3 Reasons Why Expert CIO Invest in AIOps to Support Digital Transformation

It’s never been a more challenging time to be a CIO and IT leader. Ensuring systems are performing well, secure, and managed efficiently is more important than ever because every business depends on reliable technology.

The IT service desk feels more pressure to improve the mean time to recovery (MTTR) to incidents and provide excellent customer service to hybrid working employees who require more customized and reliable technology to do their jobs. And business leaders have almost no tolerance to unreliable technologies, poor-performing customer experience platforms, or repetitive issues in revenue-generating systems.

AIOps - The Insurance for Digital Transformation's Velocity - Isaac Sacolick

Many CIOs have been leading multiyear digital transformation programs to help their businesses grow revenue, launch new products, improve customer experiences, and become data-driven. Over 70% are partially implementing microservice architectures, and IDC predicts that 70% of firms will be multicloud by 2023.

That’s a lot more technology for CIOs and IT leaders to manage and support. And these technologies are layered on top of legacy systems, technical debt, manual processes, growing regulations, and mounting security threats.

Progressive CIOs use AIOps as Operational Insurance

What are progressive CIOs doing differently today to improve the reliability and performance of the growing number of mission-critical systems?

IT leaders from companies like Equifax, Wiley Publishing, and OneMain Financial have invested in AIOps to help their companies operate at digital speeds. What are their secrets?

These leaders know they need a different operating plan to keep up with the pace of change, volatility in operating conditions, and expectation of multi-nine service reliability. They are protecting their businesses by centralizing operational data, applying open-box machine learning on monitoring and observability data, and automating many aspects of their IT operations.

In other words, they are using AIOps as a game-changing insurance plan for their digital transformation efforts. As they take on more risk by introducing new technologies, accelerating deployments, and managing larger data sets, an AIOps platform helps mitigate risks without adding IT operational complexities.

Let’s explore why and how CIOs are investing in AIOps. Here are three primary reasons they use to justify the investment.

1. AIOps Protects Revenue Generating Systems

Revenue generating systems may be an ecommerce platform, gaming engine, content management system, extranet portal, or customer reporting platform.  Any platform that customers and prospects access to make a purchase, find information, or interact with the company is a system of record that’s part of the customer journey map.

When these systems are down or experiencing poor performance, there are negative impacts to revenue, and chances are, very angry executives with affected P/Ls. CIOs know that business leaders blame IT for these major incidents, whether it’s their fault or not.

And there’s a secondary impact that can be equally damaging.

It’s nearly impossible for the CIO to sell innovation, garner support for new investments, or drive transformational changes when revenue-generating systems have repetitive outages or performance issues.

AIOps helps CIOs improve system reliability and IT responsiveness in several ways:

So, while many monitoring tools alert on outages, AIOps enables people to review consolidated information and proactively address problems.

 2. AIOps Keeps IT Operating Costs in Check

CIOs prioritizing digital transformation and innovation projects often get added capital investments to pilot new technologies, modernize applications, develop customer-facing experiences, automate workflows, and enable data-driven organizations. But, justifying significant increases in the operating budget to support these new capabilities is less likely, and this forces CIOs to conceive new operating models.

Simply put, most CIOs can’t easily add to headcount or invest more in outsourcing because they add new applications faster than they can sunset legacy systems.

AIOps isn’t a magic bullet, but progressive CIOs recognize that it does help keep costs in check in several fundamental ways:

  • Disruptive escalations and lengthy recovery times interrupt employees from focusing on their strategic objectives. Using AIOps to reduce the number of incidents, automate responses, and identify root causes minimizes the number and magnitude of these disruptions.
  • One of the primary reasons IT service desks are overwhelmed is when a single incident trigger dozens to thousands of alerts for them to review, correlate, and address. But when AIOps machine learning algorithms automatically correlate and sequence these alerts there’s a significant reduction in manual work, which helps keep headcount and costs in check.
  • Research shows that 42 percent of IT organizations have over ten monitoring tools, and 19 percent have over twenty-five. By aggregating monitoring data and using event correlation, IT organizations using AIOps can reduce redundant and underutilized monitoring tools or ones that send out meaningless alerts. Reducing the tools lowers expenses in maintenance costs, training, and the headcount required to support them.

So, while CIOs are actively investing in new capabilities, AIOps platforms provide a means to support growing platforms without corresponding cost increases.

3. Reduce Risks in Fast-Moving Innovation and Transformation Initiatives

DevOps organizations aim to develop microservices, automate testing, shift-left security, deploy frequently, and recover to operating issues quickly. They deploy with containers, automate the infrastructure as code, and configure CI/CD  pipelines to reduce cycle times and deliver small, incremental production changes efficiently and reliably.

Now, ask yourself how can DevOps “recover to operating issues quickly” and respond to performance issues accurately? Sure, they can increase the observability of their microservices, applications, and data stores, but that alone doesn’t help ITSM teams and SREs improve response times or pinpoint root causes.

AIOps is the platform that closes the loop. It provides a single pane of glass, whether IT Ops is in data centers, one primary cloud, or multicloud – and whether mission-critical systems are built on top of cloud-native architectures, SaaS, legacy monoliths, or a hybrid of systems.

As devops teams deploy changes, ITSM and SREs have a common tool to proactively review and report reliability and performance issues. It reduces deployment risks and provides insurance to CIOs who need teams to move fast with innovation and transformation initiatives but can’t support application failures or poorly performing experiences.

So, while it’s challenging times for CIO and IT leaders to accelerate their digital transformation programs, AIOps is a strategic insurance investment to ensure that performance, reliability, and operating costs are maintained.

This post is brought to you by BigPanda.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of BigPanda.

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld, CIO.com, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.