2019 IT Predictions: Applications Remain Top of Mind, AIOps Meets Reality
January 23, 2019

Len Rosenthal
Virtual Instruments

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This time last year, we predicted that IT managers were going to move away from the "hybrid data center" and finally realize the reality of the "hybrid application" – the concept that there are multiple components to a single application, living in different data centers and on different infrastructure types. And this year, we saw that prediction of an increased focus on applications come to pass, as organizations increasingly made buying and deployment decisions based on the needs of their applications. This also resulted in many organizations pulling workloads from the public cloud and redeploying them on-premises, due to an increased understanding the workload requirements and performance-focused SLAs.

It's become clear that not only do an organization's applications drive the business, but they actually are the business. As we move into 2019, the application will continue to be the focus of the conversation, but it will also evolve to be the central driver of IT, both from a workload placement perspective and from an operations management angle. IT departments are continuously trying to contextualize the information and insights provided by these applications, but this is much easier said than done. The problem is that many organizations lack real-time application-aware monitoring capabilities, leading to a limited understanding of how applications are interacting with the various infrastructure components. As a result, IT departments continue to "fly blind" when it comes to allocating their on-prem and cloud-based infrastructure resources to support the number one priority: customer-facing applications.

One technology hitting the headlines lately is AIOps, Gartner's category name for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-assisted operations. If 2018 was the year of aggressively marketing these technologies, 2019 will be the year of cutting through the hype and revealing their true value when actually applied in a meaningful manner. This is crucial, as organizations are slowly but surely understanding that AIOps may not be the "easy button" they initially thought it was.

While some AIOps solutions have promised to relieve tool fatigue and make sense of the onslaught of data and alerts constantly berating IT practitioners, AIOps unfortunately isn't a "set it and forget it" solution – quite the opposite, in fact. Context and efficient integrations with existing systems are paramount to successful AIOps, and more and more organizations will soon discover that an algorithm combined with corollary alerts does not fix everything.

Much like the hype cycle we experienced with the cloud in the past decade, we're now starting to move past the buzzword phase and into the reality of meaningful AIOps initiatives. According to Gartner, we should expect to see more I&O leaders initiating AIOps deployments over the next two to five years, with most organizations looking to augment their IT service management and overall automation strategies.

Adoption of AIOps technologies didn't pan out the way IT vendors may have anticipated in 2018, and that tends to happen when the "solution" really isn't a solution at all, but rather an incremental feature or capability that's dressed up by buzzwords and marketing-speak. However, with organizations becoming more savvy about combining real-time monitoring with AIOps in 2019 and beyond, buying decisions will shift and the adoption of true application-aware AIOps will emerge in 2019 – resulting in more successful deployments of the technology.

Len Rosenthal is CMO at Virtual Instruments
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