Taking an efficiency approach into process improvement and moving up the OMCM stack is one way of analyzing your set of solutions. By knowing where you are in the people, process, and tools scale, you can understand what your organization is and is not capable of undertaking. Changes designed to improve lower-scoring areas should also free up sources of productivity and revenue because most analyses of data centers find that 80 percent of costs are non-hardware related. Therefore, do not just look to the technology portion of your solution for cost savings and efficiency.
By using standard industry-accepted frameworks for the efficiency methodology analysis, the stigma of judgment is often replaced with acceptance of the methodology. In addition, the categories, scoring, and tasks to improve become more easily understood and reportable, and people might already have knowledge of ITIL, which they can bring into the discussion. Because there are probably many people in your organization who already know where the low-hanging fruit exists, using a solid framework simply provides everyone a means to focus on organizing to extract those efficiencies.
Regardless of the method used, the previous chapters demonstrated how important it is to have a clear picture of what you currently do before deciding where to implement N1 Grid technology. Do not get too caught up in your actual score. The scoring is a tool to focus attention and to compare against after N1 Grid system action has been taken. In "Operational Management Capabilities Model" on page 74, some of the aspects of the categories used to score and the levels of maturity to use in the model are discussed. The maturity level scoring ranges from 1 to 5, with 1 indicating a level characterized by crisis control and 5 being an organization focused on business value management.
Chaos Resolution With Efficiency
OMCM level 1 to 2 activities should focus on resolving chaos with efficiency and reaching a state of efficient component management. This section contains best practices on how to analyze your N1 Grid solutions to resolve chaos with efficiency.
One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Chaotic environments would benefit the most from N1 Grid solutions, but they are too often environments in which the IT staff does not have the time to organize and write down what they do because they spend all of their time working hard to keep the environment running. This lack of organization and process is exactly why the environment is in this state in the first place. Installations are often a one-off with very little knowledge capture to leverage, and few processes are defined, much less automated.
Small steps such as the following can help:
Chaotic environments often have few tools to provide visibility into the health and trends of the data center they manage. Problems found by end users take time to resolve, and little correlation or tracking of problems is performed. Data is crucial to break the cycle of reactivity. For instance, you should:
For level 1 organizations, solutions that do not support these goals or require support levels greater than these goals should be re-architected against the gaps they create.
OMCM level 2 to 3 activities should focus beyond efficient component management towards proactive organization. This section contains best practices for analyzing your N1 Grid solutions to get more proactive.
It takes work to move beyond basic visibility and control for individual components to a level where it is possible to anticipate problems or reduce their impact through faster resolution. To move towards a proactive state, you should:
Proactive test strategies for application sizing and runtime environment assumptions are the best way to reduce the impact of problems by avoiding them the first place. The ability to rapidly recover must be coupled with an understanding of what is running in the environment. Thorough and repeatable testing enables you to:
For level 2 organizations, solutions that do not support these goals or require support levels greater than these goals should be re-architected against the gaps they create.
Service Management Efficiency
OMCM level 3 to 4 activities should focus on linking IT closer to the business and providing and using information for service management. This section contains best practices for analyzing your N1 Grid solutions to provide and use information.
Level 3 organizations can leverage their test harnesses and service delivery technologies into an organization with predictable and repeatable service delivery capability. With a solid architecture, you can work with mobile decomposed entities in organizations with consistent and measurable IT processes. To achieve this, you should:
For level 3 organizations, solutions that do not support these goals or require support levels greater than the goals should be re-architected against the gaps they create.
Policy and Environment Usage
OMCM level 4 to 5 activities should focus on reaching a state where the business drives what policies are established and how the environment is used (that is, real business value management). You should analyze your N1 Grid solutions against the need to use N1 Grid efficiency as a tool for strategic differentiation (for example, releasing more revenue-generating services than your competition by using mobility) to achieve production environment stability and to reduce new service time to market.
At this stage, the IT organization should be:
For level 4 organizations, solutions that do not support these goals or require support levels greater than these goals should be re-architected against the gaps they create.