It's no secret that IT infrastructure and application monitoring is not a new concept.
In the early days of monitoring, operators were the ones watching screens and receiving trouble reports and took corrective actions. Skilled operators could spot trouble before end users reported issues.
Over time, most of the skilled operators were replaced by solutions designed to monitor key technologies. These monitoring solutions exist as point solutions, designed to monitor a specific technology, or unified solutions designed to monitor many different technologies. With so many tools available, why do a lot of organizations continue to struggle with operational visibility?
As the number and types of technologies used by organizations continues to expand and change at a rapid pace, an organization's operational visibility declines at an even faster rate. This is mainly due to complexities introduced by the component intra dependencies on the new technologies leveraged.
I see this first hand in almost every company I visited throughout the past 12 years. My customers (business and IT) are still trying to achieve the foundational monitoring standards and outcomes of the past five to 10 years. But today, as a result of the Application Economy, the focus is squarely on end user app experience.
In the Application Economy, traditional companies transform applications to become the primary face of the business. Customers and employees expect uniform multi-channel access to these applications and their data at any time and from any device.
The reason for this disconnect is that infrastructure and application monitoring is a secondary (often forgotten) thought when it comes to funding and IT operations. The first thought is always how a "shiny" new technology (cloud, Docker, big data, SD-Wan, etc.) can help move the business forward with their offerings and drive revenue.
What Happens When That New Technology Is Not Performing as Expected or Has an Outage?
The impact to the business can be more expensive than the technology supporting it!
The cascading effects of repeated technology outages can reach everyone in an organization. You have the obvious impact of lost revenue and the potential for damage to your brand, but what about the other not so obvious impacts?
The inability to quickly pivot per the demands of the ever-changing business requirements. Client frustration leads to employee frustration and brand damage. This can negatively impact organizational morale, which can lead to employee output and retention issues. Employee output and retention issues can lead to further issues keeping your technologies available and operating properly, potentially leading to more outages, more frustration, more brand damage.
In a recent post by CIO from IDG "How to retain your millennial workforce" , Deloitte noted, most millennials at your company have one foot out the door and eye on their next position.
Identify the Vicious Circle
It's a vicious circle that will ultimately lead to an overall increase in the cost of doing business over time and undermine the client experience and efficiency new technologies are supposed to provide.
In my experience, there are some primary reasons this vicious circle begins:
■ Lack of monitoring ownership inside of IT as a core function
■ Culture and senior management that reinforces the existence of IT Silos
■ Missing, ill-defined, and/or un-documented monitoring strategy/architecture
■ Poor project methodology/procurement alignment
■ Tools team ownership of monitoring requirements and tool selection guided by monitoring strategy, architecture, and operationalization
■ Absence of internal marketing around monitoring IT operations benefits to the business at all levels
■ Unrealistic business funding for IT delivery of business initiatives
Whether you are on the business side, or the IT side of an organization, I think the question you should be asking yourself is:
How Much Longer Are We Going to Let This Go on and What Will Happen If It Does?
The trend of IT Operations outsourcing in response to an inability to deliver a good measurable service from IT can compound the issues rather than resolve them. When this occurs the business typically subscribes to lesser operational visibility in exchange for a measurable level of service to be delivered. The initial impact is good people lose their jobs and over time the business experiences increased cost to improve the operational visibility.
Prevent the Vicious Circle
In my opinion, it is in the best interest of both the business and IT to look inwards for IT Operations. To be successful with reasons above must be addressed if they are present in your organization.
Jeremy Jones is Sr, Sales Engineer at CA Technologies.
If you want more information, check out the network monitoring solutions at CA Technologies.