Worried about shadow IT projects and their impact on daily operations? The business that chartered them without consulting you, expects you as an IT professional to keep them up nevertheless. Sound familiar? Does taking cost out of IT operations seem like an impossible dream or an idealistic solution that’s too expensive? I understand your reticence. It seems magical but when a customer says things like “This is really cool. I like the fact that you can gather all of this information into a single system and present the data for an application in a single easy to configure page. “
It pulls my feet to the ground. What is he so excited about? Well, he was trying out HP Operations Analytics. As an IT manager, like many of you, he’s always on the lookout of ways to fix issues faster. It is so much easier to free up time to work on new projects, trainings, deployments that the business wants when you’re not fighting fires.
So what exactly is this solution and how can it possibly remove so much of the cost of running IT?
Well first it’s new, now! It’s all about addressing the seminal shift in management. Simply put, surely you’re faced with shadow IT projects—most IT shops are. You know that the biz team strives to be agile and contracts a cloud provider or other subcontractors to quickly fire up a new way of doing business. The issue is of course that you weren’t consulted about it and probably aren’t monitoring it. Yet business will call you to fix it if something goes wrong.
What have they done? Really they’re reacting to the changes in user behavior. These shifts are elementary, inevitable and probably irreversible. It comes from the fact that IT is everywhere. Users have very intelligent devices to connect to the Internet: smartphones, tablets and so many others, IT simply can’t know what device is being used and what technologies are being invoked to gain access to business services being offered. If these business services underperform chances are the users will simply turn elsewhere, or if business gets lucky they may actually complain.
It is vital that unmonitored devices and technologies be analyzed. IT needs to be better prepared, especially when issues occur that could bring the card castle down altogether. We call these events perfect storms and they can be painful and very costly both financially and to brand loyalty. By adding data collection from a variety of sources including:
By storing/indexing this data, IT becomes better prepared. Of course given the proliferation of devices, this becomes a Big Data problem.
The result is a solution that offers the mean to prepare, predict and pinpoint issues. Now IT has the power to observe the environment, identify potential issues and react if something goes wrong. When the solution is applied, customers obtain the means to do simple, yet powerful, search into the data collected, just like the capabilities we have when searching on the Internet. Customers can also obtain guided troubleshooting, the experience is similar to what we experience when we use a GPS to get from A to B.
IT can now enjoy powerful visual analytics to pinpoint issues faster than ever before. This is similar to the capabilities of business analysts, or those in healthcare who study scanned images and finally traders who use fancy graphics to follow cash flows.
Isn’t this exciting? It certainly defines a new style of IT management; no wonder the customer above was so excited.