In AIOps: The Riddle Wrapped In The Mystery Inside The Enigma, I sort of left you hanging without a clear answer to “What is AIOps?” That was because there really isn’t a simple answer based on how it’s been previously defined. Discussions of AIOps have mainly centered around installable software when they should have been about enabling actionable insight by an automation-centric technology operations group.
I also left you without a good explanation on how to handle the fact that no two organizations are alike, even if they have a common desire to attain and act upon new insights with automation. How do organizations go about developing this insight? What questions must they ask themselves to start moving in this direction?
Let’s focus on the previous scenario where two regional banks have the desire to attain better insight. The specific insight each bank needs will be driven by their organizational goals and objectives. However, the steps they take and questions they ask will be similar when the context is removed.
There are two perspectives that factor into this equation:
- The organization trying to achieve the insight
- The technology vendors trying to enable it for the organizations
What does AIOps mean to IT leaders who run regional banks, manufacturing companies, financial services groups, etc.? What questions must they be able to answer if they decide to venture down this path of automated technology operations?
Leaders and their organizations need to focus on the “why.”
- Why is having insights into the operational environment important to my business partners?
- Why will their end customers benefit from me having comprehensive insight into the complexity of IT operations?
- Why does this deserve attention amid a sea of other technology priorities?
Leaders need to understand the “what.”
- What is different about my organization versus my peers?
- What initiatives worked for them, and are they applicable to my situation?
- What skill set(s) do I have versus the need to develop?
- What toolset(s) do I already have in place versus the need to acquire?
Determining the “how” is where it all comes together.
- How will I translate these efforts into value my business partner(s) can realize?
- How will I acquire the tools and skills to operate these new tools to achieve the “why,” the reason for doing this?
Technology Vendor Perspective
The technology vendor will also answer the same “why,” “what,” and “how” questions, except they must do it in the context of their customer. For example, why does this customer organization need my product/service to achieve their “why”?
Focus on your clients’ “why.”
- Why do organizations need my full complement of tools when they already have some pieces well established in their organization?
- Why wouldn’t they be better suited with a targeted tool to address the gaps if they can still achieve their organizationally driven “why?”
- What tools are already in place that could be replaced with ours?
- What is the true likelihood that they will replace them?
- What gaps in their capabilities and tools can we address for them quickly and affordably without burdening them with things they’ll pay for but never use?
Do we know “how?”
- How will they utilize our tool(s) to achieve their “why?”
- How will our tool(s) complement versus duplicate their existing skills and capabilities?
- How much upskilling will be required for them?
I’ve asked more questions than answered. This is because it’s impossible to provide specific answers without knowing the specific scenarios for which the questions are being asked. I do hope, however, that we can all agree on the following:
- Insight into technology operations is vital but often limited to disparate views versus comprehensive understanding.
- A combination of capabilities enabled by tools and technology is needed to reach the objective of automated technology operations.
- The fundamental approach on how to tackle this challenge is similar for most organizations. Rephrased, the questions are the same, but the answers may vary.
- The tools and corresponding training will vary based on what an organization has in place. This will drive what they need to acquire and/or develop to achieve their goals.
- The execution of the approach, the “how,” will vary by the organization because they don’t all have the same “why” or “what.”
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