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AIOps: The Iron Man Suit for IT Leaders

In this special guest feature, Josh Atwell, Senior Technology Advocate at Splunk, believes that by leaning into their data and embracing AIOps, IT teams are improving the customer experience. Josh is Splunk’s Senior Technology Advocate focused on next-generation IT operations and DevOps. He is the co-author of several popular books, a serial podcaster, has led numerous technology user groups, and is an awarded public speaker. Josh has more than 20 years of experience in IT working with a wide range of technologies. His most recent focuses have been in DevOps, Digital Transformation, and IT Transformation.

Over the last 18 months, the term ‘AIOps’ has transitioned from a buzzword or fashionable tech strategy to the lifeblood of business growth and innovation. The rapid transition to the cloud and virtual environments has forever changed the industry landscape, and managing key services in multiple IT environments or cloud stacks is the new norm. We’ve seen this digitization across industries — brick and mortar stores are using AIOps to predict site spikes as they transition to online shopping and digital native companies like Zillow are relying on AI-based systems to both improve customer experience and empower the business.

IT leaders have long been impeded by their legacy operational tools and practices, limiting their ability to strategize and achieve organizational goals. However, times are changing. Leaders are turning to modern AI-based technologies to offset IT complexities and drive impactful business outcomes. They are investing in response automation, data consolidation and advanced algorithmic processing to equip their teams with a digital Iron Man suit that informs and empowers their work. By leaning into their data and embracing AIOps, IT teams are improving the customer experience. This begs the question: How can IT leaders leverage AIOps to build an informed plan that keeps up with the ever-changing demands of the business and customers?

Identify IT goals

The first critical step to integrating AIOps technology is to set goals centered around making current processes and tools more efficient and scalable. IT departments must identify and address pain points resulting from the increased diversity and complexity of their managed environments and services. They must establish new goals that ensure their operational performance, availability, functionality and stability are meeting customer expectations. These goals should in turn allow IT leaders to build an integration strategy that empowers their teams to focus more energy on business-impacting innovations.

Build the Strategy

The key to success in today’s IT landscape is consolidation of knowledge. Legacy systems built over time often include a variety of tools, most of which were designed to only handle specific tasks for specific platforms. Even today’s modern cloud services offer platform-specific tooling. Because these tools possess islands of data with untapped value, it is difficult for IT teams to make sense of it all in a distributed state. That’s where AIOps platforms come in, built specifically to address this need.

AIOps utilizes copious amounts of data to establish baselines and train the machine learning (ML) to pinpoint key issues before they arise. Transactions between services have become more transparent, and APIs provide relatively easy access to data. AIOps systems can consolidate this data to identify potential issues and answer key questions about service health. As IT leaders begin building a comprehensive strategy to integrate new backend tools seamlessly into existing systems, they must start with an audit of their existing data, ensuring that there is enough data to support the training. From there, you can figure out where AIOps deployment will drive the biggest ROI.

Breakdown the ROI

AIOps can have a major impact on a business’ bottom line by opening up new areas for innovation and channels for data to improve customer experience.

Time and time again, we’ve seen organizations struggle to prevent incidents, resolve outages, or gain end-to-end visibility without a strategic AIOps approach. Most recently, we saw Massachusetts’ vaccination website crash due to a high volume of traffic. IT teams scrambled to figure out the emerging problem, leaving many upset with the poor user experience and unable to schedule their COVID-19 vaccinations. Using AIOps tools, teams like theirs can mitigate scaling issues, prevent outages and avoid revenue loss or customer satisfaction problems, ultimately saving the organization time, money and customer contentment.

AIOps systems deliver advanced analytics like anomaly detection, adaptive thresholding and predictive health scores to monitor KPI data. Combined with intelligent response technologies, that speed time to recovery through automation allows IT teams to operate with newfound confidence and capabilities. Not only can they prevent problems and quickly provide necessary information to the right incident responders, but they can streamline the ability to integrate new services and capabilities.

Keep Up With Customer Demands

As technology continues to become a critical component of every organization and a direct line to the customer, IT leaders must immediately reevaluate their operations if they have not already started. Leaders see the ROI of integrating AIOps platforms and tools to help the overall growth of their business and keep up with evolving customer needs, making their teams instrumental in delivering customer satisfaction and business success.

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