How is AIOps Really Used in IT?

How is AIOps Really Used in IT?

Digital transformation has simultaneously simplified and added a layer of complexity to the modern world of IT operations. Managing multiple environments across a number of locations invoked the need to introduce several disparate tools and platforms, leaving IT siloed and, oftentimes, overwhelmed. This has perpetuated the need for artificial intelligence for IT operations, or AIOps for short. For those not yet leveraging AIOps, or who are still in the beginning stages, here are three real-world, value-added use cases to consider.

Threat Detection – AIOps is the perfect complement to a security management strategy because its machine learning algorithms are capable of mining massive amounts of data for scripts, botnets and other threats or anomalies that could potentially harm a network. This is especially true for threats that are complex and sophisticated, which is why it’s such a valuable addition.

Intelligent Alerting – Today’s ITOps teams are being inundated with alerts of which only a small portion are actually critical. AIOps can manage these alerts autonomously, evaluating, identifying core issues, prioritizing and either escalating or remediating them without the need for human intervention. Imagine trimming that overflowing inbox of alerts down to just one or two that truly matter.

Capacity Optimization – Through the use of AI-based statistical analysis, IT operations teams can optimize application workloads and availability across the entire infrastructure. This technology is capable of proactively monitoring bandwidth, utilization, CPU, memory and much more, with the goal of maximizing application uptime. AIOps can also be used for predictive capacity planning.

Of course, this is really just the beginning. As environments become increasingly complex and technology options continue to grow, IT operations teams will find themselves under even more pressure to deliver maximum business value with minimal downtime. AIOps emerges as the ideal solution, facilitating infrastructure monitoring and management that is much faster and far more efficient. It’s no surprise, that IT leaders and other key decision-makers are starting to take notice.

Today, AIOps is all about threat management, streamlined alerting and maximizing uptime. Tomorrow, IT automation powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing technology is positioned to forge entirely new pathways for innovation and growth. In other words, the journey has just begun and the future is beaming with possibility.

Want to get in on the ground floor? Grab your free 30-day trial of Ayehu NG and put the power of AIOps to work for your organization.

Free eBook! Get Your Own Copy Today

Intelligent Automation Solutions – 7 Questions to Ask

When it comes to IT operations, there’s no question that it is crucial for organizations to increase their efficiency. In fact, with the ever-growing complexity, service levels and performance, greater operational efficiency becomes not just an option, but a competitive necessity. Intelligent automation solutions can help your IT operations become more efficient, thereby improving your organization’s bottom line.

That being said, not every automation tool is the same. And with so many to choose from, the selection process can be confusing and downright overwhelming. Here are seven important questions that should help you make a more informed decision.

1. What are the integration points? Before choosing your intelligent automation solution, you should first verify that it will have touch points and triggers that integrate with your data center systems, including different OS, legacy systems, integration with help desk such as ServiceNow, monitoring and management systems, etc. The more integrated the better.

2. What should be expected in terms of deployment effort? Evaluate how much time and effort will be required for deployment (setup, configuration, implementation, etc.). You want to make sure that the time-frame proposed works with your organizational needs. Also, set expectations so that everyone is on the same page throughout the process and there are no unexpected surprises.

3. What is the required skill set for this particular platform? Part of the implementation process involves training and adapting to the new system. Before moving forward, you should understand what the estimated learning curve will be for generating automated workflows independently. You’ll also want to determine ahead of time if any scripting will be required. (Tip: Look for a solution that does not require coding or programming required. This enables rapid adoption and time-to-value.)

4. Does this product feature out-of-the-box functionality? Some intelligent automation solutions provide ‘pre-canned’ templates for various commonly performed tasks. If the platform you are considering offers this, the next step is to determine whether these generic templates can easily be tailored to fit your unique business environment and processes. Templates are a great place to start, but the more customizable, the better.

5. What level of human intervention is available? Even the simplest automated processes will require some type of human decision at some point during the process. The question to ask is whether you will be able to embed decision-making logic into workflows for remote decisions on process execution. This allows management to maintain control over the process from start to finish.

