In my previous posts and in IT Operations Must Rise To Meet The Modern Business, I’ve discussed the concept of a fully interconnected, operational model that leverages automation and data analytics. Technology operations must adopt automation and an analytics-driven mindset. The current technology landscape makes it difficult for you to do this because the artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) terminology has been used to describe such a wide variety of software technologies. I prefer to speak to it in terms of an ecosystem that underpins an automated, technology-based operational model. The intent is to drive the enterprise toward the delivery of proactive and predictive capabilities.
The ecosystem composes various technology components that work together to address organizational needs. The efforts and dialogue around AIOps up until now have conflated the software and services you use with the objectives you desire. Organizations have become confused when trying to select the appropriate tools and technologies. Technology vendors add to the confusion when trying to help their clients.
Take A Step Back
It’s important to remember that a piece of software can be part of the overarching AIOps solution without being the full end-to-end option. Single end-to-end solutions are irrational fantasies. Any software product is a vital point solution to the larger objective. Every organization has parts of their AIOps solution in place but needs to address the gaps. Which parts you need depends predominantly on your objectives for AIOps. Your existing technology landscape, however, needs to be assessed for gaps.
A full-stack AIOps solution would be divided into two groupings:
- A capability group that encompasses the various tiers of capabilities needed to deliver the multitude of point solutions for an AIOps full-stack solution
- A superstructure of interoperability that underpins and connects capabilities, allowing you to realize the full value of these capabilities
The capability group has tiers that each address a particular capability such as sensory data, ingestion, processing, utilization, and practices. Each capability tier would then have specific point solutions.
Organizations need to only acquire point solutions that address gaps in their existing technology stack. This may include acquiring an underpinning superstructure of interoperability. The superstructure provides connectivity horizontally across point solutions and vertically through the tiers of capability. The point solutions and superstructure come together to form the technological ecosystem necessary to deliver on the promise of a full-stack AIOps solution.
There are a few things from both the vendor and client perspectives that are important to consider:
- May offer multiple point solutions in one or more tiers of capability.
- May or may not offer a superstructure of interoperability.
- With a superstructure of interoperability and point solutions may or may not have done a good job to make it all work seamlessly.
- With a superstructure of interoperability may or may not work well with point solutions from other vendors.
Organizations already have many installed technologies, so they:
- May or may not require a new/additional superstructure of interoperability.
- May possess a weak or poorly implemented superstructure of interoperability.
- May or may not need to acquire a wide array of point solutions.
- May only need to address gaps in their technology portfolio with a few point solutions in a specific tier of capability.
It’s Complicated But Necessary
You should be aware of the similarities of decades of failed configuration management database (CMDB) efforts that organizations attempted. (Déjà Vu: Don’t Let AIOps Be CMDB All Over Again!) However, fear cannot stop you from venturing on this journey. Doing nothing is not an option. Your business partners are demanding that technology operations step up their game. This is not just about keeping the lights on any longer. It’s bigger than that. It’s about business outcomes and mitigating security risks. If technology operations resist automating their environment, business partners will get more aggressive with seeking third-party alternatives.
Keep your eye out for new reports where I break down this AIOps superstructure solution and the tiers of capabilities. I will also provide guidance on how you can put it into practice, in a separate report that is being written.
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