Data Center Journal

Volume 27 | May 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 35

it OPS Next-Generation Data Centers Focus on Empowering Human Ingenuity By Payal Kindiger Do you have your social game on? Not Facebook, not Twitter – but the social savvy that will catapult your data center initiatives a quantum leap forward. Today's most advanced IT leaders are paying close attention to the paradigm shift represented by new enterprise social and collaboration technologies, which are transforming the effectiveness of data centers by leveraging the power of human ingenuity. T he technology driving these nextgeneration data centers has risen out of a new capability that leading analysts refer to as collaborative operations, which supports and captures the unstructured workflows and collaborative dialog that emerges out of email, instant messaging, phone calls and other means. Collaborative operations provides a convenient way to retain and manage all of this activity so that the organization can benefit from the knowledge it contains over the long haul. At the same time, new advances in the area of IT process automation (ITPA) are being combined with collaborative operations to drive further gains in data center operations. ITPA solutions provide the ability to orchestrate and integrate tools, people and processes, and can lead to reductions in human error, better allocation of resources and faster incident response. At the intersection of collaborative operations and ITPA is where we are seeing dramatic changes take shape across the data center. These combined disciplines are fueled by four key pillars -- people, processes, knowledge and automation – and in this article, we'll explore each of these pillars and their impact on the data center. People When it comes to the new face of IT, people are the first and most crucial part of the equation, and automation is a mechanism to provide more opportunity for creative work versus repetitive work. Individuals are happiest when they participate in a community that asks the best of them and allows them to contribute their potential. By getting the entire organization to participate in IT through social collaboration and other means, IT processes are improved and experiences are shared for the benefit of all. Until recently, the unstructured interactions that make up social collaboration have been rarely, if ever, accounted for in today's more conventional ITPA tools. As a result, organizations miss out on the opportunity to convert these valuable knowledge assets into reusable business intelligence that can be accessed by support teams time and time again. But collaborative operations-driven IT approaches are addressing this challenge by capturing and documenting unstructured workflows and making them available via Wikis and other social tools that link people, tools and other resources, thereby allowing organizational knowledge to be more easily available, produced, maintained and consumed. By combining this level of collaboration with built-in and highly scalable automation, today's IT leaders are able to eliminate traditional organizational constraints that hinder productivity and innovation, and achieve dramatic time and cost savings as well as vast improvements in operational quality. To provide a brief example of this approach in action, consider the idea that exceptions within an IT automation process can initiate social collaboration, meaning support staff are alerted when exceptions occur, and they are then able to instantly interact with live running processes – to offer their insight, to learn, adapt and quickly take action. All the while, the organization's process knowledge is improved and updated in real-time, so that the wisdom gained at that particular point in time is available for ongoing use. Processes Processes have always been human centric, and with collaborative operations infused into ITPA processes, organizations gain the tools to make cross-functional collaboration easier and more effective, and even more measurable. THE DATA CENTER JOURNAL | 25

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Data Center Journal - Volume 27 | May 2013