How AIOps Technology Improves the IT Operations Management Framework

No matter your business model, your IT infrastructure is the backbone that provides the services that your employees and customers depend on. Your reliance on underlying IT ecosystems is constantly increasing, so it’s safe to say that it’s here to stay.

To keep pace, your IT operations team needs to embrace digital transformation. That means using digital technology to solve problems utilizing cloud computing, reducing your reliance on your own hardware, and increasing your reliance on subscription-based cloud services. [1] It’s a complicated direction to take, and it may exponentially increase the amount of data under management, but it’s absolutely necessary.

Fortunately, AIOps has emerged to improve the IT operations management framework and make digital transformation easier.

AI for IT Operations: Keys to Ensuring Uptime

As you know, delivering agile IT operations is key to providing service assurance. Without an acceptable level of service assurance, it’s difficult to conduct day-to-day business and almost impossible to support any of the growth initiatives of the business.

At its core, service assurance is all about uptime. This comes down to the ability to:

  • Maintain an IT monitoring system that provides visibility across the entire estate under management
  • Rapidly get to the real cause of service-impacting issues when they occur
  • Provide remediation in an effective, efficient and prompt manner
  • Continuously improve on the ability to conduct agile IT operations activities

Each of these activities is data intensive. And, as the technologies being supported by the IT operations management framework evolve, ever more data is being generated. In order to effectively monitor, detect causes, remediate and continuously improve, IT operations teams must have the ability to manage this data.

“IT operations is challenged by the rapid growth in data volumes generated by IT infrastructure and applications that must be captured, analyzed and acted on,” says Padraig Byrne, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner. “Coupled with the reality that IT operations teams often work in disconnected silos, this makes it challenging to ensure that the most urgent incident at any given time is being addressed.”[2]

It is in addressing this very challenge, coinciding with the inevitability of digital transformation, that AIOps platforms are poised to transform and improve the IT operations management framework.

The Definition of AIOps 

AIOps is a term that Gartner introduced in 2017. It is an acronym for artificial intelligence for IT operations. AIOps platforms leverage advances in data science and machine learning to manage the ingestion, manipulation and analysis of data.

According to Gartner, “AIOps platforms enhance IT operations through greater insights by combining big data, machine learning and visualization. I&O leaders should initiate AIOps deployment to refine performance analysis today and augment to IT service management and automation over the next two to five years.”[3]

AIOps systems ingest data from performance, application, user-experience, monitoring and other systems. Time-series, labels and other classification information are added to enrich the ingested data. A whole assortment of analytical techniques can then be applied to derive insights from this data.

Additionally, AIOps includes automations and workflows, which are used to take action as needed. This results in new levels of cost-efficiency and service availability in the conduct of IT operations management.

Artificial intelligence for IT operations delivers improved business outcomes, but how? It all comes down to the ability of AIOps platforms  to deal with massive data sets. These capabilities generate two basic outcomes:

  1.     The ability to glean insights into the state, nature and trends in the IT infrastructure
  2.     The ability to act upon these insights in order to provide superior levels of service assurance

AIOps Benefits for IT Operations

The advantages of these outcomes are where AIOps improves the IT operations management framework. Here are some of the primary examples of the benefits of AIOPs features:

  • AIOps provides IT operations teams with a holistic view of the entire infrastructure. Information from multiple sources can be cross referenced and analyzed to look for trends that make for a truly proactive approach to service assurance.
  • The ability to work with vast amounts of information makes it possible to analyze across functional domains to derive new insights. This directly enhances collaboration and cooperation across functional teams.
  • AIOps systems provide superior automation capabilities that make it possible to effect rapid remediation that improves uptime and reduces mean time to repair (MTTR).
  • When coupled with orchestration systems, AIOps can ramp up/down services on an as-needed basis in order to optimize server, storage or network resource usage.
  • AIOps systems understand the entire delivery stack. This provides the ability to build a picture of the business services that are reliant on the underlying infrastructure. It also makes it possible to provide effective business impact information when issues occur in the delivery stack.

While AIOps is still an emerging technology, there is no doubt that the capabilities it provides are essential to effective IT operations and that this dependency will only increase in the years to come.

[1] Wikipedia, Digital Transformation.

[2] Susan Moore, Gartner, “How to Get Started with AIOps,” March 26, 2019.

[3] Gartner, Market Guide for AIOps Platforms, Published: 12 November 2018 ID: G00340492.

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