One of the most critical roles of an IT professional is managing incoming alerts and incidents in the most efficient and effective manner. Doing so protects the organization from incoming security threats and also helps to reduce internal issues, such as system outages. Yet, with hundreds if not thousands of incoming alerts pouring in on a daily basis, many of which are false positives, what’s the best way to avoid becoming overwhelmed and risking the chance of critical issues slipping through the cracks?
Most corporations employ the use of some type of monitoring system, which allows technology to do much of the work in keeping an eye out for problems – both external and internal. The problem is, these monitoring systems are often not effective in streamlining the actual process of managing these incoming alerts. In other words, it’s very much like having only a piece of the puzzle, which is somewhat effective but missing some important components to really get results.
Enter IT process automation. When integrated with a monitoring system, such as Solarwinds, automation can take incident management to a whole new level. Working in collaboration together, these tools help to identify, analyze and prioritize incoming alerts and also ensure that notification is sent to the appropriate party in the event that a serious issue is detected. What’s more, notifications can be customized based on preference, with escalations being sent via email, SMS or telephone.
In addition to bringing more order to the process of incident notification, integrating automation with your monitoring system can also vastly improve efficiency of incident response. Automated workflows can be created to open, update and close tickets in the service desk, escalating those that require human input and automatically handling those that can be resolved electronically.
The results of such a collaboration of tools is a closed-loop solution that is much more efficient and highly effective in reducing response and resolution time, which means less downtime and faster mean time to repair (MTTR) for your organization. Let’s take a look at a real-life example of how integrating a monitoring system with IT process automation can help streamline the incident workflow:
- The monitoring system detects an incident within the IT infrastructure and sends out an alert.
- The alert is picked up by the automation software, which immediately triggers a predefined workflow.
- As part of this workflow, a trouble ticket is automatically created in the service desk.
- The appropriate party or parties receive notification via their preferred method (email, SMS or phone).
- The system waits for acknowledgement and response from the network admin.
- Upon response, the ITPA workflow will execute the appropriate task to address and correct the problem.
- The ITPA system then sends notification to the network admin advising of the recovery and automatically updates the service ticket accordingly.
This process essentially closes the loop on incident management, taking the entire process from start to completion with little need for human intervention. So, while utilizing a quality monitoring system is essential, leveraging the power of IT process automation as a complement to that system can truly bring your IT operations to another level.