“Anyone can be angry — that’s easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy. ” — Aristotle


This saying holds the same weight in today’s workplace as it did in Ancient Greece, albeit I’d rather view it as a focus of our energy and resources to solve a problem versus pure anger.

2016 marked the 2,400th anniversary of the birth of Aristotle and an era of legendary Greek discourse battles. Today’s CIOs and technology leaders may feel as though they’re in similar battles every time a major event occurs, and an IT war room is started. That call to action comes with a mature blame game and finger-pointing exercise often to only be interrupted by the inevitable guessing game. Sure to be heard are statements like:  

  • What application in our never-ending plethora of applications is causing the issue?  
  • Who do we need to solve it?  
  • Our {insert technology domain here} isn’t the problem! It’s a problem with the {insert a different technology domain here} team. 
  • Has anyone checked or know what’s changed in the last few hours? 

The sheer number of alerts is unmanageable, and it’s hard to separate the signal from the noise, and what to be angry at. Aristotle was revered as Alexander the Great’s tutor,  “The First Teacher,” and “The Philosopher,” and “the master of those who know.” He teaches us, as stated in the quote above, that without clear visibility, it’s hard to find the right “thing” to focus our energy and limited resources.  

Let’s break down what we need to do to enhance and automate IT operations according to Aristotle’s philosophy of focusing on what’s right: 

The Right Person: Identifying Relevant Issues 

Just as anger must be directed at the right person, AIOps teams must accurately identify the relevant issues within the IT environment that aren’t just correlations but causal in nature. This involves filtering through vast amounts of data (we repeat: vast amounts) to pinpoint specific problems that require attention, ensuring that resources are focused on genuine issues rather than false positives. 

The Right Degree: Appropriate Response 

Aristotle’s emphasis on the right degree mirrors the necessity for AIOps to calibrate its response appropriately within the context with which it’s occurring. Teams must determine the severity of an issue and respond with proportional actions, avoiding both overreaction and underreaction. This might mean escalating a critical outage immediately or handling minor alerts with automated fixes. It might also mean not focusing all your resources to solve a downed or degraded application that doesn’t, at that moment in time, impact users or their immediate needs. Improperly scaled actions tend to cause more issues, so determine the appropriate response.  

The Right Time: Timeliness 

Timing is crucial in both managing emotions and IT operations. AIOps must detect and respond to issues in real-time or near real-time to minimize impact. Ideally, AIOps can even detect scenarios as they develop, in the form of early warning system that enable proactive actions. For applications tied to revenue, downtime means the loss of sales, but sometimes it can mean losing a customer’s business entirely. Just as it’s important to express anger at the right moment timely interventions in IT operations can prevent minor issues from escalating into major disruptions. 

The Right Purpose: Intentional Actions 

Focused energy and limited resources must serve a constructive purpose. AIOps-initiated actions must align with the overarching goals of improving system performance, reliability, and overarching resilience. Every action taken by AIOps teams must be intentional, aiming to optimize operations and enhance user experience, rather than arbitrary or misdirected and out of context. The more visibility you have in your data, the better the insights, and the more intentional you can be about your actions.  

The Right Way: Methodology 

Finally, the way in which AIOps performs its functions must be effective and efficient. This includes using advanced machine learning algorithms and data analytics to automate routine tasks, predict potential issues, and provide actionable insights. The methodology should ensure that the solutions are not just quick fixes but are sustainable and improve the system’s resilience over time. 


Aristotle’s wisdom nails it: mastering precision, appropriateness, timeliness, intentionality, and methodology isn’t just for anger management — it’s crucial for AIOps too. In the chaotic world of IT, we need to separate the signal from the noise and act with clear intention. By channeling our inner philosopher and applying these principles, AIOps can turn IT mayhem into a symphony of efficiency and proactive management. It’s like giving your IT team a flashlight to illuminate the dark in countless systems and siloed processes. 

So, the next time your servers, storage, cloud environment, or any other technology throws a tantrum, remember: with Aristotle’s guidance, your AIOps solution can handle it with the grace of a Greek philosopher — just be sure to avoid the hemlock! 

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