As noted by Gartner, IT teams, in reality, are dealing with increasing amounts of data and a variety of tools to monitor that data, which can mean significant delays in identifying and solving issues. Padraig Byrne, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner said, “IT operations are challenged by the rapid growth in data volumes generated by IT infrastructure and applications that must be captured, analyzed and acted on. Coupled with the reality that IT operations teams often work in disconnected silos, this makes it challenging to ensure that the most urgent incident at any given time is being addressed.”
Such urgent incidents include high-severity outages and other IT operations problems that are needed to be quickly prevented. For this, businesses are moving towards artificial intelligence (AI) for IT operations (AIOps). It is an application of ML and data science to IT operations problems. AIOps-enabled platforms amalgamate big data and ML features to enhance or partially replace IT operations functions which may include availability and performance monitoring, event correlation and analysis, and IT service management and automation.
Owing to the aforementioned scenario, as more and more businesses are turning to AIOps, let see how industry experts foresee what 2020 holds for CIOs and IT leaders.
According to Isaac Sacolick, president of the digital transformation consultancy StarCIO and the author of Driving Digital, CIOs and IT leaders are dealing with how to make sense of the huge operational data sets coming from different tools and systems to diagnose and resolve IT issues most efficiently. He further added, “this is particularly challenging for CIOs who are managing large scale hybrid cloud and hosting different applications that require high performance and availability.”
Dennis Drogseth, vice president of consultancy Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) said, “AIOps will evolve from a pure-play category to more of a tech-enabling category, with platforms that look different and have different purposes. Also, some vendors are focused on the application performance management space, while others will concentrate on security, cloud, DevOps, and ITMS.”
He further added that “it’s still early days to know for sure how the platforms will evolve but it’s clear that AIOps is an enabler for helping with ‘what’s turning out to be a variety of platforms with different levels of complexity.’”
Thomas Eurick who serves as the supervisor of service delivery operations, manages operations teams that oversee and monitor all of Zebra’s tech platforms throughout their lifecycle noted that dealing with system complexity was the goal at Zebra Technologies, which manufactures printers and ruggedized mobile devices. He said, “a lot of the platforms are cloud- and container-based and new to the company, but they also run on on-premises systems as well.”
Zebra deployed an AIOps platform on the public cloud and enabled it to correlate some events. According to Eurick, “we are in the applied mode for certain groups of resources and observe mode for others. IT hasn’t done anything “aggressive” with AIOps yet, but he plans to more deeply tune and leverage the system heading into 2020.”
Eurick says that Zebra’s AIOps platform “has squashed some alerts floods, so rather than getting 50 alerts, it has correlated them into one. When I have something broad going on in multiple services, it reduces the noise.”
Dennis Drogseth Take on Where AIOps Will Shine
As per Drogseth’s affirmation, AIOps is ideal for use cases where IT wants to look for anomalies within a lot of data. He said, IT vendors will have many different approaches for doing this including some will focus on microservices and containers; some on the cloud; and some platforms will support mainframes where others won’t.
He further explained most companies want a tool that is highly deployable, provides quick ROI, does not require a lot of overhead, and can integrate with multiple monitoring tools. According to Drogseth, AIOps can be referred to as advanced IT analytics as they can incorporate cross domains, machine learning, broad data collection, and serving multiple stakeholders.
He predicts that in the future, automation will be key and in 2020, users can expect to see more platforms that integrate automation with AIOps as well as with their existing investments in ITSM platforms and other IT processes.
Additionally, Sacolick predicted that next year, more CIOs will pilot and evaluate AIOps platforms.