Business success today requires transforming to a new IT service delivery model that is fast, predictable, always on and secure. Instead of a passive model – which usually results in service disruptions and uncertainty – IT organizations must adopt an active IT service delivery model that delivers predictable outcomes and a known infrastructure state.
For perspective, let’s start with some fundamental questions:
- How healthy is your infrastructure?
- Do you feel confident in your IT organization’s ability to successfully fix everyday issues?
- Are you drowning in a tidal wave of IT events?
- What about bigger problems – have you been hit by major outages, and disruptions in productivity?
- How well are you able to capture transient issues with, for example, voice and video quality, that you might not hear about from your customers?
The underlying issues aren’t simple. A healthy management system means that day-to-day challenges are easier to manage when the IT operations management system knows what’s happening beneath the surface. A proactive system – one that collects, consistently monitors and analyzes comprehensive data to detect problems before they become catastrophes – is critical for business competitiveness.
What Is Proactive?
The ability to deliver proactive IT service means that your organization understands the impact of events on services and business outcomes. It means you are able to proactively resolve problems before they impact performance.
To properly support the business units that depend on you, your focus can be on accelerated, first-time remediation of issues before they become major headaches. An active delivery system ensures full accountability, ending finger pointing by a tired and frustrated IT team.
An active delivery system will typically be comprised of a single, unified and integrated platform to monitor, analyze and remediate infrastructure issues. Without predictive analytics, comprehensive data and the ability to evaluate root causes of surface level symptoms, IT cannot proactively manage its systems.
A Performance Gap
A proactive communications monitoring system is critical for all businesses, but in reality, a gap exists. IT organizations universally understand that functioning voice, video, web conferencing and file-sharing systems are inextricably tied to business success. And they know that steps that must be taken to ensure these systems are healthy.
But maddeningly, they don’t follow through, creating a gap between what they value and what they do. And that gap is only getting bigger as new technology creates a more complex environment. You can say that they've cleared the first major hurdle – awareness of need – but they still haven't solved anything.
An active IT service delivery system improves business outcomes. By instituting analytics and monitoring capabilities, businesses can leave their reactivity behind and gain increased availability, improved service quality, and better customer and employee experience – all with reduced operational costs. Businesses that have already moved in this proactive direction are also far more confident in the ability of their infrastructure to live up to their customers’ expectations.
Steps to Take
So how can you get there from here? Here are five steps that your IT operations organization can take:
- Assess the current state of your communications applications and overall infrastructure. The current IT environment has inserted a level of complexity and variability that is different from older, more hardware-oriented solutions. Quality of service issues for voice, video and web conferencing now span converged network infrastructure, unified communications software applications, corporate WAN and cloud services.
- Ensure that your organizational structure is aligned to support all necessary capabilities. Legacy telecom teams that once supported voice now blend together with core networking, collaboration applications and facilities teams. Everyone touches communications applications.
- Align training, skills assessment and common tools for best practices. The key to success in driving disparate team alignment is to establish common processes, skill development, and a common source of the truth when monitoring and diagnosing IT problems and outages.
- Implement a common, proactive monitoring system. The system needs to enable hierarchical event correlation plus automated event validation, analysis and remediation. This will speed problem solving and lay the groundwork for better long-term management and planning of network resources
- Integrate external customer and internal employee feedback. Easy-to-use survey tools that gather worker and customer feedback will help identify areas for improvement.