloud provider, a real-time view of their infrastructure usage and spend.
You may hear objections such as, “Won’t a portal slow me down?” But the beauty of a well-designed hybrid cloud management platform is that it can track usage for users that go through the portal, as well as development teams that need to go direct to the cloud, so even the most agile development teams won’t miss a beat.
The workflow engine
The other integral component of a hybrid cloud management platform for enabling self-service IT is the workflow engine, which serves as the backbone of an organization’s infrastructure automation strategy. Snow Commander supports powerful workflows that can help eliminate manual processes and automate faster provisioning and orchestration of hybrid cloud infrastructure to support seamless self-service delivery and management of infrastructure and application resources.
Tasks perfectly suited for such automation are discrete, well understood, tedious to perform manually and require a high level of standardization and governance. With an industry-leading hybrid cloud management platform like Snow Commander, you can use the workflow engine to automate tasks across the full lifecycle of your infrastructure resources, from the initial service request and associated approval process to the provisioning of the requested resource, changes to the resource and more.