DevOps, step aside — it’s time for AIOps to take centre stage.
With its promise to deliver operational efficiency on a scale only imagined before, and bring harmony to an increasingly complex IT landscape, it’s no surprise the global AIOps market is tipped to rocket from USD 4.0 Billion in 2020 to USD 23.9 Billion by 2027.
But first things first, what exactly is AIOps?
With so many IT terms and acronyms flying around you could be forgiven for thinking AIOps is just another buzzword. But, you would be wrong. If like many other IT Operations teams out there, you are drowning in a deluge of data, spread far and wide across a plethora of different systems and applications —AIOps could just be the answer to all your prayers. In short, AIOps refers to Artificial Intelligence (AI) for IT Operations. It provides a single source of truth across all the data your IT systems and applications generate. Not only does it help you get to the right data fast, but it also ensures you understand what that data is telling you, and crucially use it to make faster and more informed decisions.
AIOps is not a new trend, it’s been on the radar of CIOs since Gartner first conceived the term back in 2016 to describe the use of artificial intelligence to transform the world of IT Operations. Since then AIOps has continued to gain ground. And, there’s little doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has galvanised its adoption. With a greater need for efficiency becoming front and centre for many organisations, we see digital transformation agendas move up a gear. In fact, according to a recent global survey conducted by McKinsey, the pandemic propelled the digitization of business operations and customer and supply chains by as much as three to four years. And, with digital transformation and AIOps going hand in hand, Forrester VP and principal analyst Mike Gualtieri anticipates AIOps adoption will increase by approximately 50% in 2021 given the renewed focus on automation and transformation.
So, with AIOps adoption moving at a faster pace than ever before, what are the top three challenges it can address for your business?
- Tames the growing complexity of your IT environment
- Helps to eliminate disastrous downtime and costly errors
- Keeps your teams focused on driving the best business outcomes
Let’s take a deeper dive into each benefit:
Taming the complexity beast
Gone are the days when businesses relied on one-dimensional heavy-duty applications to run their IT Operations. Instead, with the increasing adoption of cloud computing, container services and SaaS, we see businesses move away from these monolithic models of the past to embrace more nimble, multi-purpose applications — aka microservices.
Yet, paradoxically, for all the flexibility and simplicity this approach can offer, in reality, it also brings a new level of IT complexity to navigate and manage. For starters, the fact that the majority of modern apps and services can run and operate independently of one another — some hosted on-premise others managed across multi-cloud ecosystems — means the distribution of IT assets is becoming increasingly dynamic and diverse.
Gartner sums up this growing complexity challenge starkly in their Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021 “…Organizations have a tremendous amount of ‘collective’ debt…. The cause is an extensive and expensive set of business processes underpinned by a patchwork of technologies that are often not optimized, lean, connected, consistent or explicit.”
As we see the modern IT landscape continue to evolve, we will also see complexity rise. Modern businesses can’t afford to shy away from it, instead, they need to seek out new strategies to keep ahead of the game. This is where the devil really is in the data. AIOps — in combination with effective automation and observability practices — provides you with deep insights and analysis across your IT environment, helping you tackle complexity head-on, drive continuous improvement, and ultimately transform your operational performance.
Shifting focus from downtime to delivery
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein.
When it comes to today’s IT landscape, Einstein’s words could not be more relevant. Over the past decade, IT teams have worked hard to shake off a reputation of being a business cost centre— bleeding profits dry by the very virtue of their existence. Fast-forward to today and IT is widely accepted as key to business transformation— an imperative to survival in a post-COVID world.
Yet, despite IT’s dramatic evolution from bottleneck to business enabler, downtime still dominates the agenda for many organisations. According to surveys conducted by Gartner, downtime costs businesses a colossal $5,600 per minute —$300K per hour. That’s only an industry average, in some cases, losses are likely to be much greater alongside devastating consequences for brand reputation.
A new approach and new way of thinking is needed to tackle these long-standing challenges around stability. This is where AIOps comes into its own. It empowers IT teams with the right data to not only resolve incidents rapidly but critically spot minor errors early before they cause major outages. The self-healing nature of AIOps means IT teams get valuable time back to focus on innovating and driving their business forward, moving away from reactive remedies to proactive improvements.
With AIOps at the core, IT teams can avoid being continually dragged back by incidents and outages and instead strive for a new level of performance they may have only dreamed of before.
High-performing teams and happier customers
With rapid advancements in technology and an unstoppable shift online, it’s no surprise customer expectations are continuing to skyrocket. This shift is putting businesses under increasing pressure to move at speed, respond rapidly to changing customer demands —all the while ensuring their operations are stable, adaptable, and resilient to future changes.
AIOps provides a strong foundation for teams to do their best work. Teams can leverage the predictive analysis and deep data insights that go hand-in-hand with AIOps to continuously enhance their IT environment — embedding improvements to the customer journey every step of the way.
It also helps IT teams embrace more agile ways of working and adapt to a changing business landscape. Customer issues can be resolved faster and common pain points eliminated to create a much smoother customer journey. And, critically, IT teams can use AIOps to gain insights into the future, helping them to predict what customers will want and need before they know themselves.
Activating your AIOps strategy
Like any new technology-driven approach, getting an AIOps strategy in place can be a daunting prospect. But here’s the good news…
There is a very high chance you’re already doing it! Yes, you heard right….
If you work in IT Operations, likely, you will already have some of the key mechanisms in place that underpin a successful AIOps strategy. For starters, if you use runbooks to manage operational activities — either partially automated or fully — you are practising AIOps.
Of course, there’s a lot of industry hype and noise surrounding AIOps but it shouldn’t be feared. When you break it down to its simplest form, AIOps uses technology to automatically restore services when they fail or break. In cases where a customer makes a request, it’s the use of technology to provide that request without the need for human intervention. AIOps can form all or part of your issue resolution pathway, it doesn’t necessarily have to be or include every aspect of that process.
Start small to scale fast
The best way to kickstart AIOps is to start small. Pick an application or service, understand the data you have available today and the manual activity required to run it, then seek out quick automation wins to remove unnecessary toil (manual activity). Next, aggregate the data you are already generating from the application or service and apply AIOps to analyse it in a meaningful way.
Getting the right AIOps foundations in place will stand you in good stead for the future, enabling you to take advantage of all that AIOps can offer to accelerate your digital transformation and scale your efforts successfully across your organisation.
To find out how AIOps can benefit your business, contact our team today.