6. What kind of scheduling functionality does it offer? While some automated processes will be triggered by system events, others, such as repetitive tasks, will need to be scheduled. You’ll want to make sure the automation platform you select provides for full scheduling capability.

7. Does it take into account regulatory compliance? Meeting regulatory compliance requirements is a critical part of every organization’s success. When evaluating an intelligent automation solution, be sure to find out whether it can help you with these initiatives. For instance, does the tool provide tracking of events, reports and knowledge management that will help the organization comply with regulations?

These are the seven most important things to consider when evaluating automation for your organization. By asking these key questions and understanding what to look for, you will have a much better chance of selecting an intelligent automation solution that will be a perfect fit for your business and ensure project success.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

IT Pros: Too Much to Do, Too Few Resources? Here’s the Answer…

Over the past several years, IT departments across the globe have experienced cutbacks both in budget as well as human resources. These cutbacks have created serious concern over who would step in to fill the jobs and complete the work that still has to be done. And although the economy has slowly begun to recover, these concerns still widely exist. Here are some of the main concerns and how IT automation can help to fill the gap.

“There is more work to be done by fewer people.”

It’s sad but true. With businesses of every size and industry feeling the pressure to cut back and tighten the belt on labor costs, many IT departments are facing the real struggle of having to manage the same workload with fewer people to do it. IT automation provides a solution to this very real problem by allowing technology to handle many of the time consuming manual tasks.

 “New employees are not being recruited, resuIT Pros: Too Much to Do, Too Few Resources? Here's the Answer...lting in seriously short-handed teams. Now we must work harder, more efficiently and cover more expertise.”

With businesses focusing on lowering expenditure, many have implemented an indefinite hiring freeze, leaving current employees to handle growing needs. Instead of being stretched too thin, IT professionals can turn to IT automation to take care of many of their repetitive and routine day to day tasks. This frees up existing IT personnel to be able to learn and develop more advanced skills.

“We are under a great deal of pressure to deliver more and at a faster rate, yet at the same time we are not being given any additional resources.”

The increasing demands being placed on IT professionals today can make the job seem nothing short of overwhelming, but with IT automation it doesn’t have to be. In fact, ITPA offers solutions that can help organizations truly capitalize on their scarce IT resources while also dramatically reducing downtime and improving service levels.

“Most of the existing knowledge is walking out the door due to layoffs and open positions not being filled, while new help is inexperienced.”

Another big problem many IT departments face today is the inability to properly train newer staff members due to lack of time or resources. When every available person is busy plugging away at labor-intensive and time consuming tasks, there’s no time left over to bring others up to speed on the growing and changing needs of the organization. When IT automation is leveraged for many of these routine tasks, senior staff has more availability to focus on key training initiatives, improving the overall performance of the department.

These days, organizations of every size are faced with the demand to do more with fewer and fewer people. They’re also facing the fact that hiring freezes and reduced workforce mean fewer trained professionals to work with. This is particularly the case in the specialized field of IT operations.

IT automation presents the ideal solution to all of these needs by eliminating labor-intensive manual interactions, automating key processes such as system, network and application tasks, and freeing up IT management to focus on key issues that improve both internal training and external service levels. The result is a highly efficient and cost-effective operation that contributes to the ongoing success of the business as a whole.

Experience firsthand how automation can help streamline your IT department. Start your free trial today!

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

How IT Automation Can Deliver Continuous Operations

How IT Automation Can Deliver Continuous OperationsWith more organizations across the globe embracing cloud-based services, end-users can now access their files, data and applications via a multitude of channels and devices. This increased adoption has resulted in a rise in the demands and expectations of users to enjoy constant up-time. Even just a few moments of limited or no response could result in the loss of customers and, subsequently, revenue. IT automation can help meet these challenges and facilitate the continuous operation and availability of applications and services.

The reality is that running a successful organization requires tremendous effort behind the scenes. Ongoing releases, updates and patches may be a necessary evil, but they must be handled in a way that doesn’t impact reliability, performance and availability on the front end. Downtime simply isn’t acceptable in today’s IT environment. As such, continuous infrastructure monitoring is essential to ensure that any incidents that occur are identified, addressed and remediated as quickly as possible – preferably before any damage can be done and ideally without any service interruption.

