How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 1
November 16, 2020
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The "New Normal" in the IT world — the fact that most IT Operations personnel work from home (WFH) now — is here to stay. What started out as a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic is now a way of life. Many experts agree that IT teams will not be going back to the office any time soon, even if the public health concerns are abated.

While working remotely from home started out as a necessity, and also offers some advantages, it also presents challenges to ITOps teams around the world. You could call this a revolution in the way we work, and with revolution comes upheaval. Any issues that arise must be dealt with sooner than later, if a company intends to survive and thrive in the new normal.

The most important question is: How should ITOps adapt to the new normal? And that is the question APMdigest posed to the IT Operations community. In response, ITOps industry experts — from analysts and consultants to the top vendors — offered their best recommendations for how ITOps can adapt to this new environment. These recommendations are not just talking points. Many of these tips are thoughtful, insightful, practical and hopefully ultimately helpful to you and your ITOps team.

This extensive list of ideas will be posted in five parts over the next five days, starting with Part 1, covering ways to look at the big picture.

HOUSE CLEANING

Your workforce uses their machines differently now that they're working from home and your network environment has endured a lot of changes to support them. Now, it's time to take a collaborative approach to do some "house cleaning" of your networks and systems. Improve efficiency by auditing logs to identify unused or rarely used apps, surveying employees about program use, and decommission old VPNs and other programs as needed. A clean house is a happy house, so decommission programs as needed and your team will soon enjoy working from home in a less cluttered environment.
Olivia Montgomery
Senior Content Analyst, Capterra

ITOPS MATURITY ASSESSMENT

Make sure you do a proper assessment of your ITOps situation and that you can survive going forward. A proper ITOps maturity assessment and a game plan is important more than ever.
Andy Thurai
Principal, The Field CTO

Read Andy Thurai's recent blog on APMdigest: How COVID Pandemic is Making IT Operations Analyst Jobs More Stressful

RE-ASSESS PROCESSES AND WORKFLOWS

Work from home is here to stay well into 2021. The most prepared IT leaders will start now to reassess processes and workflows.
Sean McDermott
CEO, Windward Consulting Group

Listen to the AI+ITOPS Podcast with special guest Sean McDermott

Read Windward Consulting's New Report: 2020 COVID-19 IT Economic Impact Study

Be clear about workflows, escalations, lines of communication/collaboration — make sure those are all still working. Don't assume that just because it worked before COVID, it works now. Be prepared to experiment and tweak things to work in the new model. Even if IT teams are fine, this extends to how they interact with other teams across the organization.
Assaf Resnick
CEO, BigPanda

Watch On-Demand: The IT Ops Virtual Summit

Modern ITOps are particularly well enabled to weather the COVID crisis. Almost by definition, well run systems are highly automated, instrumented, and resilient. ITOps should be able to do their work very effectively even during this crisis. If you are not, then it's time to re-assess what in the environment needs to be modernized to achieve this goal. This could be any of the people, platform, or processes that are being used.
Juan Orlandini
Chief Architect, Insight Enterprises

Read Juan Orlandini's recent blog on APMdigest: IT Modernization Jumpstarts Business Transformation

PLAN LONG-TERM

Most importantly, assume the remote work/work from home situation is going to stay for a while and not temporary. Make plans accordingly. If it reverts back, great. If not, you planned for it. The second time around it won't be good to make excuses to the customer.
Andy Thurai
Principal, The Field CTO

Check out the the AI+ITOPS Podcast hosted by Andy Thurai.

SUSTAINABILITY

Given remote work is expected to remain high, there needs to be a focus on long-term sustainability. This means having the ability to secure and manage large populations of remote devices without overtaxing IT resources. In order to achieve this, endpoints need to be resilient, self-aware, and capable of self-healing to minimize the need for IT intervention.
Steven Spadaccini
VP, Sales Engineering, Absolute Software

FUTURE-PROOF BUYING DECISIONS

In order to adapt to the new normal, ITOps Teams need to stop make their buying decisions based on what the organization looks like now, but instead focus their efforts in trying to properly plan for the future. This includes keeping in mind the current shift in WFH and BYOD computing, but also trying to account for growing regulation such as GDPR and CCPA. It is entirely possible that single consolidated cloud environments will become dozens of distributed ones in the future. It is equally likely that network path visibility completely disappears as 5G becomes ubiquitous. ITOps Teams need to think about what can be done today in order to future proof buying decisions for trends that may significantly shift in the future.
Vince Berk
VP, Chief Architect Security, Riverbed

PLAN POST-PANDEMIC

A year ago, who could have imagined the impact COVID would cause, including offices being closed, events like the Olympics being postponed and the largest shift ever in where most of us are working now — from home. No one will question the impact the pandemic has had on organizations, forcing a rapid and amazing shift in how business gets done. Those faring very well in the pandemic are those that have chosen to innovate through the pandemic to be ready when the pandemic is over. In 2021, enterprise organizations will focus on how to drive new services and capabilities in a much more digitally transformed world. Those that are waiting for everything to go back to pre-COVID times will no longer be in business.
Mehdi Daoudi
CEO and Founder, Catchpoint

Check back tomorrow for:

Go to: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 2

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