3 Reasons AIOps is a Must for Your Network

As organizations’ reliance on enterprise networks continues to grow at a rapid pace, so do the pressures on network professionals. These individuals are expected to swiftly, accurately and effectively carry out essential tasks, such as determining a problem’s root cause and whether it’s related to a device, application, server, service or the network itself, as well as formulate a way to resolve the issue. Amidst increasingly complex networks, maintaining the visibility to accomplish this at a granular level is not only difficult, but oftentimes unachievable. This is where AIOps can be an absolute game-changer.

What AIOps Can Do For Your Network Team

AI for IT Operations – a.k.a. AIOps – refers to the various technologies that, when integrated together, enable IT to automatically monitor, collect and analyze device and network health information. More importantly, it provides much more in-depth visibility, facilitates intelligent problem identification and offers much more precise root-cause analysis of performance-related problems.

Let’s explore specifically how AIOps can empower network teams by addressing each of these three necessary tasks.

Pinpoint the Source – Anyone in IT knows you cannot adequately address a performance problem unless and until you identify precisely what the issue at hand is. Unfortunately, the more complex the network, the more challenging this becomes. An AIOps platform is capable of simultaneously monitoring data from all sources to quickly and accurately locate a problem’s source. This saves the network team a tremendous amount of time and eliminates the risk of false positives and potential misdirection.

Identify the Cause – AIOps platforms operate in the background, round-the-clock, using artificial intelligence to measure network activities from end-to-end. Whenever something veers outside of statistical norms, the AIOps platform will quickly identify it and take appropriate next steps to address the issue. In-depth analytics can sift through relevant data to determine the problem’s cause as well as which networks and devices have been impacted.

Develop a Resolution – Once the AIOps platform has pinpointed the problem and identified its cause, it is then capable of presenting information to the network administrator in a contextual manner, ultimately suggesting the best way to resolve the issue. In many instances, problems can be completely remediated via automation, negating the need for human intervention. Again, this saves the IT team time and allows human resources to be used more strategically.

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5 Tips for Maximizing Efficiency in ITOps

What started out as a promising year for CIOs has quickly and drastically gone off the rails. Today, most IT executives find themselves attempting to guide the train back toward the tracks as the focus has dramatically shifted from thriving to merely surviving.

With 61% of IT budgets being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the 2020’s highest priorities has become saving as much as money as possible. And while “doing more with less” is something most CIOs are adept at, finding ways to drive revenue and secure their organization’s position in the marketplace in the midst of a world health crisis is quite the unique challenge.

The key to overcoming this hurdle will ultimately lie in maximizing efficiency levels, and not just in terms of cutting costs, either. Today’s CIOs must focus strategically on changes and initiatives that will enable them to achieve the leanest operation possible while also adding value to the organization through improved services. 

That being said, here are five ways to improve ITOps efficiency without compromising on quality.

Audit existing operations.

When it comes to maximizing efficiency in IT operations, doing so will lie heavily in existing policies, practices and platforms. Now’s as good a time as any to conduct an audit to identify areas of waste to eliminate and other potential opportunities for improvement. The end-goal should be having an infrastructure in place that optimizes the use of seamless, cohesive technologies so that the IT team can focus their talents and efforts on revenue-generating activities and other ways to support the business.

Be willing to trim the fat.

After several years of enjoying annual budget increases and the freedom to explore and innovate freely, many CIOs now find themselves facing budgetary cuts and a bleak spending forecast. As such, it will almost certainly be necessary to trim back some of the spending and say goodbye to poor performers, both in terms of personnel as well as technology. Where before, experimenting with the unknown was feasible, in the current climate, IT leaders must focus on projects, platforms and people that they know will deliver value. Remember – occasional pruning is necessary for growth.

Establish a dedicated vendor-management team.

Keeping on top of vendor contracts is a full-time job in and of itself. For a busy CIO with dozens of tasks on their plate, this one often drops down the to-do list. But with so much opportunity for cost-cutting and service improvements, it should be a top priority. Rather than trying to juggle this on top of the multitude of other duties, it may make more sense to delegate this function to another individual or team, either in-house or third-party. The money that can be saved through continuous monitoring and negotiations should far outweigh the expense, and the potential for improved service will be well worth the investment.

Bring automation into the fold.

Most CIOs have already embraced automation to some degree, and for good reason. The technology is capable of speeding up operations, eliminating human error and freeing up staff from routine, repetitive and time-consuming tasks. It can also prevent outages, which helps to maximize profitability. All that aside, there have been many advances in automation technology of which many IT leaders are still not taking advantage. Intelligent chatbots and virtual support agents, for example, can help alleviate the burden on the IT team while providing faster end-user service. This creates a much more efficient, productive environment.

Incorporate efficiency into the long-term scope.

While maximizing efficiency becomes a natural reactionary goal during economic downturns, the most successful CIOs view lean operations as an ongoing objective. They consistently evaluate whether the people, processes, policies and technologies they currently have in place are serving their optimal purpose and they make proactive changes whenever and wherever necessary. Simply put, achieving operational efficiency isn’t just a one-and-done task. It’s something that should become an integral and permanent component of an organization’s very culture.

Like it or not, the world around us is evolving rapidly. Without the right attention, foresight and action, many CIOs risk being left behind. The five tips above should help IT leaders simultaneously streamline ITOps and minimize costs while still driving business growth.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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