How Capita assures application performance

Implementing AI-powered automation to resource workloads across hybrid cloud

by Elizabeth Sheehan
3-minute read
Man and woman working in data center

In recent years, company expansion and successive acquisitions have added a significant amount of complexity to Capita’s IT organization. Following this series of acquisitions, Jerry Aherne, Head of Infrastructure Operations at Capita, and his team, were tasked with integrating a wide range of IT services and standardizing around fewer solutions.

They were simultaneously tasked with onboarding engineers who were (traditionally) accustomed to working in a single domain/customer environment. Throughout this integration process, Jerry’s team needed to ensure each technology had gone through the appropriate governance process to ensure service and operational levels were met and in line with Capita’s operating model.

While this integration process was underway, Capita was also shifting its focus to the cloud. Cloud gave the team a more agile approach to application delivery without the concern of costly hardware and capex spend, but that agile approach introduced new challenges. The team quickly learned they could not rely on their manual approach to managing resources as they moved farther along in their cloud journey.

Before the introduction of the IBM® Turbonomic® Application Resource Management solution, the team relied on numerous spreadsheets and manual intervention to track resource consumption, virtual machine (VM) sprawl and forecasting. This manual approach forced them to be very reactive rather than proactive in managing resources, which in turn drove a higher rate of performance issues with both customer VMs as well as the platforms themselves. This challenge of managing an environment containing 11,100 workloads — 5,100 on-premises and 6,000 in the public cloud — was beyond human scale.

Coworkers having informal project meeting in high tech office

Capita relies on IBM Turbonomic to assure the performance of

11,100

workloads

Capita supports the digital transformation journey of over

20,000

customers worldwide

IBM Turbonomic’s automation platform allows us as a business to transform into a more agile service provider. It has allowed us to make informed proactive decisions that ensure application performance is delivered first and foremost whilst also ensuring costs are kept to a minimum.
Jerry Aherne
Head of Infrastructure Operations, Capita plc

Implementing ARM to assure performance

Team sitting together in an open space office

With Turbonomic, the Capita team had a single view of all their hosting platforms regardless of whether they were on premises or cloud. This level of visibility immediately allowed them to drive up host density and reduce VM sprawl whilst ensuring application performance. Using Turbonomic’s application-centric performance metrics, the Capita team was able to build out the applications topologies, giving them a complete view of their application stack from top to bottom.

Visibility was only the beginning. The next step was to implement automated resource actions. But, as with any new management tool that is introduced, trust needed to be established quickly.

Jerry and his team began with the automation of VM placement. In time, they demonstrated that with Turbonomic they could implement full automation of right placement as well as right sizing. Presently, they are relying on Turbonomic’s AI-powered automation to fully manage their BAU RDS platform, which is used by all their BAU teams to manage all their hosting estates, client environments, networks and storage platforms. This initial win is now used as their benchmark to demonstrate how Turbonomic can help reduce waste without compromising performance.

IBM Turbonomic has helped our team reduce the amount of time they spend on manual processes and increase the amount of time they spend on service improvement and innovation.
Jerry Aherne
Head of Infrastructure Operations, Capita plc

Expanding adoption of automation across the organization

Portrait of female computer programmer sitting in office

As they look to the future, Jerry and his team have additional automation use-cases they want to implement. They aim to forecast future builds and migrations in and out of their platforms. They are also looking toward delivering automation of server builds both on premises and in the cloud. By expanding their use of Turbonomic automation, they aim to empower their engineers to step away from manual processes and concentrate on service improvement and next steps in Capita’s product evolution.

Their overarching goal is to continue to improve efficiency and reliability, reduce incidents, drive automation and deliver cost benefits all while improving the service they deliver to their customers.

Capita plc logo
About Capita plc

Headquartered in London, CapitaExternal Link operates in the UK, Europe, India and South Africa across six divisions including Software, Technology Solutions, People Solutions, Customer Management, Government Services and Specialist Services. Today the company has over 61,000 employees and its 2020 revenues were approximately GBP 3.3 billion.

Solution component
Capita plc logo
About Capita plc

Headquartered in London, CapitaExternal Link operates in the UK, Europe, India and South Africa across six divisions including Software, Technology Solutions, People Solutions, Customer Management, Government Services and Specialist Services. Today the company has over 61,000 employees and its 2020 revenues were approximately GBP 3.3 billion.

Solution component