Maximizing the Organizational Impact of AIOps on IT Departments

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AIOps technologies are becoming increasingly essential for IT departments. However, these technologies can have a big impact on more than digital services; they can also have a big impact on the wider organization. In this post, we will explore the ways in which AIOps can drive efficiencies for IT teams and have a trickle down effect on other teams such as DevOps, sales, marketing, and support.

Break Silos and Improve Collaboration

According to three McKinsey partners, “AI has the biggest impact when it’s developed by cross-functional teams with a mix of skills and perspectives.” They suggest that when business, operations, and analytics people work side-by-side, they can address major organizational priorities in addition to daily issues.

This is especially true of AIOps. AIOps helps establish unified intelligence across multiple teams throughout the organization. In other words, it provides a common language that breaks down silos and enables teams to work together.

IT departments use AIOps to define SLIs and SLOs for latency, traffic, errors, and more. Other departments may not care about these metrics because they have a different set of KPIs to worry about, such as customer onboarding time, turnaround time for support tickets, or customer lifetime value. However, these critical business priorities are greatly served by the unified and advanced intelligence that AIOps brings.

For example, a new marketing campaign may be attracting users to the website, but an issue may be preventing them from completing an action (like a purchase). In this case, AIOps tools would be the first to detect this issue. From here, the marketing department could be alerted automatically so that they could temporarily pause the campaign, while the IT department and engineering teams work to resolve the issue.

In addition, users will undoubtedly access the same application on multiple devices. AIOps can deliver device-level insights to IT departments and marketing teams, who could then use these insights to improve and sell their products. For example, they may choose to release device-specific features based upon the valuable insights gleaned from AIOps.

Automate and Reduce Costs

Automating tasks delivers the dual benefits of added efficiencies and cost savings. This provides value and benefits for more than just IT departments.

Customer service, for example, is one area that is ripe for automation. When an issue affects many users, automated processes can be set up so that teams as well as customers are automatically alerted to the issue. While this may sound simple, it requires that IT departments, customer support, and marketing teams work together. In addition, they must have their tools integrated to allow for this type of automation. The challenge is to correlate data across the different tools that are used by these unique departments. Creating custom integrations and maintaining them on an ongoing basis is equally difficult.

This level of integration and automation is possible with AIOps technologies. AIOps uses machine learning to scan for signs of outages or vulnerabilities, and then sends out alerts to teams before these incidents escalate. In some cases, AIOps can even deploy a known fix for the issue, without requiring human intervention.

Automation takes the burden of manual tasks off of IT departments, but it also delivers significant benefits to others teams that rely on IT. With fewer manual tasks to be done, teams can focus on more high-value tasks. With the most up-to-date information at hand, support teams can spend more time interacting with customers than with IT or engineering. With deeper visibility into apps running in production, developers can spend time building new features, rather than firefighting issues with old ones.

Improve Quality of Life for Staff

As systems become more complex, the amount of monitoring data to be analyzed increases. This creates an ever-growing problem of false alarms. This “noise” can affect the functioning and productivity of teams as they perform their tasks at work, or worse, at home when the phone rings in the middle of the night.

More data need not mean more false alerts. On the contrary, systems should be able to easily discern between a false trigger and a genuine concern by correlating data across systems. AIOps can quickly spot repeating patterns so that genuine incidents can be identified early, communicated to the teams, and remedied ahead of time. Likewise, false triggers can be suppressed, thus enabling IT departments and other teams to focus on the important tasks.

AIOps helps to streamline alerts so that the right people get the right information at the right time. This requires intelligent routing of alerts to the proper personnel. There should be room for people to decide how they would like to be notified, whether it be by email, a phone call, Slack, or another app that their team uses.

In addition, clearly documented runbooks are essential for incident management, but they can become outdated if they are not continuously updated. Don’t just rely on project management skills and runbooks; instead, leverage AIOps technologies that are smarter than static documents and processes.

Conclusion

AIOps is not just for IT departments. It begins with IT departments, but its benefits trickle down to every department that works with and relies on them. In today’s organizations, that means every team. In some cases, such as security and fraud detection, the benefits are immediately apparent; in other cases, such as customer support and marketing automation, it will take a few weeks (or months) for the teams to become aware of the potential benefits of AIOps for their use cases. However, once implemented, the beauty of having large teams working together cohesively as a single unit is a huge reward in itself.


Twain began his career at Google, where, among other things, he was involved in technical support for the AdWords team. Today, as a technology journalist he helps IT magazines, and startups change the way teams build and ship applications. Twain is a regular contributor at Fixate IO.


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