Losing $$ Due to Ticket Times? Hack Response Time Using Data
June 03, 2016

Collin Firenze
Optanix

Share this

Without the proper expertise and tools in place to quickly isolate, diagnose, and resolve an incident, a quick routine error can result in hours of downtime – causing significant interruption in business operations that can impact both business revenue and employee productivity. How can we stop these little instances from turning into major fallouts? Major companies and organizations, take heed:

1. Identify the correlation between issues to expedite time to notify and time to resolve

Not understanding the correlation between issues is detrimental to timely resolutions. With a network monitoring solution in place, lack of automated correlation can generate excess "noise." This then requires support teams to act on numerous individualized alerts, rather than a single ticket that has all relevant events and information for the support end-user.

The correlated monitoring approach provides a holistic view into the network failure for support teams. Enabling support teams to analyze the network failure by utilizing the correlated events to efficiently identify the root cause will provide them the opportunity to promptly execute the corrective action to resolve the issue at hand.

Correlation consolidates all relevant information into a single ticket allowing support teams to largely reduce their staffing models, with only one support engineer needed to act on the incident as opposed to numerous resources engaging on individualized alerts.

2. Constantly analyzing raw data for trends helps IT teams proactively spot and prevent recurring issues

Aside from the standard reactive response of a support team, there is substantial benefit in the proactive analysis of raw data from your environment. By being proactive, trends and failures can be identified, followed by corrective and preventative actions taken to ensure support teams are not spending time investigating repeat issues. This approach not only creates a more stable environment with fewer failures, but also allows support teams to reduce manual hours and cost by avoiding "wasted" investigation on known and reoccurring issues.

Within a support organization, a Problem Management Group (PMG) is often implemented to fulfill the role of proactive analysis on raw data. In such instances, a PMG will create various scripts and calculation that will turn the raw data into a meaningful representation of the data set, to identify areas of concern such as:

■ Common types of failures

■ Failures within a specific region or location

■ Issues with a specific end-device type or model

■ Reoccurring issues at a specific time/day

■ Any trends in software or firmware revisions.

Once the raw data is analyzed by the PMG, the results can be relayed to the support team for review so a plan can be formalized to take the appropriate preventative action. The support team will work to present the data and their proposed solution, and seek approval to execute the corrective/preventative steps.

3. Present data in interactive dashboards and business intelligence reports to ensure proper understanding

Not every support team has the benefit of a PMG. In this specific circumstance, it's important that the system monitoring tools are fulfilling the role of the PMG analysis, and presenting the data in an easy-to-understand format for the end-user. From a tools perspective, the data analysis can be approached from both an interactive dashboard perspective, as well as through the use of business intelligence reports.

Interactive dashboards are a great way of presenting data in a format that caters to all audiences, from administrative and management level, and technical engineers. A combination of both graphs (i.e. pie charts, line graphs, etc.) and summarized metrics (i.e. Today, This Week, Last 30 days, etc.) are utilized to display the analyzed data, with the ability to filter capabilities to allow the end-user to view only desired information without the interference of all analyzed data which may not be applicable to their investigation.

In fact, a more "customizable" approach to raw data analysis would be a Business Intelligence Reporting Solution (BIRS). Essentially, the BIRS collects the raw data for the end-user, and provides drag and drop reporting, so that any desired data elements of interest can be incorporated into a customized on-demand report. What is particularly helpful for the user is the easy ability to save "filtering criteria" that would be beneficial to utilize repeatedly (i.e. Monthly Business Review Reports).

With routine errors, the main goal is to stay ahead of them by using data to identify correlations. Through effective event correlation, and by empowering teams with raw data, you can ensure that issues are quickly mitigated and don't pose the risk of impacting company ROI and system availability.

Collin Firenze is Associate Director at Optanix.

Share this

The Latest

March 21, 2019

Achieving audit compliance within your IT ecosystem can be an iterative process, and it doesn't have to be compressed into the five days before the audit is due. Following is a four-step process I use to guide clients through the process of preparing for and successfully completing IT audits ...

March 20, 2019

Network performance issues come in all shapes and sizes, and can require vast amounts of time and resources to solve. Here are three examples of painful network performance issues you're likely to encounter this year, and how NPMD solutions can help you overcome them ...

March 19, 2019

"Scale up" versus "scale out" doesn't just apply to hardware investments, it also has an impact on product features. "Scale up" promotes buying the feature set you think you need now, then adding "feature modules" and licenses as you discover additional feature requirements are needed. Often as networks grow in size they also grow in complexity ...

March 18, 2019

Network Packet Brokers play a critical role in gaining visibility into new complex networks. They deliver the packet data and information IT and security teams need to identify problems, recognize security issues, and ensure overall network performance. However, not all Packet Brokers are created equal when it comes to scalability. Simply "scaling up" your network infrastructure at every growth point is a more complex and more expensive endeavor over time. Let's explore three ways the "scale up" approach to infrastructure growth impedes NetOps and security professionals (and the business as a whole) ...

March 15, 2019

Loyal users are the key to your service desk's success. Happy users want to use your services and they recommend your services in the organization. It takes time and effort to exceed user expectations, but doing so means keeping the promises we make to our users and being careful not to do too much without careful consideration for what's best for the organization and users ...

March 14, 2019

What's the difference between user satisfaction and user loyalty? How can you measure whether your users are satisfied and will keep buying from you? How much effort should you make to offer your users the ultimate experience? If you're a service provider, what matters in the end is whether users will keep coming back to you and will stay loyal ...

March 13, 2019

What if I said that a 95% reduction in the amount of IT noise, 99% reduction in ticket volume and 99% L1 resolution rate are not only possible, but that some of the largest, most complex enterprises in the world see these metrics in their environments every day, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)? Would you dismiss that as belonging to the realm of science fiction? ...

March 12, 2019
As a consumer, when you order products online, how do you expect them to get delivered? Some key requirements are: the product must arrive on time, well-packed, and ultimately must give you an easy gateway to return it if it is not as per your expectations. All this has been made possible via a single application. But what if this application doesn't function the way you want or cracks down mid-way, or probably leaks off information about you to some potential hackers? Technical uncertainty and digital chaos are the two double-edged swords dangling over this billion-dollar ecommerce market. Can Quality Assurance and Software Testing save application developers from this endless juggle? ...
March 11, 2019

Of those surveyed, 96% of organizations have a digital transformation strategy, with 57% approaching it as an enterprise-wide priority, with a clear emphasis on speed of business, costs, risk, and customer satisfaction, according to IDC’s Aligning IT Strategies and Business Expectations for Digital Transformation Success, sponsored by EasyVista ...

March 08, 2019

One of my ongoing areas of focus is analytics, AIOps, and the intersection with AI and machine learning more broadly. Within this space, sad to say, semantic confusion surrounding just what these terms mean echoes the confusions surrounding ITSM ...