Dr. Rahul Ghodke

Agile infrastructure is a prerequisite for digital transformation

Enterprises and governments are striving to become “digital” to revolutionize the customer and citizen experience and improve service delivery, operational efficiency and business outcomes. A foundational requirement to supporting such transformation is having a modern, agile IT infrastructure—a digital infrastructure platform.

We see three phases to establishing an agile digital infrastructure platform:

  • Automation of the operation of traditional legacy infrastructure
  • Modernization of the infrastructure, including smart adoption of cloud and hybrid IT
  • Introduction of cloud-native platforms designed to support “high-speed” digital IT

A key component of this platform is an integration fabric that enables the connection of all applications, whether hosted on-premises, in the cloud or in partner environments.

In this blog, my colleague Ralf Schlenker and I focus on the first phase of this platform: automating the enterprise’s traditional IT operations. This phase should include strategies and programs to rationalize and consolidate legacy IT—as well as increase the use of robotics and machine learning, first for semi-autonomic operations and eventually to accomplish fully autonomic operations (e.g., self-healing, self-regulating, etc.).

Such a strategy frees up both human and financial resources to focus on modernizing and transforming to the agile digital infrastructure platform. It also increases service levels and quality while reducing costs.

Best practices for this first stage of the IT infrastructure transformation journey include:

  • Shifting from labor arbitrage to knowledge arbitrage (leveraging cognitive autonomous systems) in outsourcing arrangements
  • Implementing an integrated operations center supported by autonomics to achieve unified (applications and infrastructure) operations management of IT
  • Adaptive and contextual event management with an automated correlation and diagnostics engine
  • Platform-agnostic framework designed to automate complex IT and application management tasks using robotics with a reusable library of “action handlers”
  • Goal-based measurement framework for continual service automation and improvement
  • Service analytics platform to continuously measure and assess service quality and performance
  • Enterprise application integration strategy for the widely adopted cloud scenarios: cloud-to-on-premises, cloud-to-cloud, multi-cloud-to-legacy and micro-services overlay with cloud native and legacy

As a cloud integrator, provider and operator, CGI uses automation to dramatically reduce costs and improve outcomes by moving to a semi-autonomous integrated IT operations model. As an example, for a global client, we deployed our CGI Unify360 intelligent automation intellectual property to correlate and diagnose 35,000+ monthly monitoring events originating from over 22 monitoring systems. Incident triage, management and resolution processes are automated for an increasingly self-healing autonomic operation.

For this client, more than 350 automation use cases are delivered by CGI Unify360 virtual software robots, including the majority of application and infrastructure health checks and scheduled workloads. This is reducing 2,050 hours of work per week and freeing up human engineers to focus on value-creating activities. As machine learning algorithms are being trained over time, we expect the degree of autonomics to continue to increase and the need for human intervention to continue to decrease.

Also for this client, their event load has been reduced by 95% using techniques such as contextual event stream analysis, predictive anomaly and outlier detection, root cause forensics, and forecasting. The core platform also uses a service analytics platform to automatically and continually publish 60+ key performance indicators for users to assess service quality and performance. In total, these initiatives have lowered operating costs for the client by 30%.

CGI helps clients build their agile digital infrastructure platform by achieving new efficiencies, optimizing investments and freeing resources for modernization with our CGI Unify360 hybrid IT management suite with the power of intelligent automation.

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