Simply put, none of this is possible without a solid IT automation strategy in place. Furthermore, the orchestration of that automation is key. This ensures that various tools, applications and systems within the operations management chain remain properly connected and that all hand-off points are automated. This eliminates silos by enabling optimized, end-to-end automation.

The operations management chain includes tools for monitoring a variety of layers as well as server virtualization, network and storage management, database management, IT service management and application server management, just to name a few. With a quality IT automation platform in place, all of these tools can be seamlessly integrated to create a fully automated environment. It also ensures that all of these tasks, processes and workflows can be closely monitored and carefully controlled.

One area where IT automation can really make a significant impact is in the realm of release and deployment. As the demand for faster releases, new features, improved usability, resolution of defects and constant monitoring for security loopholes continues to increase, IT teams are under mounting pressure to meet those demands without any interruption of service. This can only be accomplished with the appropriate deployment tools and architecture in place. Continuous operations mean the end-user remains blissfully unaware that upgrades are even occurring until they are able to enjoy the benefit of additional functionality and improved user experience that come as a result.

Perhaps the greatest challenge the IT professional of today faces, however, is establishing and maintaining a truly end-to-end environment. According to the research director of Gartner, Robert Naegle, “It is still more common to see automation technologies popping up in functional islands, with I&O management later attempting to aggregate and orchestrate disparate technologies, scripts and workflows.” IT automation can facilitate this seamless integration with ease and with purpose.

What could your organization accomplish if it successfully achieved continuous operations? Find out now by launching your free trial of Ayehu automation and orchestration platform.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

5 Ways Automation Benefits IT Operations

5 Ways Automation Benefits IT OperationsMost IT operations managers struggle with the daily challenge of getting more done with fewer resources. This requires the intelligent use of technology, namely automation, which can effectively serve as a force multiplier, particularly in cases where staff is limited. In fact, there are five specific advantages for leveraging automation technology to streamline IT operations. These benefits are as follows:

Cost Reduction – Most organizations are actively striving to reduce costs whenever and wherever possible. Automation helps facilitate this savings in a number of ways, including greater output of work, fewer errors and lower human personnel numbers.

Enhanced Productivity – Automating workflows eliminate the need for manual work, which not only improves output, but it also frees up talented IT operations personnel to apply their knowledge and advanced skills to more important tasks and projects. Plus, by reducing turnaround time, more work can be processed on a daily basis.

Greater Availability – System outages can cost an organization millions of dollars in lost revenue, not to mention the damage to the company’s reputation. One of IT operations main priorities is achieving the highest levels of availability possible, an objective supported by automation. With things like automated save and recovery, round-the-clock system monitoring and remote communication, network downtime can be reduced significantly. Likewise, recovery can be facilitated much more quickly, mitigating damages.

More Reliability – Like it or not, IT operations includes some of the most mundane, repetitive (but entirely necessary) tasks, which is why it is also much more error-prone. When the human factor is eliminated from this process, those costly errors also go away. This is especially beneficial in larger networks that feature multiple operating systems. Automated IT operations can vastly improve reliability while simultaneously relieving personnel of tedious manual tasks.

Optimized Performance – Another hurdle most IT operations professionals face is the demand to perform tasks and workflows faster, more efficiently and at a much higher workload. It’s challenging to keep up with these demands without becoming overburdened with work. Thankfully, tools like automation can provide the missing link to maximizing performance without having to hire more staff.

In summary, automation help IT ops run like a well-oiled machine. Want to experience the above benefits for your own organization? Launch your free trial of Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform today.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

Bridging the Gap Between Security and IT Operations

Bridging the Gap Between Security and IT OperationsAll too often there is a serious disconnect between a company’s security and operations teams which, on the surface, may not seem like much to be concerned about. Unfortunately, a lack of synergy between these two critical groups could make the organization much more vulnerable to a cyber-attack. For instance, a breach is discovered by the security team but the ops team is slow to react or IT operations might be focused on correcting an application failure that, in reality, is a system hack. These two teams must find a way to work in unison. The good news is, incident response automation can help bridge this gap.

