Prepare for What’s Next – Part 2 of 3: Fine-Tune Your Processes for IT Operational Efficiency
Move forward by adopting best practices that ensure IT ops efficiency, such as tool consolidation, analytics, automations and workflows.
In a previous post, we started exploring the IT operations strategies that organizations need to adopt to cope with the ongoing pandemic. This week we’ll look at best practices that can help ensure a smooth transition to prepare for what’s next.
Today, CIOs face ongoing challenges in maintaining revenue streams, reducing expenses and lowering the organization’s risk profile. This puts them in the unenviable position of managing the business service infrastructure while being forced to meet increased expectations with decreased budgets.
To meet these challenges, MSPs and their suppliers rely on IT operations tools to manage the infrastructure and provide essential services. For your consideration, here are three critical capabilities provided by these tools that stand out in terms of importance to the overall strategy:
- Assurance, which includes the use of predictive analytics to get ahead of problems before they manifest themselves.
- Insights into the common business service infrastructure, which derive from visibility of the services being provided across the entire ecosystem.
- Efficiency, which is enabled by reducing complexity with tool consolidation and bringing optimization via automation tools.
Let’s delve into the value proposition around increasing efficiency. At the end of the day, efficiency is all about maximizing your ROI. It directly addresses two of the key impacts of the COVID crisis: generating more revenue from your infrastructure investments and reducing costs by optimizing processes and workflows.
The first step towards improving efficiency is to optimize existing IT investments by identifying underutilized assets, redeploying excess capacity and consolidating redundant capabilities. To do this, let’s break down two strategic elements of that process: tool consolidation and IT operations automation tools.
The delivery of today’s business services is made possible by the complex interaction between the many technological layers, systems and physical elements that make up the underlying infrastructure. Each of these components comes with its own set of management, diagnostic and monitoring tools.
The implications of the rapid pace of technological progress are also unavoidable and an undeniable reality. As legacy systems continue to persist, newer technologies such as the cloud have been deployed to keep up with evolving business needs and opportunities. All this directly leads to tool sprawl – a situation where the sheer multitude of tools leads to inefficiencies due to overlapping functionality and increased operating expense.
The key to increasing IT operational efficiency in such a situation lies in tool consolidation, which by definition reduces tool sprawl. An IT operations management platform that provides consolidated management capabilities goes a long way towards reducing the overall number of point solutions. This brings about efficiencies of both scale and cost.
IT Operations Automation Tools
The value proposition for automation in IT operations is well known. By mechanizing repeatable processes and reducing manual effort, automations bring about huge gains in efficiency. They reduce the time and labor involved in the execution of operational activities. And they do so in a manner that eliminates unforced errors.
Additionally, automations have the potential to unlock benefits that run the gamut of IT operations – from orchestrating entire service provisioning processes to providing speedier issue detection and, in some cases, even automatic remediation.
Operations management platforms that have integrated automation capabilities are a must to improve IT operational efficiency. Platforms need to provide mechanisms to easily and rapidly construct custom automations. This enables workflows to be developed on the fly and sometimes even by non-technical personnel. Automation libraries further bring about efficiency by enabling the reuse, propagation and integrity of repeatable workflows.
When automations are coupled with predictive analytics in IT operations, a whole different set of benefits can be realized. They can now prevent the onset of issues by taking proactive measures to eliminate problems – often before they even occur.