Automated provisioning, also called self-service provisioning, is “the ability to deploy an information technology or telecommunications service by using pre-deﬁned procedures that are carried out electronically without requiring human intervention.”
Traditional provisioning is a manual process that could require several people in different roles and involves multiple steps, and could take days or even weeks to move a request to the actual activation of the requested service.
Automating provisioning allows your customers to set up and make changes to services themselves through a Web browser or other client interface, and can provide a more efficient and rapid response to business requests, cutting service activation or service change time down to hours or even minutes.
Automated Provisioning in 2015
In the past, companies typically relied on home grown solutions or tedious manual procedures, which may be unreliable or even unenforceable. They can also be very difficult to document, which can prove problematic if you are required to produce evidence for your auditors.
By fully automating your provisioning, you are putting power in the hands of your customers, and cutting down on employee costs and reducing the time needed to run a project.
Saving Time and Money
It reduces the need for a technical staff, reduces the manual effort, improves accountability and improves your control. It also improves the security of your files, simply by reducing the amount of hands it needs to pass through.
Thirumalesh Reddy of VMWare points out:
most good infrastructure people already look for ways to automate redundant, manual tasks and prefer to run scripts where possible… [automated provisioning] technology let’s people do this on a massive scale, and we just keep finding more places to automate.
Nathan Thomas of Big Data has carefully planned a trip into automation, to create an on-demand IT team:
Along this automation journey, you’ll gradually converge those server, network and storage assets into a software-defined data center.
Ideally, you’ll manage all of that infrastructure through a single dashboard — while leaning on even more automation along the way. For example, software-defined process templates will allow your network, compute and storage settings to be programmed once. Document those processes, and you’ll be in great shape to automatically roll out new infrastructure — as needed, on demand.
By standardising our technology and our approaches to it, we will provide the means for these tasks to be standardised to the point where automation can undertake the majority of the work and present the results quickly.
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