Virtualization as a Process Tool

Virtualization is a technique used in network environments to provide an abstract rendering of the physical attributes of a system.  Within this abstract, the capabilities of the system can be expanded, manipulated, and dissected without impacting or changing the physical environment.  For instance, with virtualization, several storage devices can be rendered as a single device to be utilized by the entire network  .The benefits of doing this allow greater utilization of the total storage capacity of the network.  The use of the technique goes the other direction:  a rendered volume can be partitioned on the fly without any impact to the physical device or the data found on it.  The total volume can be increased without adding anymore physical devices.   An advantage to virtualization is that change like these can be made instantly within the rendering.


Though this technique is found in use to manage the technical aspects of a IT organization, the adoption of virtualization had application elsewhere, particularly in process management.  Within any organization, a number of of processes exist.  Included with the processes are the people and the tools used to execute the processes.  Many of these tools are managed separately by different process teams within different systems.  The people executing their portion of the process may not even be part of the functional team responsible for the process.  The result of this segregation across processes can lead to miscommunication and missteps in process flow.  Virtualization can end this segregation.


By creating an abstract rendering of the processes, the technique of virtualization can provide a basis for controlling, monitoring, and improving processes.  Technically, the ability to virtualize as simple as extracting the information from multiple systems and creating relationships in the information at a layer of business logic just above the process systems.  The advantage of using virtualization provides for moving work through the process and their corresponding systems automatically and simultaneously when required.  Through the virtualization layer, the functionalities of the systems can be utilized and expanded to allow for a richer, more robust process capabilities.  Additionally, performance impacts between processes can be readily explored to encourage improvements in the interactions of the processes as well as internally to the processes.


With greater focus on process control in the business sector, virtualization can provide a holistic perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the operations.