IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) is the use of data to improve IT operations. This data refers to three types of data:
1) Data that IT is already collecting and analyzing
2) Data that is collected but not utilized
3) Data that IT is not collecting but should be
IT operations has access to lots of data including event data like a crashed process to performance data like CPU usage-per-second, to LOB data such as orders placed-per-second. ITOA is about gaining value from all this data to help IT operations quickly troubleshoot events and lower MTTR, and improve system performance and availability.
Enterprise Management Associates has written a paper called HP Operations Analytics: a New Analytics Platform to Support the Transformation of IT. In this post I’ll cover the non-HP specific items in the report to give you a feel for ITOA. You can download the report here [registration required].
The need of ITOA is fairly obvious. IT is growing increasingly complex yet IT staff have been downsized. Most IT shops are dealing with this through automation. ITOA automates the analysis of data into minutes that could otherwise take days. In this case looking through huge amounts of data to find patterns useful to troubleshooting problems or preventing them by predicting the short term future.
ITOA has traditionally been very siloed across an IT organization, with one tool for each type of application or system. However, a new class of ITOA tools is fast emerging that has:
Broader applicability – Working with multiple types of data and looking for interplay between the data streams
Contextual Insight – The ability to understand more about the context, such as topology, of the IT infrastructure which will provide more efficient and accurate results
Modularity – Because more roles want access to the data. In addition to traditional troubleshoot or prevention, the CIO might count on the system to provide financial insights based on operations. A simple example might be cost per incident.
The EMA paper goes on to describe specific advantages organizations have enjoyed from Advanced Analytics already. Read the paper here [registration required] for more information on how IT can use big data to improve the performance and availability of their operations.