Transforming Operations, and IT as a Whole, with the Right Technology Investments
December 01, 2016

Dennis Drogseth
EMA

Share this

In my last blog, I expressed my opinion that IT operations teams may be about to enjoy a renaissance rather than dismally fading away — but only if they adopt new ways of working, measuring themselves and interacting with business stakeholders.

Start with Is IT Operations Going Away or Is It Enjoying a Renaissance?

In this blog, I'd like to discuss how technology investments can help smooth the way toward operational transformation with a few examples from recent interviews. More specifically, I'd like to focus on three key areas of innovation, all in some way related to Advanced IT Analytics (what some in the industry call IT Operations Analytics or ITOA):

1. How Advanced IT Analytics (AIA) can pave the way

2. How next-generation ITSM promotes AIA-relevant process improvements

3. How AIA and service modeling can become a magic combination

These three areas of innovation are, admittedly, far from a complete list. But hopefully they will offer you a provocative place to start for seeking out transformative IT technologies.

How Advanced IT Analytics Can Pave the Way

Probably one of the hottest, most diverse and most misunderstood areas of technological innovation is AIA. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the most significant reason is that AIA is not a single market but a diverse landscape of options ranging from those bordering on traditional "big data" to those that are focused on real-time predictive insights with tiered approaches to data collection that typically include leveraging third-party tools. The variances here also embrace multiple use cases ranging from performance management to change and capacity optimization to financial optimization to integrated security concerns.

Here are just a few highlights from EMA's recent AIA research focusing on performance, change and capacity management:

■ AIA analytic heuristics range from anomaly detection to predictive trending to machine learning, to rule-based analytics to data mining — as just some examples. On average, our respondents wanted at least four different heuristics.

■ On average, respondents wanted their AIA investments to support 11 different roles (and many more stakeholders), including four domain-specific roles, four cross-domain roles (including executive IT), and three non-IT business roles.

■ The top three achieved benefits were with faster time to repair problems, faster time to deliver new services and more efficient use of cloud resources.

Quoting from a conversation earlier this year:

QUOTE #1: "The move [to advanced analytics] allowed us to unify our operations team with a single-pane-of-glass view and drill down so that we could share information more effectively. In the past, we caught only 3% of our problems proactively. Now that percentage went up to 88% … In effect, we are able to see everything we need to see to focus and resolve issues far more cohesively and dynamically than before."

How Next-Generation ITSM Promotes AIA-Relevant Process Improvements

Next-generation ITSM is in my view pivotal for both IT and IT operational transformation. So what are they? Next-generation ITSM teams are more progressively integrated with operations teams, more proactive, more likely to leverage and share analytics, more likely to provide workflows and automation that unify IT as a whole (as well as support enterprise business process needs), and more likely to provide meaningful metrics for IT efficiencies and governance than the more reactive ITSM teams of the past.

Following the AIA data path, we saw that 82% of our respondents indicated strong levels of ITSM/operations integration for shared advanced analytics!

Quoting from two other conversations earlier this year highlighting next-generation ITSM values:

QUOTE #2: "First and foremost we've been able to consolidate our processes for change, incident, and problem management across our entire operation by leveraging one single platform …"

QUOTE #3: "We've also enjoyed improved visibility into the impacts of changes on service performance and availability, so we can more quickly get to the root cause of many of the issues caused by changes and begin to automate fixes more consistently."

How AIA + Service Modeling Can Result in (at least a little) Magic

The AIA research showed that 96% of respondents wanted at least some level of modeled insight on interdependencies across the application infrastructure. Among the top three priorities were application-to-infrastructure, infrastructure-to-infrastructure, and application-to-application (application ecosystem) dependency insights.

Combining analytics with service modeling is a growth area in AIA, as analytics providers are becoming more effective in not only leveraging existing application dependency mapping solutions and even CMDB data, but also in creating their own unique approach to dependency modeling.

In another very recent dialog, I found some rather striking benefits when service modeling and analytics are combined:

QUOTE #4: "We estimate that we will be saving about $500,000 in the area of toolset consolidation … We were averaging 2.5 hours for MTTR … now it's about 38 minutes … You might say we never had eyes before. Now we have eyes."

