Business operations and IT operations depend on the real-time knowledge provided by IT operations analytics (ITOA) technologies to keep their respective customers happy.
Complexity Is on the Rise
Organizations rely on IT infrastructure for all facets of their business operations. As the continued adoption of digital transformation strategies drive business operations to become increasingly complex, the IT systems that support them become more intricate. Using analytics to ensure the uptime and performance of IT infrastructure is an imperative for a sound IT strategy and, moreover, business strategy.
Tracking the health of a distributed IT service can be nearly impossible when it’s dependent upon multiple servers, storage platforms, cloud services and software. Because of the criticality of these applications to the success of an organization, there’s little room for performance lags or, worse yet, outages.
IT operations analytics is essentially the application of Big Data analytics to the realm of IT operations. One of the richest data sources organizations have, and largely ignore, is generated by their IT infrastructure in the form of machine data — the digital exhaust created by everything from servers and storage devices to mobile applications and cloud services.
Machine data is characteristically practical in that it contains a record of the operations of IT infrastructure, routine and otherwise. Machine data does, however, come with challenges since it is generated by disparate systems in a diverse array of formats in real time. These challenges follow the core tenets of what Big Data aims to address: volume, variety and velocity.
Life After ITOA
With ITOA technologies, you can capture machine data in real time and analyze it to spot anomalous behavior and identify problems.
ITOA technologies provide visibility across all layers of infrastructure. Instead of understanding the health of an individual component you can get broad spectrum visibility across all of your systems together. Instead of understanding, “What is the health of my database storage device?” you can ask, “What’s the health of my online store?” Answering these types of questions allows you to focus on what’s most important: the customer experience.
In future installments in this series, we’ll examine the application of IT operations analytics in more detail, as well as some commercially available technologies.