The underlying issue stems from the fact that, traditionally, IT operations and enterprise security were considered entirely separate functions. These silos unintentionally made it difficult if not impossible to quickly identify and respond to potential security threats. As IT departments have continued to grow and take on more responsibility, and with cyber incidents becoming more complex and relentless by the day, it’s become increasingly evident that collaboration between the two departments is absolutely necessary in order to ensure compliance and security of the organization.

Defining Roles & Responsibilities

The functions of each of these teams, at least from a traditional standpoint, are pretty straightforward and logical. Enterprise security is tasked with defining, documenting and implementing the strategies for identifying and remediating potential threats to the network and the operations team is responsible for executing these strategies. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s much more convoluted and significantly more challenging. Some of the issues with this setup include:

  • Tasks are being performed manually or using individual, siloed tools. The result is a slower process that’s wrought with error.
  • Lack of integration amongst systems results in security and IT operations failing to share and manage data interdepartmentally, further isolating the functions of each team.
  • Security scanning tools that are audit-only and lack integrated remediation functionality (closed loop compliance). This approach can cause significant delays at critical moments.
Closing the Gap

In order to close the existing gap between security and IT operations within your organization, a fundamental shift in thinking must first take place, particularly around how the firm can and should handle risk and governance as well as achieve compliance. Furthermore, there must be a clear and complete understanding of what the goals are for each group. Ultimately, both teams want the best for the organization. Aligning the goals and tying them into each other can help them achieve this together.

To further address these challenges and create a more cohesive SecOps environment, technology that is designed to link and integrate systems can help significantly. Specifically, incident response automation that eliminates the time-consuming and error-prone manual tasks and provides visibility across both departments will not only help align the two groups together, but it can also dramatically improve the overall process of incident response, remediation and compliance. Employing such an intelligent solution can also lower costs, reduce risk and facilitate more effective collaboration between security and IT operations. As a result, the organization will maintain a much stronger, more fortified defense against potential attacks.

Are you struggling with fragmented systems and siloed teams? Is your enterprise secure enough to withstand the inevitable onslaught of cyber-attacks that are sure to come? Download a free 30 day trial of eyeShare today and start taking the steps to overcome this disconnect and create a more cohesive, collaborative and protected organization.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

3 Key Business Processes that Can Benefit from Workload Automation

3 Key Business Processes that Can Benefit from Workload AutomationJust a few decades ago, manual scripting and old-school batch processing were sufficient for most businesses. Given the always-on, 24/7 digital nature of business today, however, this is no longer enough to keep organizations secure, efficient and competitive. Workload automation is the ideal solution for helping companies run at maximum productivity while also saving time and money. If you’re considering adopting this tool for your business, here are 3 processes that might be a good place to start.

FTPs and Batch Processes

The exchange of information via electronic file transfer is commonplace in almost all businesses today, as is batch data processing. Managing each of these key areas individually is expensive and time-consuming. It also leaves the business vulnerable to risks associated with delays in file transfers or batch process failures.

Yet, many businesses that have adopted automation are still struggling, because they’re attempting to automate each piece separately. That’s because this creates silos and makes it incredibly difficult to manage complex workflows that span multiple applications, databases and FTP operations. The result is a fragmented approach that is both a waste of time and prone to error.

The solution is adopting workload automation that is comprehensive enough to incorporate FTP operation management within the job scheduling function. This provides enhanced visibility and greater control over both FTP and batch processes. With this more architectural approach, if and when a problem occurs, the job scheduler can securely send FTPs and restart automatically from the precise point of failure while also notifying IT operations of the issue.

Data Warehousing & Business Intelligence

These days, real-time data, business intelligence and reporting are essential to an organization’s ongoing success. Furthermore, how this information is gathered, organized and delivered is absolutely critical. Automating the data warehousing process is becoming not just an added benefit, but a necessity.

While there are many different tools that currently exist for this purpose, most have limitations. For instance, many of the popular data warehousing and BI solutions on the market today are platform-specific and are limited in terms of functionality. As a result, in order to effectively pass data across the various systems, IT operations must rely on time-consuming and error-prone scripting.

