How do you effectively balance your resources between ongoing operations and innovation? The tension isn’t new, but the rise of digital services has intensified the need to find answers—to solve this digital dilemma. You can start by hunting down the hidden vampires in IT Operations that are consuming your resources and obstructing transformation. Only then can you make the changes necessary to compete in the digital arena.
We have identified four classic vampires lurking in the IT shadows of many organizations. Cloaked in familiar tools, processes, and mindsets, they drain agility from the enterprise:
Vampire #1: Multiple points of interaction increase the friction between users and IT.
If your organization has existed for more than ten years, then you have likely acquired several service desks, cloud services, and infrastructure stacks. This divergence made sense at the time. Vendors were selected as a best fit for the requirements or acquired companies made different choices. But each new technology creates friction for users who must learn multiple interfaces and processes to request services. And responding to requests in multiple systems slows down support staff.
The seemingly obvious fix is to pick just one enterprise service management (ESM) solution. But that’s not enough to ward off this vampire. User expectations have been shaped by consumer services. Turning frustrated users into fans requires that you deliver intuitive, personalized, no-wait self-service; automated responses; virtual agents powered by machine learning; and a single portal for making requests. With the right ESM solution, you will be able to deliver the engaging, consumer-style experiences that all users crave.
Vampire #2: Complex environments slow the pace of resource request fulfillment.
Business and DevOps teams have an insatiable demand for rapid resource provisioning—and they care little that each new multicloud service increases management complexity. When IT is too slow to respond to fulfillment requests, users adopt cloud and third-party services without involving your team. The resulting inconsistencies can impact the quality, speed, and cost of day-to-day management.
Cloud management automation is the key here. It provides the speed and control you need to design and deploy cloud-agnostic services across your hybrid estate. For example, once cloud management automation is implemented, you can set up a streamlined service catalog to meet the wide-ranging resource requests coming in from developers and business teams. Users can quickly help themselves to best-fit services—freeing you to focus on digital transformation with minimal disruption.
Vampire #3: Each new service makes it harder to maintain a positive experience.
As more services are delivered through more cloud and corporate channels, the difficulty of maintaining service quality and determining the root cause of problems grows exponentially. Traditional monitoring tools are no match for the enormous, fast-growing volumes of data and events. As the data grows, time spent on manually intensive troubleshooting rises.
The industry is shifting to automated, AI-based operations powered by full-stack AIOps. Manual data collection and event correlation are being replaced by automatic detection of patterns and root cause identification. With full-stack AIOps, you can gain a clear view of your on-premises and cloud environment, spot anomalies instantly, and quickly transform volumes of data into actionable insights. The immediate business benefits? Faster problem resolution, less downtime, lower IT costs, and the operational agility to support digital transformation initiatives.
Vampire #4: Multiple delivery models complicate security, compliance, and cost controls.
Hybrid environments are the perfect place for vulnerabilities to hide and costs to covertly grow. Spotting server vulnerabilities, visualizing patch compliance status, and remediating compliance violations concealed across multiple clouds, on-premises systems, and extended networks is a daunting task. No one needs the unexpected expenses generated by the uncontrolled consumption of cloud resources either.
Even so, developers will work around laborious controls. Effective governance requires both transparency to the user and rapid, easy-to-use fulfillment automation. With the right guardrails, you can reduce the risk of security breaches and unplanned expenditures—while keeping developers from rejecting the system.
Expose your vampires to the sunlight
The lifeblood of these resource-thirsty vampires is complexity. Most IT organizations inadvertently add complexity as they make choices with the best information at hand. But over time, as requirements change and change accelerates, manual workarounds and nonintegrated best-of-breed tool collections start to eat away at your ability to balance today’s needs with tomorrow’s opportunities.
If you’re struggling to run and transform at the same time, seek out the hidden vampires in your organization and expose them to the sunlight. The sooner, the better.
Travis Greene is Director of ITOM Product Marketing at Micro Focus, one of the world’s largest enterprise software providers.