Today’s market environment demands businesses to change and adapt rapidly according to market dynamics, while still remaining in control. For business, these dynamics can mean sifting through what can amount to petabytes of data to act tactically and strategically.
Business Intelligence (BI) analytics tools help companies catch what could have been missed opportunities, using robust infrastructure to sift through mountains of data, and applying intelligent analytics. This way, business can identify hidden trends, customer relationships, buying behavior, operational and financial patterns, business opportunities and other vital information allowing business to take part in the market proactively.
Through BSM initiatives, IT is charged with supporting the changing demands of business, maintaining availability and ensuring that performance remains high. Similar to the business side experience, the IT landscape has grown in complexity, supporting a wider and growing range of technologies and platforms (Virtualization, Cloud, Open Source etc.), and accelerated application release schedules. This now means IT faces near-overwhelming quantities of information.
So while business progresses via BI, adopting analytics for management decisions, ironically the organization supporting this infrastructure, IT Operations, has adhered to an older, static-process driven paradigm. By not applying the analytics-based approach (like business) for their own operations, IT jeopardizes system stability, ultimately exposing business to the risk of devastating consequences.
Mountains of Data
Mountains of dynamic information confront IT. One of the prominent areas is in the cloud scenario. Self-service provisioning has multiplied the amount of activities occurring outside of static processes. The new provisioning opportunities are beyond IT management, leaving IT with limited visibility to what happens there. For example, an organization sets up a private cloud with a dynamic management system, allowing self-service provisioning of servers for the testing team. Traditionally, testing professionals would have come to IT and request an environment, and IT would oversee and manage this entire process. Now the process is independent, when testing needs an environment, they just create it.
Today’s Approach: Static Processes Drive IT
IT Operations has been running on static processes and strict workflows. For instance, ITIL has a process for Change Management that works according to certain steps. There are also a set metrics for measuring performance, like the amount of changes that successfully went through or failed.
IT Ops can plan as much as possible, but it won’t ensure that everything will occur as planned.
For example, when IT implements an application upgrade, and makes changes to the environment, IT administration can go through an entire established process, and still the application doesn’t function as planned. IT managers check the processes that the upgrade went through, yet still performance lags. Then they need to go into the fine, granular details and see every step, identifying the make-up of even minor changes, seeing how it was deployed to all the servers, what is the consistency between servers, have there been additional interference to the servers. They need to take this enormous amount of data – configuration and granular changes – and pinpoint what was the root cause.
Workflow-driven Management Processes
Static processes operate through workflows. The workflow only supports part of the process but there are so many things surrounding the workflow, happening outside the workflow. Business demands can force shortcuts to be taken. Steps in the workflow can be skipped in order to get immediate approval, even omitting the test stage.
Workflows Create False Security
Even when processes are enforced, like having registrations as part of the workflow management, this creates the belief that everything has been solved. There is no organization that can claim they operate completely within the bounds of established processes and approvals.
This situation creates a sense of false security that IT is on top of all the changes. IT Ops can think that everything works perfect and then the organization religiously adheres to their processes, relying on CMDB systems and workflows, ultimately undermining operations.
A Shift in Paradigm to Analytics Driven Management
Neurologists will explain that the brain has two distinct hemispheres. The right side of the brain collects information, while the left side is cognitive and analyzes this information, translating all of the sensory input into usable data.
This is really the same model for today’s IT organization, where operations need to know what is happening now. IT Ops can find itself stuck, trying to adjust static processes while keeping track of and handling dynamic events, and then getting caught off-guard when issues arise. The solution is to approach this situation with dynamic analytics, for dealing with all the changing data, and to see what is really happening. This goes beyond those few designated indicators that were usually watched, rather IT Ops needs Analytic Driven Management, similar to how business has adopted BI, extracting actionable information out of mountains of data to help decision makers respond efficiently.
About Sasha Gilenson
Sasha Gilenson is Founder and CEO of Evolven. Prior to founding Evolven in 2007, he spent 13 years with Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP), managing the QA organization and participating in establishing Mercury Interactive's Software as a Service (SaaS). Sasha played a key role in the development of Mercury Interactive's worldwide Business Technology Optimization (BTO) strategy and drove field operations of the Wireless Business Unit, all while taking on the duties as the Mercury Interactive's top "guru" in quality processes and IT practices domain.
In the spirit of Earth Day, which is Saturday, April 22, we recently asked IT professionals for the tips and tricks they're using to help keep their data centers as green as possible. Here are a few ideas inspired by the responses we got ...
A majority of senior IT leaders and decision-making managers of large companies surveyed around the world indicate their organizations have yet to fully embrace the aspects of IT Transformation needed to remain competitive, according to a new study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) ...
The move to cloud-based solutions like Office 365, Google Apps and others is one of the biggest fundamental changes IT professionals will undertake in the history of computing. The cost savings and productivity enhancements available to organizations are huge. But these savings and benefits can't be reaped without careful planning, network assessment, change management and continuous monitoring. Read on for things that you shouldn't do with your network in preparation for a move to one of these cloud providers ...
One of the most ubiquitous words in the development and DevOps vocabularies is "Agile." It is that shining, valued, and sometimes elusive goal that all enterprises strive for. But how do you get there? How does your organization become truly Agile? With these questions in mind, DEVOPSdigest asked experts across the industry — including analysts, consultants and vendors — for their opinions on the best way for a development or DevOps team to become more Agile ...
Is composable infrastructure the right choice for your IT environment? The following are 5 key questions that can help you begin to explore the capabilities of composable infrastructure and its applicability within your own IT environment ...
What is composable infrastructure, and is it the right choice for your IT environment? That's the question on many CIOs' minds today as they work to position their organizations as "digitally driven," delivering better, deeper, faster user experiences and a more agile response to change in whatever vertical market you do business in today ...
As companies adopt new hardware and applications, their networks grow larger and become harder to manage. For network engineers and administrators, the continued emergence of integrated technology has forced them to reconfigure and manage networks in a more dynamic way ...
The complexity of data in motion is growing and risks undermining the success of the modern data-driven enterprise. A recent survey of data engineers and architects, conducted by StreamSets, sought to bring some perspective to the new reality in the enterprise, leading to some interesting insights about the enterprise data landscape ...
The biggest factor driving happiness is the quality of relationships IT professionals have with their coworkers, including users, peers, and managers, according to the 2017 IT Job Satisfaction report from Spiceworks ...