As a resolution to these serious issues, workload automation can provide the ability to integrate and manage complex workflows that span multiple data warehousing environments. The result is a much greater quality of data and enhanced reporting capability. Scripts and scheduling tools that are platform-specific can then be unified into a single workload automation framework which offers a higher degree of control and allows businesses to meet the increasing demands being placed on them.

Managing Dependencies & Data Sharing

There are a wide variety of applications and platforms that make up a core business infrastructure. This may include anything from CRM and project management systems to ERP, work order management software and supply chain management. Furthermore, the multitude of systems, software and applications are often made up of a mish-mash of well-known suppliers, such as Microsoft, SAP and Oracle.

In order to operate successfully and at maximum efficiency and output, organizations must find a way to seamlessly integrate all of these systems to effectively schedule and manage batch processing. Adopting an architectural approach through workload automation can help achieve this objective, ensuring that business applications are updated in a timely manner and speeding time to resolution in the event of a problem.

Of course, these are just three of the many areas a business can benefit from the adoption and implementation of workload automation.

Are you leveraging this powerful workload automation tool for your own IT operations? Don’t wait! Start automating today. Download your free 30 day trial to get started.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Why Automation is a Must for IT Operations

Why Automation is a Must for IT OperationsIT process automation is certainly nothing new. In fact, it’s been somewhat of a buzzword for the past 5-10 years or so, maybe longer. Yet, despite the widespread acknowledgement that automation is virtually revolutionizing the business world, there are still some organizations that have not yet adopted the powerful tool. If you happen to fall into this category, we’d like to share some compelling reasons why your IT operations should start automating today.

Two things IT professionals are dealing with on a day to day basis are the demands on them to offer more support on fewer resources and the increasing complexity of the technologies around them. Each of these challenges causes talented personnel to struggle. Simply put, humans are beginning to fall behind. As a result, costly mistakes are made, customer satisfaction (both internal and external) is dropping and the competitive landscape is becoming even fiercer.

Automation is specifically designed to help alleviate much of the pressure that IT operations groups are currently experiencing. First, routine tasks, like password resets and system restarts, can be shifted from workers to machines. These tasks are then completed faster and are virtually error-free. Meanwhile, personnel are freed up to focus on other business-critical activities, like further developing their skills and handling higher-level items that cannot be automated.

A more efficient and productive workforce translates to smoother IT operations all around. It also means a much greater output of work and enhanced services since technology is now doing all the heavy lifting. Naturally, this leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction, regardless of whether those customers happen to be internal workers in other departments or external clientele who depend on the organization.

Another important benefit of automation is that it helps to make IT operations more responsive to change. There’s no question that we’re living in an ever-evolving world where technology is advancing quicker than we even realize. The ability to scale and adapt is absolutely critical, particularly in IT. A slow evolution simply won’t cut it, especially in a field that is so hyper-competitive. Automation allows for agility, which is essential to an organization’s ongoing success.

As the demands on IT operations continue to grow and become more complex, there will be an even greater need for automation. Only those organizations that are forward thinking enough to adopt these innovative technological tools will remain competitive and continue to achieve their business objectives. Where will your company stand? Will you come out on top or get left behind? Start automating today and position your firm as a front-runner of the future.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

IT Operations – Staying Competitive in the Age of IT Process Automation

IT Operations - Staying Competitive in the Age of IT Process AutomationIt’s no secret that IT Process Automation  (ITPA) has begun to find its way into just about every industry – particularly that of IT operations. Yet, whether you embrace it or not, it’s important to remember that while automation is something that can most certainly improve operational efficiency, it’s not necessarily something that you can simply set and forget. There’s still a very human element to automation that must be considered, and it’s this human piece of the puzzle that will help businesses remain competitive in an increasingly tech-savvy world.

The ultimate goal of every IT professional is to produce real, measurable and efficient results for their organization. As technology shifts and evolves, IT department personnel is being expected to do more with fewer resources, all while taking into account cost. IT process automation provides the solution to these increasing demands by assisting in three key areas:

Repetitive, Manual Tasks

When someone is forced to perform the same simple, repetitive task over and over to achieve consistent results, there is little time to do much else. IT Automation relieves IT professionals from these redundancies, freeing them up to focus on improving their skillsets and managing those functions that require a higher level of human intervention.