In Summary

This is, admittedly, only a taste of what I've learned from research and conversations with IT about how technology can help to transform IT operations for the "brave new world" we live in. My focus on AIA, next-generation ITSM and service modeling was deliberate, as I see these as lying at the heart of the "operations renaissance." Also important are requirements for more advanced levels of automation and integrated support for security and operations. Superior digital experience management or end user experience management is also key.

The challenge in the market today is that while all these technologies are interdependent and mutually reinforcing, the innovations are coming from many different vendor sources. And true to form, many of these vendors are seeking to redefine the world around themselves in their marketing and messaging. Sorting through the pieces, and understanding where real value lies, takes time and patience and more than a little sober skepticism. But the innovations are real. And hopefully this blog can give you at least a hint — by category — of where to begin to look for them.

I deliberately kept the quotes anonymous on all fronts. If you'd like to see more information, then please check out our EMA library:

quote 1

quotes 2 and 3

quote 4

Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
Share this

The Latest

August 08, 2022

Hybrid and remote work environments have been growing significantly in the past few years. As individuals move away from traditional office settings in today's new remote and hybrid environments, many operational issues such as poor visibility into asset status and refreshes, unaccounted assets, and overspending on software are becoming a bigger challenge for IT departments ...

August 05, 2022

MLOps or Machine Learning Operations are a combination of best processes and practices that businesses use to run AI successfully ... While it is a relatively new field, MLOps is a collective effort that captured the interest of data scientists, DevOps engineers, AI enthusiasts, and IT ...

August 04, 2022

The data is in: enterprises are not happy with their managed service providers (MSPs) and cloud service providers (CSPs). According to the latest CloudBolt Industry Insights report, Filling the Gap: Service Providers' Increasingly Important Role in Multi-Cloud Success, 80% are so unsatisfied with their existing MSP and/or CSP, they are actively looking to replace them within 12 months ...

August 03, 2022

The last two years have accelerated massive changes in how we work, do business, and engage with customers. According to Pega research, nearly three out of four employees (71%) feel their job complexity continues to rise as customer demands increase, and employees at all levels feel overloaded with information, systems, and processes that make it difficult to adapt to these new challenges and meet their customers' growing needs ...

August 02, 2022

Investing in employees will always be smart business. And right now, investing in employees means giving people the resources — and ability — to optimize performance ... For pretty much every company, that means delivering the digital tools necessary to facilitate seamless, secure, user-friendly access and connectivity ...

August 01, 2022

Digital transformation can be the difference between becoming the next Netflix and becoming the next Blockbuster Video. With corporate survival on the line, "digital transformation" is no longer merely an impressive buzzword to throw around in boardrooms. It's the ticket for entry into the digital era, a fundamental business strategy for every modern company ...

July 29, 2022

IT infrastructure has rapidly evolved over the last decade, and as a result important specialized tools have been developed and an entire dedicated industry has grown up to serve the need for monitoring these IT systems and services in order to keep them operational and efficient ...

July 28, 2022

At Cisco AppDynamics, we recently conducted research exploring consumer attitudes and behaviors in relation to wearable technology ... In our study, 87% of global consumers claimed that trust is a critical factor when choosing a wearable medical device or application brand. And, 86% expect companies offering wearable technology and applications to demonstrate a higher standard of protection for their personal data than any other technology they use ...

July 27, 2022

You've been here before: waiting for a web page to load. You keep refreshing it, but still no luck. How many times will you try to reload the page before visiting a different site? Probably not too many. Brands today have just a few moments at most to captivate and delight potential customers ...

July 26, 2022

In the DevOps world, observability is trumpeted and lauded in many corners. However, in reading much of the coverage, there seemed to be some more fundamental issues at play. It's time to demystify the idea of observability, shedding light on what it means in a broader context. And once we break down the concept and its true value to an organization, let's answer a more important question: Are we approaching an observability tipping point? ...