1. To optimize systems management, you need to think about more than tools.
Streamline processes, use tools with purpose, and continually look for opportunities to improve.
As an infrastructure manager, I’m facing some of the following challenges:
• I spent a great deal of time and money implementing systems management, but I’m not seeing the expected results.
• I monitor my systems, but I’m suffering from too-much-information syndrome.
• I don’t know how to act on the data I have. There’s an abundance of it, but I don’t know how to transform it into a usable diagnosis.
• My organization is growing, and I’m not sure if the tools I have can handle the increased size and complexity of my environment.
- Organizations fail at systems management because they focus too much on technology and neglect the importance of people and processes.
- People and processes should drive the technology, not the other way around.
- Many organizations perform systems management, but they do it haphazardly. They put together a collection of open-source or vendor-provided tools, but
having so many different moving parts can cause more problems than it solves.
- There’s a tendency to equate tool consolidation with maturity. This is a mistake: there is room for point solutions and consolidation, dependent on need.
- Mature organizations will focus on service delivery, listening to users and business needs in order to prioritize efforts effectively.
- Few organizations pay enough attention to the interfaces between processes.
- Automation is only as good as the process that’s being automated.
- Implement incrementally, piece by piece, focusing first on quick wins or vulnerable critical systems.
- Don’t neglect the human element. No matter how good your tools are, they are useless if nobody actually knows how to use them effectively.
- Make the Case for Optimizing Systems Management - Without optimized systems management, you’re leaving money on the table. Optimized systems
management can drive cost reduction as well as improving capabilities.
- Assess Current Systems Management Capabilities- Overall capabilities demand synergy between people, processes, and technology.
- - Skills are a critical determinant of systems management success. Find your gaps and have a plan in place to overcome them.
- Align Systems Management With Organizational Priorities - More mature organizations will focus on service delivery rather than just keeping systems up and
running. In order to do so, you must have a clear idea of what the business actually wants and needs.
- - Make sure you have clear, concrete, and specific outcomes in mind. Many organizations fail because they’re not actually sure where they want to go with their
systems management initiative.
- Refine Systems Management Processes with Visual SOPs - Few organizations pay close attention to the interfaces between processes. Make sure you
understand how processes interact with one another and keep the channels of communication open and clear.
- - Automation is only as good as the process being automated.
- Refine Your Systems Management Software Toolkit - Consolidation won’t solve all of your problems and some organizations will benefit more from
specialized point solutions.
- - Many organizations cling to tools that have redundant functions. Perform a tool rationalization exercise but keep in mind why those tools are still around:
somebody likes them. Eliminating them might be a political issue, so choose your battles carefully.
- Build a Plan to Implement Your Optimization Initiative - Implement incrementally, and don’t neglect the human element of systems management while