Compliance and Security

Audits can become a tremendous waste of time and resources for IT personnel. So can managing data security. The right IT process automation tool, however, can provide an added level of protection to sensitive data and create easy to track documentation, making it a breeze to meet compliance requirements.

Human Error

In the event of a system outage, every moment – and every action – counts. Even the most seasoned professional can make a costly error when dealing with the stress and pressure of managing critical incidents. Incorporating automation helps to reduce the risk of human error, improving the chances of a smooth and timely system recovery process.

Of course,IT process automation isn’t something that will magically solve every IT challenge. While these three key benefits are pretty much universal, it must begin with a well-developed automation strategy that is designed to address the unique needs of the organization. Furthermore, automation can be integrated with other programs, such as VMware and PowerShell, to further enhance their benefits.

The goal is to develop and implement an automation plan that will achieve cross-platform results and one which is scalable to grow and evolve with the changing needs of the business. This requires the expertise of IT professionals who are willing to view automation not as an adversary, but as a means to further their careers and make their organizations more successful. Only those who approach automation from this perspective will be able to remain competitive and relevant over time.

Want to learn more about IT process automation and how it can help you stay relevant in the changing world of IT? Start your free 30 day trial today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

IT Process Automation – Changing the Future of IT Operations

IT Process Automation - Changing the Future of IT OperationsThere is, perhaps, no industry that faces more challenges than that of IT. Between mastering new and evolving technologies, meeting increased demand and dealing with a slim selection of highly qualified individuals, being successful in the IT field is no simple feat. IT process automation is something that can help change this climate, making for a much brighter future for IT Operations. Here’s how.

Without IT Process Automation, IT departments face the following dilemmas:
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Increased risk of human error
  • Lack of ability/time/resources to innovate

IT process automation is essential to meet the changing and increasing demands on IT professionals. In an ever-evolving environment where new technologies and strategies are constantly being introduced, IT personnel are being expected to provide more and more value with fewer resources. By leveraging the power of IT process automation, everything from simple, routine tasks to complex workflows can be automated so that the entire network infrastructure runs more smoothly. This also frees up team members to focus on other important issues that automation cannot assist with.

For those that worry about safety and the inherent risk that comes along with allowing technology to intervene so heavily, an intelligent IT process automation tool can provide the perfect balance by specifying human decision points. The workflow executes accordingly, stopping only at specified intervals at which point the appropriate personnel will be notified that input is required. Once that point is satisfied, the workflow can then continue automatically.

What about human error? Like it or not, when people are at the helm, there will always be an increased risk of mistakes. Many instances of system problems can be traced back to human error. The key is how these problems are responded to. Traditional IT operations is responsive by nature. When an error occurs, IT receives notification and takes the appropriate actions to resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. IT process automation, on the other hand, is proactive, giving IT personnel the opportunity to correct potential problems before they even occur. This vastly improves system availability and other key factors.

Finally there is the topic of IT innovation. Historically, IT departments were there for one thing and one thing only: to ensure that system operations ran as smoothly as possible across the organization. With so many manual and repetitive daily tasks, there was little time to focus on anything else, least of which would be finding ways to improve and innovate for the better of the firm. IT process automation, however, has opened the doors of virtually endless possibilities for IT professionals. Not only do they now have the time to focus on developing strategies to improve how their organization is run, but they are also free to improve on their own skills and ability, making them much more valuable overall.

So, what type of automation will produce all of these results? Simply saying “IT process automation” doesn’t necessarily cover the complexity of the subject. That is, not all automation products are created equal. Decisions must be based on needs as well as the ability to integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure. There is IT process automation, which can automate key processes such as system, network and application tasks. Then, there is Run book automation, which extends to cover everything from repetitive IT tasks to complex processes spanning across multiple IT systems. It takes careful consideration to determine which tool would be the best fit for each organization.

Regardless of which direction you choose to go in, one thing is for certain: automation is poised to fundamentally change the future of IT operations.

Are you ready to take the bull by the horns and get your organization on the path to a brighter, more successful future through IT process automation? Download a free 30 day trial today to get started! 

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate