Bringing AIOps to the Federal Community
ScienceLogic CEO Dave Link recently sat down with SwishData CEO Monty Deel to talk about how AIOps is proving to be an ideal technology platform for reining in the complexity of large federal agencies.
The U.S. government might not come to mind when you think of sophisticated technology users, but federal agencies operate some of the world’s largest, most complex IT environments. SwishData—a ScienceLogic partner—is a veteran-owned, purpose-built technology and engineering services and solutions provider focused on the federal marketplace. SwishData creates competitive differentiation through digital operations and IT modernization, performance engineering, cybersecurity, and managed services.
One of the largest government organizations benefitting from SwishData’s expertise and the ScienceLogic SL1 AIOps platform is the Veterans Administration (VA), providing member services to more than 9 million enrolled veterans.
Big Government, Big Enterprise
Enterprises in the federal market are complex, with increasing demands on systems and staff as they deploy numerous technology tools to manage the ever-growing needs of digital technologies and services. The costs and hazards of deploying enterprise applications have become increasingly difficult. AIOps, and in particular ScienceLogic SL1, has been a great tool for us when building outcome-based architectures.
The federal government has some of the world’s largest enterprises; much larger in many cases than in the commercial world. The VA is the second-largest technology enterprise in the federal government in terms of endpoints, and one of the largest in the world. Their needs are unique in the world of technology.
It’s a time of transformative shifts in the federal marketplace, led by the convergence of federal agencies moving their workloads to the cloud, but still having on-premises applications that their users need access to. ScienceLogic is a leader in AI-driven solutions for hybrid cloud management.
Three Trends Converging
There are three exciting trends coming together in the market right now to deliver a superior service outcome:
- The pandemic has moved an accelerated set of workloads to the cloud, and when that happens, you need to modernize how you run and operate from an IT perspective.
- There’s a focus on security, which is always evolving, and that requires tools like SL1 that you use to observe your cloud and your private data center infrastructure.
- And analytics are enabling a faster mean-time-to-resolution because the problem could emanate from many different technologies.
Another big problem area is real-time CMDB synchronization. Incident management systems have to be up-to-date, and that requires automation. Transient systems come and go; spin up and spin down, and because of that, CMDB synchronization needs a modern tool to stay up-to-date. ScienceLogic is a leader in helping agencies keep their CMDB accurate, in real-time.
A Better User Experience
That’s right. SL1 aggregates and contextualizes the data so that it’s not just data, it’s meaningful information. And once it’s in a data lake, you need to aggregate that information, contextualize it, and then and translate it into a better user experience—because the user experience is everything. When you have 700,000 to 800,000 users on a critical network simultaneously, whether it’s DHS, DOD, or the VA, all of them deserve available, reliable service.
This is where ScienceLogic is unique. Most other tools in the AIOps space are stovepiped; they don’t interface well or share data in a meaningful way. ScienceLogic aggregates capabilities like a Swiss Army knife. It has all of these different tools and brings them together on one platform.
Another challenge agencies face today is with everybody working from home because of the pandemic. The spotlight is on IT as never before to deliver even more value, and stronger uptime, for the applications that people are using remotely. Nobody’s at work; nobody can touch and hug their boxes anymore. You have to rely on best-in-class tools to give you the intellect and the insight as to what things need attention right now.
SL1 is a productivity tool for government agencies to hone in on the things that they really need to tackle. We enable proactive resolution from the insights we derive so that IT operations can see anomalies and solve problems before there is an actual fault, incident, or a disruptive situation that creates a service outage. The Holy Grail is to find the problem before it occurs and to remediate the problem so that you never have a disruption. That is our mission; our North Star. And that is what SwishData and ScienceLogic are doing together to help the VA achieve that great service quality all veterans using their services deserve.
Reliability and ROI
I couldn’t agree more. Service outage prevention is an example of that. I ran some numbers looking at the normal bill rate within the government to determine the return on investment for Science Logic. I if we prevent one hour of major application outage at the VA, it saves productivity losses of $10 to $15 million. By preventing a single one-hour outage per month at the VA, on an annualized basis, that’s $180 million of productivity gains. It’s that simple. The returns are monumental.
SwishData is a purpose-built company, focused on technology, performance improvement, and outcome-based enterprise applications. That’s what we do for a living. We picked three or four technology partners and we go deep, learn their products, and install our employees in the government location. We’re involved with their development teams and things that make us real experts so that we can help the government deploy technology in the best possible manner to achieve the best outcome.
I’m an ex-Air Force guy. I’ve been involved with the government for almost 40 years. I’ve seen technology deployed that doesn’t get used, or that only gets used to 10% of its potential value. Our job is to make sure the government gets 90 to 100% of what they bought. That’s where we come together with ScienceLogic to make sure the product works the way it was designed to be used.