How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 4
November 19, 2020
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APMdigest posed the following question to the IT Operations community: How should ITOps adapt to the new normal? In response, industry experts offered their best recommendations for how ITOps can adapt to this new remote work environment. Part 4 covers monitoring and visibility.

Start with: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 1

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

Start with: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 3

AIOPS AND OBSERVABILITY

Implement proper AIOps and Observability solutions which will reduce the "wild goose" chase by ITOps teams. The money saved by solving high profile incidents will pay for the cost of the solution during the first year itself — many times over.
Andy Thurai
Principal, The Field CTO

Read Andy Thurai's recent blog on APMdigest: Getting to Zero Unplanned Downtime with AIOps

Just as pain is called "the gift no one wants", the turbo-pivot to remote everything paved the way for innovation in ITOps. Yes, the crisis pointed out some areas that needed shoring up, but it also permanently 86-ed the old "that's not the way we've always done it" obstacle to change. ITOps teams have the perfect storm of opportunity, necessity, and cultural open-mindedness to innovate and to automate cross-domain collaboration. There's a stunning array of capabilities to choose from across a rich AIOps market landscape — and now is the time to strike.
Valerie O'Connell
Research Director, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)

Read Valerie O'Connell's recent blog on APMdigest: ITSM That's Ready When Tomorrow Happens Today

This has been a unique year that forced companies to a accelerate their digital transformation efforts and move faster than ever to keep up with growing customer demands. As a result, business leaders must invest in technology that combines the power of artificial intelligence with observability to easily solve the problems hindering them from delighting customers under surmounting pressures. As digital business cements itself as the norm, they'll also need modern tools capable of rapid time to results — literally bringing value in the time it takes to make a cappuccino — and go from zero to correlated incidents. Relying on legacy tools to gather data and integrate it can take months and hinder success well into 2021. Investing in modern solutions that drive innovation is the only way to be successful in the new normal.
Phil Tee
CEO, Moogsoft

Download the eBook: Observability with AIOps For Dummies

APPLICATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE MONITORING

As remote work continues to be an integral part of the new normal, ITOps teams need to be agile and prepared to address common issues such as service outages, including systems going down and applications slowing. Therefore, IT teams should ensure application and infrastructure monitoring solutions are a key part of their long-term strategies. These will allow teams to act quickly to identify and address any issues outside traditional network perimeters.
Arun Balachandran
Sr. Marketing Manager, ManageEngine

END USER EXPERIENCE

For network operations teams going forward, the biggest challenge will be keeping up with the accelerated pace of change now that they've proven to skeptical business leaders their efficiency (and efficacy) in successfully transforming the network. This will require teams to put a greater emphasis on leveraging comprehensive visibility into end-user performance wherever users are located now that the footprint for potential errors has expanded with workers at home.
Paul Davenport
Marketing Communications Manager, AppNeta

Read Paul Davenport's recent blog on APMdigest: IT Has Proven Rapid Digital Transformation is Possible - What's Next?

In our conversations with partners and customers, we are finding that IT leaders are moving from reactive mode to more opportunistic and proactive thinking. Organizations should continue to invest in collaboration software and in developing the most efficient ways for teams to work together and stay productive during ongoing remote work, yet there needs to be a sharper attention to customer experience. This means that IT will need to reduce technical debt to free up investment in targeted innovation, and determine the best way to measure everything they do according to business goals and the delivery of key business services.
Bhanu Singh
VP Product Development and Cloud Operations, OpsRamp

Listen to the AI+ITOPS Podcast with special guest Bhanu Singh

CLOUD MONITORING

One powerful way ITOps teams can adapt to "the new normal" is to focus on better cloud monitoring and visibility. As the rapid shift to remote work accelerated the cloud migration efforts that were already happening pre-Covid, ITOps teams have been under significant pressure to monitor the cloud from an operations and network perspective. As more businesses move data center assets to the cloud, ITOps must be equipped to monitor the new normal of cloud-based networks. On-premise workloads have long afforded the ability to access all parts of the network that you owned, but now with increasing cloud adoption, your ITOps team needs specific instrumentation provided by cloud providers and integrated by tool vendors. For instance, to assess application performance from the network perspective (in the same way you're accustomed to for an on-premises data center), you must understand how to instrument with traffic mirroring via cloud-based packet analytics tools. To effectively monitor, manage and optimize today's increasingly cloud-based networks, start by looking at your existing toolset and determining if and how it can be adapted or upgraded with new tools and capabilities for cloud visibility.
John Smith
Founder and CTO, LiveAction

VISIBILITY BEYOND THE NETWORK

Now that IT teams are on the hook to manage what has become a different corporate network for every employee, and ensure that core business applications are seamlessly delivered over third-party cloud and Internet networks, today's new work-from-home infrastructure requires us to adapt to new monitoring frameworks that provide visibility beyond the networks that traditionally lie within enterprise control. The digital supply chain in today's new normal is more complex than ever before and troubleshooting disruptions, managing digital experiences, and scaling support all require that ITOps has full visibility into what has become an exponentially extended IT perimeter.
Joe Vaccaro
Head of Product, ThousandEyes

FOCUS ON ENDPOINTS

The focus for ITOps teams needs to be on the endpoint. For the end user, the boundaries of the corporate network have long disappeared, and now IT teams are dealing with what is essentially one big worldwide network instead of the well-defined, enterprise-built network they were previously accustomed to. The potential attack surface has expanded exponentially in parallel, putting both the business and their customers at greater risk of compromise. So, the top priority for IT needs to be ensuring they have the ability to find, manage, and secure every endpoint no matter where it is connecting from.
Steven Spadaccini
VP, Sales Engineering, Absolute Software

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT

The pandemic has been an accelerant for digital transformation. For some companies, digital transformation went from whiteboard to production in weeks where we saw new applications, services and software updates emerge that consumers and businesses now regularly rely on in the new normal. DevOps and SRE teams responsible for maintaining digital services have seen expectations heightened, with increased demands to quickly address and resolve service degradations resulting from accelerated innovation. Technology teams need a better way to recover quickly, adapt and learn from outages and interruptions related to technical and customer-impacting issues. This can create more space for innovation and fuel more accessible, always-on customer experiences. Leveraging SRE practices to modernize incident management and implementing automated resolution workflow can help teams reduce friction in the entire software development cycle. This adaptive approach applies agile principles to incident management, empowering teams to deliver better customer experiences at a lower cost.
Troy McAlpin
CEO, xMatters

PROACTIVE OPS

Many IT organizations, even some of the most organized, proactive teams, have accepted a higher level of reactive work than they'd like. That's understandable, especially if it meant saving the business. However, not all have been able to unwind temporary process exceptions, or return to the previous, proactive stance IT professionals prefer. The second wave for IT is redesigning IT processes — device deployment, support, security, and more — to support remote work for the long run. Normalizing a deep queue of support tickets from exceptions into standardized requests recovers headroom teams need for ongoing business-critical transformation projects. More than catching up to the "new normal," returning to proactive ops will make it easier for teams to adapt to the "next normal," whatever it happens to be.
Patrick Hubbard
Head Geek, SolarWinds

Go to: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 5, the final installment in the series.

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