A CIO's Guide to AIOps
February 24, 2022

Andy Thurai
The Field CTO

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My recent best practices report on AIOps titled A CIO's Guide to AIOps just got published. What started out as an AIOps use cases document morphed into an AIOps emerging trends document. However, when feedback was sought from CIOs and CTOs in our research panel, they suggested best practices and how to strategize AI and IT Operations in a broader sense to be included in the report.

This 30 page report is now available to all Constellation Research subscribers. The report has five major sections:

1. What is AIOps?

2. Benefits of AIOps for CIO's (or any enterprise)

3. AIOps core use cases

4. Recommendations and best practices for the CIO

5. And, more importantly, what are the gotchas and my final thoughts.

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing every business to move online, the majority of enterprises have had to accelerate the maturation of their digital operations. Out of business necessity, every surviving enterprise has devised a way out of the crisis by adding people, processes, and technology in an approach that was most cost-effective and yet offered them a quick way to sustain their business through the pandemic. Consequently, IT and digital operations have become an integral part of every enterprise. IT leaders face massive challenges to be efficient because they have either:

■ Added too many tools and have become siloed

■ Increased complexity

■ Collected more data than they can handle

■ Lost knowledgeable IT resources

The time has come for the IT leaders to reimagine their IT and make it more efficient. IT is finally starting to turn the technology it has been proliferating across enterprises on itself. One such solution set is artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps). The following report gives leaders an idea of what to look for in an AI solution for properly retooling to mature their digital operations.

Start with the Main Use Cases for AIOps

AIOps is more than just bolting an AI/machine learning (ML) engine on top of some of the existing monitoring, logging, observability, or IT service management tools. Its goal is to provide better collaboration between siloed teams, faster time to identify and resolve incidents (mean time to resolution, or MTTR), and the ability to identify and resolve the root cause of the incident so the issue will not happen again. It is also about more than just operations. AIOps can and should include support, security, development, ITSM, business stakeholders, incident management, and observability.

I have identified about 7 core use cases for AIOps based on my conversation with many practitioners. There are other fringe use cases that sometimes are executed as part of an AIOps project, but for an enterprise to consider a true AIOps solution, it should at least consider the use cases outlined below.

Do AIOps Right

Enterprises can't succeed in a post-pandemic digital world without AIOps (or without mature digital operations), given the volume of IT operations data produced. Start with some of the core use cases and add the rest as you needed. No need to boil the ocean and try to execute all of them from the get-go. To scale on a consistent basis, achieve revenue goals and operational efficiency targets, and meet compliance requirements, enterprises can't succeed without scale in automation and AI.

With the volume of data from IT operations exploding, demand from customers to have five-9s service availability, the technical resource crunch and high prices caused by the Great Resignation wave, the knowledge gap created by tribal knowledge walking out as baby boomers retire, and volume/fatigue/long hours that induce stress and mental health issues for technical teams, enterprises have to make a hard decision: Either continue to run the business as is by throwing more bodies at the problem, or use AI tools to improve the efficiency of the processes.

A properly implemented AIOps solution should find critical incidents as soon as — sometimes even before — they happen, identify the root cause with very minimal manual intervention, and either alert the right personnel at the right time or potentially, via IT automation capabilities, make the application truly self-healing.

If you are a CIO/CTO and struggling with this issue, I would love to talk to you. I would love you to be part of my growing panel of IT executives that I speak to regularly and share notes with. More importantly, let me know if I missed anything in this report so I can do a follow-up report.

Do you have thoughts, suggestions, or opposing views to my assessments?

What are the common pitfalls you see with your customers or your enterprise implementations?

Do you use AIOps for a use case that I haven't covered?

Have you faced an issue while implementing AIOps that is not listed in the report?

Did you derive a benefit that is not listed in the document?

Let me know. Please reach out to me. I look forward to engaging with you.

Andy Thurai is Founder and Principal of The Field CTO
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