Event, Change & Configuration Underpin $100 Million Data Center Transformation PDF

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Event, Change and Configuration Underpin $100 Million Data Center Transformation

A Fortune 50 Company was engaged in an aggressive IT operational transformation, the centerpiece being a $100 million data center modernization program. The goal was to leverage consolidation, virtualization and automation to streamline, speed up and simplify operations, while improving service quality and reducing costs and staff. Over a year into the program, the risks became clear:

  • Due to size, complexity and the number of constituents, the program had too many initiatives with too many projects, and it was losing direction.
  • Focus on technology and financial outcomes had overshadowed the significant need for enterprise organizational process improvements. In the words of one Senior VP, "We will build the most modern data center in history; we just won't be able to run or manage it."

Evergreen's Approach

The Company had recently leveraged one of the Evergreen's white papers (Developing the Business Case for Data Center Automation) to assist in building its transformation program and was impressed by the expertise illustrated by that piece.

The Company engaged Evergreen to rationalize its project portfolio and evaluate each project, based on its value to the business and its criticality to the company's overall strategic objectives.

Evergreen facilitated workshops with the key constituents and forged consensus on the direction, timeline and focus of each project, helping the Company to simplify, rationalize and unify its focus, getting programs back on-track and on-schedule.

During the same timeframe Evergreen began to assess the organizational and process improvements that the Company needed to optimize its operations. It became quickly clear that the greatest needs were in three core ITIL areas – Event Management, Change Management and Configuration Management. Maturity was quite low and reactive, illustrated by a 0.79/5 and 2/5, respectively, on the CMMI maturity scale.

Organizationally, the Company lacked a service-based view of the infrastructure needed to support its critical processes, which would enable the business transformation program to be successful.

Over the next 15 months, Evergreen leveraged its process transformation methodology, 'Adopt and Adapt.'

Evergreen's proprietary methodology drove 'out-of-the-box' best practices by building on ITILv3 principles to speed outcomes and optimize operations.

Evergreen worked with the Company to build both short- and long-term roadmaps that aligned the organization, roles and responsibilities, processes and technologies within an overall architecture.

Highlights included:

  • Collaboration of federated CMDBs between HP uCMDB and BMC Atrium/Change Management, as well as an upgrade of existing monitoring and event management tools and processes.
  • Accelerated process reengineering that designed, developed and implemented an integrated process architecture for Configuration, Change and Event Management.
  • Identified key business objectives and implemented Configuration Management critical success factors, key performance indicators and operational metrics in alignment with industry best practices, control (COBIT) standards and governance guidelines.
  • Established key strategy, identification, control and audit activities to support successful execution and federated integration of the uCMDB with Change (Remedy/Atrium) and Event Management (HP).
  • Established processes to discover, map and maintain information on more than 20,000 servers, network devices, databases, PCs, storage and mainframes with key business applications.
  • Established clear integration and reconciliation processes within all federated architecture and vendor tools.
  • Drove reduction of change-related failures and unauthorized changes through improved planning and risk analysis, utilizing integrated data from CMDB.

Outcome and Benefits

The data center transformation program has been successful in delivering the planned benefits on schedule. The integrated solutions approach, combining organizational, process and technological change, was successful in enabling the Company to deploy and manage a new 'state of the art' data center footprint, while still reducing the headcount required by 200. Additional benefits included:

  • Improvement in Configuration Management maturity from a 'reactive' state to a 'managed' state in an accelerated seven-month timeframe.
  • A high degree of process integration with Change Management (through federated systems) that reduced manual efforts, improved impact analysis and reduced unauthorized changes, as well as established a foundation for workflow automation.
  • The establishment of a foundation for true Business Service Management through infrastructure discovery and applications mapping.
  • An ITSM business unit integration program that brought business unit CIs into the enterprise CMS.