Paula Phipps

IT Automation Plays a Central Role in Digital Transformation

Blog Post created by Paula Phipps Employee on Sep 6, 2016

In the Digital Transformation era, every company is a technology company. Nowadays, business types concern themselves with the technology underwriting their business initiatives because it’s one of a handful of key metrics that will define success – or failure. According to MITSloan, key metrics for a successful digital transformation are talent, culture, strategy and leadership. And no surprise, one of the top four leadership attributes identified is technology understanding. There was a time not so long ago when technology understanding wouldn’t even have been in the job description of a Forbes Global 2000 CEO, outside of those at the helms of bonafide tech companies. Theodore Kinni goes further in his recent blog titled “Every Company Is a Tech Company and Tech Is No Longer an Industry,” explaining that some companies are in the tech industry in name only and are forcing constituents of the industries they are disrupting to compete on an uneven playing field – his examples include Uber, Airbnb and Alibaba.DigitalTransformationPeopleinModernOfficeComplexistock-000088073107-texture-low.jpg


To even the playing field, leaders do need to understand technology and they need to hire talent that understands technology.  But more importantly, is the need to understand the intersection of business and technology. This intersection is where digital transformation meets the cloud and the data center.  At VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas, during the general session, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger prescribed the right balance between freedom and control to deliver technology in a way that makes IT more agile and easier for businesses to consume. He suggested that this balance between freedom and control – a hybrid approach -- is needed to smooth the transition to 2021 when VMware predicts 50% of all workloads will be delivered from a cloud. He went on to say that management, automation and programmability are essential to the way forward.


From my vantage point at Hitachi, I see this too. Management, automation and programmability play a major role in helping our customers become more agile in delivering IT.  Hitachi has used its deep knowledge and best practices to develop provisioning “recipes” which take the form of pre-defined templates which comprise a service catalog for provisioning infrastructure resources to VMware and other cloud ecosystems, including open source clouds like OpenStack as well as for specific business applications like Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.


VMware and Hitachi have worked together for years. Hitachi adds to the VMware value proposition with our automation integrations. A key differentiator Hitachi brings is automated management of virtual and physical together in the VMware cloud ecosystem. Today we do this with Hitachi UCP Director in concert with VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter. At VMworld 2016 Hitachi shared a technology preview of new automation software which will extend Hitachi specific domain information within the VMware ecosystem of tools to midmarket environments. Look for more on this new automation technology soon.robotic_hand_iStock_000001427493XSmall.jpg


Speaking of new, have you checked out the Hitachi Data Systems Developer Network yet? This is the one stop shop for developers and technologists looking to leverage Hitachi in their development, IT architectures and cloud plans. The Hitachi Data Systems Developer Network is a friendly place get answers and share knowledge about HDS solutions and products, discover insights from industry experts, and make connections with others. The community is open to everyone, and anyone can join. Since this post is focused on automation and programmability, I’ll point out a key hub for automation in the Hitachi Developer Network, the new Hitachi Automation Director Developer Community. If you’re not yet familiar with Automation Director, you will want to be. The Community offers service templates, user guides, discussions and question and answer forums. This is a hub for developers to obtain downloadable templates to use within Automation Director to automate provisioning for specific applications and workloads, as well as network, server and storage.  Also available on the Community are downloadable plugins used to create your own custom templates to automate for and integrate with Cloud Management Platforms like ServiceNow, Ansible, Chef and Puppet. For example, here is a link to a downloadable VMware vSphere Plugins Pack.


Hitachi has embraced the API economy, making it possible for Hitachi infrastructure to be consumed in an agile manner by any cloud, making our automation combined with the resiliency and data availability, management and protection for which Hitachi is legendary, available to all.  Look for more to come around Hitachi and automation this Fall.


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