Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations – the answer to sustainable operational efficiency


By Rao Surapaneni, VP – Engineering & Head of India Product Operations and Lisa Wolfe, Global Director Product Marketing at ServiceNow

Remember when “cloud” was just a buzzword? Ten years ago, many people thought that cloud technology was overhyped. Now, our future is in the Cloud – everything we own digitally is backed up to the Cloud.

There’s a similar discussion about Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) today. Once again, some people are skeptical. However, I predict that AIOps is destined to follow cloud, with widespread adoption across industries. Organizations will quickly learn that they can’t remain competitive without AIOps. Just like the Cloud, AIOps is going to evolve IT and digital business as we know it.

In India, tech convergence is the new reality for 2020. AI is being leveraged by every sector, in some way, to increase productivity and create efficiencies. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, AI has become vital for smooth workflow systems. With people observing social distancing across the globe, companies have had to create digital workflows that maintain, if not increase, productivity as people adjust to the new norm, for now.

What is AIOps?

AIOps optimizes IT operations using machine learning and big data. That’s the opposite of how many IT operations departments work today, struggling with manual processes and heavily siloed tools that don’t share data. Realizing the rising importance of AI, the Government of India in the Union Budget 2019-20 put AI high on its agenda. The Government has already identified nine priority areas and has been playing a pivotal role in augmenting the development of AI through various initiatives.  In October 2019, the Government of Maharashtra announced the use of AI- based solutions for agriculture under the Maha Agri-Tech project to help reduce cultivation hazards for farmers.

Four reasons why AIOps is important for businesses

  1. Running business at a digital speed

Enabled by the Cloud, businesses are digitizing at unprecedented speed. The pace and scale of change is staggering. And IT operations just can’t keep up. There’s just too much complexity and too much to manage. With SaaS apps and cloud services, business units are bypassing IT altogether—and this has been going on for years. AIOps changes this dynamic, ensuring that IT operations can run at digital speed and lead from the front.

  1. A highly efficient tool to increase productivity

With AIOps, your IT operations team don’t have to dig through thousands of events from siloed monitoring tools, spending hours correlating disconnected data to identify impacted services and the root cause of failures. Instead, they immediately see a small number of actionable alerts and impacted services on a single console. They also see appropriate historical and real-time context, including relevant incidents, problems and changes for affected CIs (configuration items), providing valuable shortcuts to issue diagnosis and resolution.  The more senior leadership backing there is for AIOps, the more mature an organization’s digital processes will be. A push from the senior leadership will help AIOps process more data types for IT teams, leading to automation, giving free time to experts to focus on more complex decision-making that may not be achievable by AI.

  1. Prevention is better than cure

They can also see how similar issues were remediated in the past and can even remediate issues automatically. Taken together, these AIOps capabilities significantly lower MTTR (Mean Time to Resolution), reduce the number of major incidents, and increase operational efficiency.

AIOps is ready for prime time. While the transformative promise of AI hasn’t materialized yet for business, AIOps is different. It doesn’t need a staff of data scientists or AI translators. It doesn’t need a major reorganization like many other large-scale AI initiatives. In fact, AIOps is the perfect pilot for other organizational AI initiatives, building sponsorship beyond IT as it transforms IT operations—which in turn transforms the business. Seamless adoption into IT operations and rapid productivity gains make AIOps a must-have technology for any CEO who is serious about digital transformation. This appreciation of what could be possible with AI looks set to transform into widespread usage of AIOps over the next few years.

What is the most important success factor when adopting AIOps?

It is about organizational change management. Companies need to establish a data-driven culture where most decisions are based on data, not experience. Additionally, leaders need to start asking the right questions to drive efficiency. They also need to develop their existing talent or replace skillsets to manage the scale and demand.

Investment into AIOps can bring benefits from reduced downtime to a boost in profitability, creating a win-win for customers and companies alike. In an industry where change is the only constant, IT operations will need to become increasingly proactive and dynamic to meet the needs of business. AIOps offers you a proven, pragmatic path to improved service quality, reduced service downtime, and vastly increased operational efficiency. Ultimately, that translates into sustainable business advantage as you run IT at digital speed.


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