IT operations analytics, or ITOA, is sometimes confused with a System of Intelligence for IT since the benefits realized (like improved user experience) often sound similar. However, each can contribute distinctly different value to your organization. In fact, one of the most common requests from our customers is to include ITOA data and metrics into their Numerify System of Intelligence!
ITOA (or its latest incarnation of AIOps) provides you with tactical insights and root cause “in the moment” to help you fix or prevent problems with your IT applications and infrastructure. But, does this give you all the insights you need to truly understand what happened and how you can prevent it from happening in the future?
A System of Intelligence for IT allows you to step back and gain insights across not just your technology, but also the surrounding people, process, and projects.
For example, both ITOA and a System of Intelligence are needed to reduce service disruptions. ITOA can tell you how to fix an application in order to prevent or remediate a service interruption. However, the true root cause of the issue may not lie within the application itself. A System of Intelligence takes a more holistic look at your organization to answer questions like “what are the top drivers of incident volume and how can we address them systemically through improved process efficiency and resource utilization?”
In order to better understand and optimize your IT environment, ITOA is just one part of the big picture view enabled by a System of Intelligence. Let’s take a look at this in more detail.
What is IT Operations Analytics (ITOA)?
According to IDC, the key objective of ITOA is to optimize IT operational service levels in near real time for production application and infrastructure computing environments. From a technology standpoint, “ITOA builds on big data processing capabilities to provide IT log management, log search and analysis, and related historical and predictive performance and capacity and root cause analytics”.
ITOA platforms can identify technical root cause problems in real-time, preventing costly slowdowns and service interruptions. They can also improve the end-user experience. By pulling in and analyzing data from different sources with AI and machine learning processes, patterns emerge that allow for significantly reduced mean time to repair (MTTR) and higher cost saving via improved operational efficiency.
However, an ITOA is just one part of a larger System of Intelligence.
A Piece of the Puzzle
As important as IT operational analytics are, they can’t tell the whole story. This is because they typically do not take into account the people, processes, and projects around IT applications and infrastructure. A System of Intelligence provides insight into your IT operations, service management, application health, and project management. Thus, ideally positioning you to resolve your most pressing and complex problems.
The data streams a System of Intelligence brings together involve technology, people, processes, and projects often including the following:
- Systems of record, like ServiceNow, Workday, and SAP
- Systems of engagement, like Slack, Yammer, and Chatter
- IT management software, like BMC Patrol
- Application Development, like CA Clarity and Atlassian Jira
- ITOA, like Splunk and AppDynamics
A System of Intelligence helps you analyze developer productivity, shape resource allocation, evaluate application runtime health using multiple metrics, and eliminate systemic issues that reduce release velocity. It also addresses service issues involving outsourced vendors, ticket reassignments, bottlenecks, and SLA adherence. All of this also reduces the revenue impact from runtime issues and outages.
Correlating across process and data silos to find the systemic root cause
A System of Intelligence encompasses visibility, investigation, correlation, and prediction, highlighting both the “what” and the “why.” For example, if an outage occurs, a trouble ticket needs to be issued and the problem needs to be resolved immediately (the “what”). But the next step is to perform a root-cause analysis of the outage (the “why”).
Correlations shine a light on a trend or root cause that only reveal themselves when analyzed at the “forest” level, rather than the “tree” level. For example, with a System of Intelligence, you can identify the top 10% of the Configuration Items that lead to say the most egregious 80% of major incidents and outages.
While ITOA excels at revealing technical issues with a server or an application, the issues might also be the result of insufficient testing or a team that was not trained to maintain the system as it should be. Analysts can pinpoint the influence of any “external” elements (training, testing, etc.) to determine how they impact the IT ecosystem and individual applications. Thus, creating a long-term solution to this specific outage might involve retiring certain technology, redesigning processes, or retraining personnel.
Additionally, if needed, a System of Intelligence enables you to build a business case for a solution by directly tying issues to customer satisfaction and lost revenue.
Digital transformation, or the process of using digital technology to improve efficiency, reduce risk, and add value to customer experience can help enterprises overcome one of the greatest barriers to true innovation. In a survey of enterprise professionals, 65 percent stated that they don’t have “a single view of IT performance across our people, processes, and projects.” Digital transformation via System of Intelligence can change that by providing a uniform suite of detailed information on IT performance, giving businesses the ability to follow insight with meaningful action.
Likewise, digital transformation gives analysts the ability to adapt processes, as necessary, with speed and confidence, based on a rich compendium of information, and not just what they have in their standalone IT operations analytics. Without a System of Intelligence, even the most vigilant company only has part of the puzzle, making digital transformation incomplete.
ITOA is an important part of a larger System of Intelligence, allowing you to realize holistic benefits across your organization.
Read our eBook Visibility to Drive Digital Transformation: Why IT Needs a System of Intelligence to learn more!
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