How IT teams can use AIOps to their advantage

5 Dec 2023

Martin Summers, Image: Kyndryl

Kyndryl’s Martin Summers takes a closer look at artificial intelligence for IT operations – also known as AIOps – and how tech leaders should implement it.

In the closing months of 2022, you couldn’t go five minutes without seeing, hearing or reading about generative AI. Heralded as the technology trend of 2023 before the year had even begun, the technology entered one of the biggest hype cycles ever seen in the tech industry.

The buzz continues almost a year on, with business and government interest in AI solutions for IT far from subsiding. In fact, even companies with flat or shrinking IT budgets are looking to engage, with 63pc planning to increase IT automation investments in the next year, according to IDC research from May 2023.

The vast majority (92pc) of large enterprises are already using IT automation, with usage split right down the middle between a hybrid of public and on-premises systems (50pc) and solely on-premises or public cloud. The question is, how will AI unlock new opportunities for growth and wider business impact?

The AI advantage

When it comes to a business’ IT operations, agility and responsiveness should be at the top of the checklist. Whether it be switching up ways of working, expanding into new markets or improving customer experiences, IT operations should always meet the needs of changing environments, ongoing digital transformation and an evolving security landscape.

By increasing investment in IT automation, businesses are working towards meeting these changing needs and staying ahead of the competition. AIOps uses analytics and machine learning to collect the huge amounts of data that IT infrastructure generates and identify patterns that might point to performance and maintenance issues, often before users even notice.

Resolution and standardisation

AIOps enables businesses to fix it before it breaks – pinpointing and predicting what and where incidents will happen to form a proactive response. By bringing application performance and resource management together in real time, and feeding performance metrics into predictive algorithms, AIOps can map patterns and trends against different IT issues to allow for this level of proactivity.

AIOps can then automatically route alerts and recommend solutions to the appropriate teams or even use results from machine learning to trigger an automatic response, fixing errors before users are even aware that something has happened. AI models therefore help the system and wider IT team to learn about and adapt to any changes that occur in the environment, whether that be malicious threats or simply new infrastructure deployed.

In addition, AIOps is helping businesses establish and align on guardrails across traditional and hybrid cloud environments. Microsoft, VMware, SAP and other providers are constantly publishing new best practices for their systems, hardware and software. And compliance recommendations from organisations like the Center for Internet Security (CIS) only complicate the quest to keep up with the latest industry changes.

AIOps’ policy-based automation and orchestration can help businesses manage and align on the relevant policies across multiple systems and devices, helping to safeguard the business and remove time-consuming tasks from human specialists.

Driving business value

There are many ways in which AIOps is boosting business value for those organisations that are implementing it. The ability to rectify issues quickly – often instantly in fact – without the same level of human involvement sees improved mean time to detection and mean time to resolution, ultimately reducing downtime and cutting through the noise of IT operations.

AIOps also boosts collaboration between DevOps, ITOps, governance, and security functions, allowing businesses to improve their decision making and efficiency across teams. Given the importance of IT cost optimisation in today’s financial landscape, AIOps helps to lower operational costs by automating responses and freeing up staffing resources.

Overall, using AI within IT can offer a huge boost to both the employee and customer experience. By bolstering an IT service that resolves issues quickly, reduces organisational silos and offers greater system visibility, the business can offer an experience that has greater lasting value for those that interact with it.

Partnering for success

Despite interest in AIOps peaking, even for those that are actively reducing their IT budgets, only 20pc of companies currently identify themselves as ‘mature’ when it comes to automation. But these mature organisations share a common facilitator – third-party partnerships. 70pc indicated that they could not achieve a mature status without collaborating with the right automation partner.

When seeking out a partner for AIOps, consider how their capabilities match up with your own automation solutions and goals. Look for a partner that will support you from end to end, starting with implementation, continuing with maintenance, and offering managed services post-deployment. And finally, ensure your chosen partner can scale its services as your business grows.

By moving from reactive to proactive management, companies can fuel transformative results for their IT operations and the wider business, offering customers and employees the seamless experience they demand.

By Martin Summers

Martin Summers leads the applications, data and AI practice at Kyndryl UK & Ireland.

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