WatchMyDC® Implementation Readiness Recommendations
Enterprise Automation Readiness Overview
In most large or complex IT environments, monitoring, orchestration, and enterprise automation across technology stacks and business units can seem daunting. In Professional Services, we guide our customers through the implementation of our SaaS-based, hybrid enterprise automation platform. We believe that well-prepared and highly engaged teams are best positioned to rapidly adopt WatchMyDC® rapidly and realize the earliest ROI.
Whether you’re onboarding WatchMyDC® with our partner’s team or through our Professional Services, here are some implementation readiness recommendations. Engaging your internal teams is important before you begin implementation to make the process as smooth as possible.
Appoint Power Users
Appointing technical champions to lead your enterprise automation implementation is extremely important. This will help to achieve a go-live date and adoption across your organization. Ensure you have the right people—with bandwidth—that know your current infrastructure architecture inside and out. This may be a small, central team or one individual across multiple departments. These people will be the power users that are best suited to engage with our partner and/or Professional Services teams throughout onboarding.
Our training is a great way to give power users the deep product knowledge to operate fully and successfully. We highly recommend you look to go through our training materials to train internal experts in your organization.
Beyond initial implementation, these power users will also be crucial resources for the ongoing operations and usage of WatchMyDC® as your business’ departments, infrastructure, and automation requirements change. Our product is continuously evolving and, through our SaaS release model, your power users will receive regular, automatic updates to WatchMyDC that they will want to keep abreast of via Release Notes.
In our experience, the most successful power users are:
- Deeply knowledgeable about existing tools with an understanding of how users employ them
- Great communicators
- Influential with other internal IT experts and teams
- Willing and eager to learn
- Ready to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty
Consider Implementation Order
As you look to deploy WatchMyDC across multiple teams and departments, consider the order in which you intend to migrate them. Multiple teams may be eager and interested in moving off their legacy toolset and into our platform.
To minimize complexity and confusion across your departments, we recommend implementing departments in phases rather than in parallel. For example, attempting to rush your network, server, cloud, and storage teams into WatchMyDC® simultaneously may create additional complexity and workload for your power users. Staggering implementations across teams will result in a longer “bake-in” period before the next team begins and better cross-pollination of WatchMyDC® awareness when these teams communicate with each other.
Summon Domain Experts
We recommend to select domain experts in the various technologies being monitored—Windows, Linux, storage (NAS, SAN, VMs), cloud (AWS), NMS, ITSM, etc. These are the folks who will give you valuable requirements for how they want to see enterprise automation with WatchMyDC®. Domain experts will also provide context about all the locations where their infrastructure resides in your company, which is crucial for Collector planning and design. They’ll be responsible for any configuration changes across their technology domains to ensure WatchMyDC® can poll and receive data correctly.
If multiple teams are impacted by WatchMyDC implementation, we also highly recommend appointing a Project Manager to tie together stakeholder communication and task assignments.
Set an Achievable Timeframe
Implementing WatchMyDC® is more than just adding devices to monitoring. We believe in accelerated adoption for our enterprise customers. But there are many dependencies you will uncover that may impact your go-live date. Most of our customers who use WatchMyDC® take between one and two months to fully onboard. Some of our largest or most complex implementation projects take four months or longer. Since an enterprise automation solution has an impact across the whole organization, we suggest our customers set a realistic timeline to get fully on board.
WatchMyDC® project delivery process is described in this document. The below timeline depicts a timeline for a basic project.
Many of our enterprise customers need to influence other departments or clients to fully adopt WatchMyDC®. This may require the persuasion of teams that are content with their legacy, incumbent tools. Consider us a partner in equipping your champions and power users to demonstrate the value of WatchMyDC® across your organization. This will help build a successful project plan.
The behavioral change within your organization to move teams and clients to WatchMyDC® requires:
- Leadership sponsorship
- Clear communication
- Deep understanding of current use cases
- Good end-user training
- Incumbent tool access and decommissioning plan
Understand the Change Management Process
If your company, like many others, has adopted the ITIL framework, you and your teams are likely to be subject to internal controls and procedures required to manage infrastructure configuration changes as you transition to WatchMyDC®.
As your team works through dependencies (see below), you’ll most likely encounter infrastructure change lead times and approvals required to migrate your IT infrastructure to WatchMyDC®.
Examples of infrastructure changes may include:
- Spinning up new VMs for the WatchMyDC® Collector
- Adding exceptions to firewalls to allow automation over the internal network
- Adding or updating SSH or WMI credentials on target devices
Depending on the nature of your IT Service Management practice, these changes may require ticket submission, Change Advisory Board (CAB) approval, and planning for appropriate change windows—all of which can add delay to your go-live date.
Identify What to Leave Behind
Chances are, you’re migrating from incumbent tools that your teams have grown comfortable with and WatchMyDC® may or may not monitor your infrastructure performance exactly the way it was in your previous tool(s).
In Professional Services, we routinely help our customers achieve parity with the existing monitoring tools. This involves taking a deep look at integration, automation, and reporting requirements in the current tools. And also assessing how to rebuild or migrate the equivalent solution in our platform.
As your team dives through these areas, we recommend that you:
- Forget stale configuration. Identify areas in your previous tools where configuration is no longer needed or used; leave behind old dashboards, reports, customizations, etc. And also clean up your device inventory as much as possible before importing it into WatchMyDC®. Otherwise, your team will be chasing false positives.
- Understand that automation might be different. Your previous tool may be collecting data from your infrastructure differently than WatchMyDC collects data. Evaluate our modules before trying to manually recreate any data sources or data points. WatchMyDC® allows you to automate any infrastructure regardless of the device manufacturer.
- Give our out-of-the-box alerting a shot. Our modules come with preset thresholds on common data points that are based on best practices we’ve gathered from our most complex customer environments. Before doing any global import and manual migration of thresholds from incumbent tools, we recommend starting with our out-of-the-box thresholds and, if necessary, using threshold tuning strategies to reduce alert noise to manageable levels.
Understand Dependencies for Enterprise Automation
In our Professional Services implementations, we depend on customers completing numerous tasks that are needed to achieve a go-live target date. The points described above are important considerations when planning to adopt WatchMyDC® for enterprise automation. The earlier you understand and prepare for these, the quicker you can accelerate your WatchMyDC® implementation.
As you get closer to actual deployment, there are additional dependencies for you to consider. These dependencies go deeper into the specifics of how WatchMyDC® will be implemented in your environment. The detailed in Top Dependencies for WatchMyDC® Enterprise Implementation.