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Top I&O Trends Point to Value of an AIOps Approach to ITOM

Today’s IT infrastructure is complex, and it’s becoming increasingly more complex as enterprises adopt software-defined integration components, meshing them with legacy systems.

Adding to that complexity is the use of new tech and trends like public and private cloud, IoT, mobile devices, DevOps, and the consumption of a wide array of applications.  Any thought of things getting simpler has become a fleeting fancy.

The good news is, all of this intricacy gives organizations a wide range of options for building an enterprise that meets the needs of users, customers, partners, and the overall business mission. But is also creates a wide range of challenges for those tasked with IT operations management (ITOM). And when it comes to change, there’s always more on the way.

A new report by Forrester, Top Ten Trends That Will Shape Modern Infrastructure and Operations In 2020, identifies key developments in I&O that will accelerate the pace of change and the evolution of the enterprise. The trends detailed by Forrester include:

  • Integrated build/run product teams
  • Infrastructure product teaming
  • The role of site reliability engineers
  • Collaborative network operations centers
  • Process thinking
  • Incident management practices
  • Lean change management
  • The reimagining of configuration management
  • Business-centric enterprise service management
  • New ways to think about efficiency metrics

Each of the trends brings a new perspective to I&O, reflecting the way innovative technologies have necessitated a change to traditional ITOM approaches. Some require bringing a new perspective to the tools used for monitoring and managing today’s infrastructure, reflecting the fact that an enterprise consisting of innovative technologies cannot be monitored and managed by legacy tech. In 2020 and beyond, a solid ITOM plan calls for an investment in an IT operations platform able to support cloud and software defined components, and do so with the speed and intelligence to keep up with their operation and with the characteristic pace of change.

Of the ten trends found in the Forrester report, there are three that deserve a closer look. In the context of ITOM, these three trends combine to make a strong case for the adoption of AIOps in order to avoid the pitfalls that keep your IT operations team from achieving the desired outcome of maximal IT operations efficiency.

Trend #6: Incident management practices will take on greater importance.

As digital services become more integral to critical human services, the management and remediation of incidents should be top of mind for organizations looking to maintain public trust and brand value. Hang onto your control tower but with some behavioral modifications.

Under a traditional IT operations approach, incident management commands far too much of the ITOps team’s time. When you lack complete visibility into the enterprise, your team has to identify the source of incidents, diagnose their cause, and resolve issues as quickly as they can in order to keep systems and services up and running.

But even the best teams are limited because humans are not as fast, accurate, or indefatigable as machines. Because of the costs associated with downtime-up to $540k according to Gartner—and failure to meet service level agreements, minimizing mean time to repair (MTTR) must be their constant focus.

The ability to streamline incident management practices (not to mention routine maintenance) through automation, including discovery, diagnostics, response, and repair, can eliminate a great deal of the drudgery associated with incident management and dramatically reduce MTTR. Uptime is maximized, costs are reduced, customer satisfaction is increased, and your team can spend more time on value-added tasks.

Trend #7: Change management will remain critical but become leaner.

The value of change management in the organization remains intact. Having a cohesive practice to ensure auditability, coordination, and a quantified risk management function will be foundational for years to come. Concentrate on preserving this strong sense of coordination while incorporating leaner, more modern change management behaviors.

If incident management is one of the biggest resource drains for IT operations teams, change management runs a close second—especially when using legacy systems for IT monitoring and management. This is because it is impossible to manage changes to your enterprise that you can’t see or, that blink in and out of existence before you have a chance to respond.

That level of ephemerality is common today thanks to on-demand, consumerized services that allow even individual users to provision applications, storage, and compute depending on what their needs are at any moment. When ITOps migrates from legacy monitoring tools to modern AIOps using artificial intelligence to discover and analyze the complete scope of the enterprise—including those ephemeral changes that may impact performance—they can keep up with the pace of change and ensure IT is operating at maximum efficiency.

Trend #10: Siloed efficiency metrics will take a back seat.

Individual efficiency doesn’t mean collective effectiveness. Hyper-focusing on efficiency in siloed areas leads to systemwide ineffectiveness; well-meaning tunnel vision will cost the organization in time and resources. I&O leaders need to change the way they think about their day-to-day work.

IT silos are a symptom of inefficient ITOM and legacy IT operations tools. They persist because it is easier to maintain systems in isolation of the enterprise’s full operational status, but the problem is that IT silos do not exist in isolation of the enterprise. Every component making up the enterprise has an effect on upstream and downstream performance. In the aggregate, they can be a drain on computing resources and also be a major hindrance to both incident and change management.

When the ITOM scheme is built on AIOps, advanced analytics provide a contextual understanding of the full enterprise, in real time. Silos come down and the big picture of IT operations comes into sharp focus.

The advantages of today’s complex, ephemeral, and software-defined enterprises come with new challenges that should be met by tools that are designed to meet those challenges. AIOps provides the speed and visibility to handle incident and change management quickly and efficiently through automation. And as tech and trends evolve beyond 2020, AIOps offers the flexibility to keep pace.

Interested in learning more? Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our expert consultants if you have any other questions.

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