Click bait? No, hear me out. The role of IT Operations is changing and that shouldn't come as a surprise. IT budgets are flat and at first glance, this may seem like a very bad omen. With the increased complexity of applications and infrastructure, how is IT Ops expected to do more with less and maintain high availability for more apps than ever before?
The answer is that IT Ops needs to get out of the job of focusing solely on performance and become the torchbearer of improving digital experience.
While IT Ops budgets are flat-lined, spending on digital initiatives is increasing. A recent survey by Vanson Bourne revealed that 54% of organizations expect to significantly increase spending on digital initiatives in the next 12 months. Obviously, IT Ops is a core component of these digital initiatives, but the organization needs a facelift.
Becoming the Torchbearer
Infrastructure is more complex than ever. When you combine APIs, microservices, containers with private, public, and hybrid cloud and legacy infrastructure, like mainframe, monitoring applications and providing great app performance is cumbersome to say the least. Now, more than ever, IT Operations needs a solution that can proactively monitor all of these environments and quickly provide the insights they need to rapidly triage issues, so less man-hours are spent on finding and fixing issues and more time can be spent elsewhere. And the best place to spend that time is to focus on the digital experience, which will not only increase IT's value to the organization, but also increase the company's ability to attract and retain new customers and increase revenue (by an average of 21%).
Going from Ops to Experience
Transforming your organization isn't going to happen overnight, but for IT to increase its relevance within an organization, there are steps that can be taken now to get you on the right path. If your organization hasn't implemented a DevOps strategy already, that's a good place to start, but the following steps are practical for both DevOps and non-DevOps shops.
First: Upgrade or invest in an Application Performance Management solution. If your APM solution is outdated, you're missing out on some major innovations (take a look at Assisted Triage, for example). Modern APM tools have come a long way and will help you transition from keeping the lights on to becoming a partner to business with a key role in the success of the entire brand.
Second: Invest in an app analytics solution. This is key. App analytics will bring you into the digital experience arena. App analytics solutions, combined with APM, can help you quickly spot issues from the front-end device all the way to the backend systems, whether mainframe or cloud. Beyond the typical IT Operations use cases, these tools will give you the entire picture of your customers' digital experience, providing insights so your entire organization quickly knows whether an issue is caused by the design, code, or infrastructure which reduces finger-pointing between teams and lets you get back to focusing on what really matters, the customer experience.
Third: Become the digital experience expert. The responsibility of digital customer experience spans organizations, but without an organization taking the lead role to bring about alignment, collaboration and emphasizing the focus on digital experience, the cycle of finger-pointing and keeping the lights on is bound to continue and you can bet that one of your competitors is going to take advantage of the slip. An analytics solution can help foster alignment by providing a single, shared data set so everyone is on the same page, reducing finger-pointing and increasing productivity.
To see how any analytics solution can help, watch this video:
To sum up, IT Operations needs to get out of the job of solely ensuring app performance by relying on the right set of tools to help them triage issues faster and free up time to focus on digital experience. With the right strategy and toolset in place, IT Operations can regain its relevance to the organization and help build the brand's reputation and profitability by focusing on what truly matters, the customer.
To see what an app analytics solution can do for you, sign up for a free trial of CA App Experience Analytics today.
Derek Stevens is Sr. Product Marketing Manager at CA Technologies.