Artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) is a fairly new catch-all term for any multi-layered development initiative involving big data analytics, machine learning and/or AI to automate and solve business and IT problems. Definitions vary, but most support the notion that AIOps improve IT performance, infrastructure, cloud and operations.
This is a dramatic shift in how IT operations have been traditionally managed, requiring a digital transformation commitment from the organization and teams involved. Any enterprise, in any industry, with a complex systems infrastructure can benefit from AIOps. However, differences in AIOps strategies can result in benefits realized in unique ways.
Whether AIOps solutions are homegrown or commercial, they typically fall into two categories: domain centric and domain agnostic. Domain-centric AIOps focus on specific data types and sources, while domain-agnostic AIOps are more open and ingest a variety of data points.
Kentik is a domain-centric AIOps solution focusing its platform on large volumes of network data, such as NetFlow, SNMP, streaming telemetry and BGP routing data. It can provide companies with AI capabilities to automatically recognize traffic anomalies, predict cost overages, alert on traffic spikes and more.
Moogsoft, a domain-agnostic example, provides AI for detecting anomalies and alerting ops teams to potential issues, as well as reducing mean time to discovery (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR). It can monitor system events and is a good illustration for how AIOps not only frees IT resources for other important tasks, but does so effectively.
No matter which option is right for your organization, it is important to start small when testing the AIOps waters. Pick a specific use case, implement it and then expand out as the use case proves itself.
Any Software or Web Property Can Benefit from AIOps
AIOps benefits run deep within an IT infrastructure. With the COVID-19 outbreak, the internet and systems running businesses globally are more strained than ever, given work from home mandates, increased traffic and higher digital asset volume.
This bandwidth stretch hits people personally, too (e.g. Comcast, Netflix, YouTube, etc.). Greater usage results in an expanded attack surface for cyber criminals to target. AIOps consistency, reliability, security and self-sufficiency directly affect a company’s viability and the amount of time required of support teams to address issues that arise.
Certainly, an organization is in an optimal position when IT teams can use AIOps to proactively address issues before a red flag needs attention. However, when the fires on systems around the world start, AIOps is there to put them out with its ability to quickly inspect and act.
For example, in mid-March when the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in widespread school/work from home mandates, online services from ABCMouse to InstaCart to Microsoft Teams saw site complication and outages. Any CTO knows that IT operations and AIOps teams surely answered the call to quickly detect and resolve root causes.
However, tools or knowledge only provide half of the equation necessary to be successful. Many organizations either don’t have access to the right resources to quickly remediate issues, or don’t have the technology necessary to get the job done. For instance, the State of N.J. has an urgent need for COBOL programmers to support IT efforts. Even if N.J. knows the way to solve its problem, valuable time is being wasted trying to find the means for it to be accomplished.
Top Tech Talent Is AIOps’ Secret Weapon
Automation is the backbone of technology, but true AIOps panacea is found when the right technologists know how to use the information AIOps provides.
Think of a medical MRI: Once the technology identifies issues, human intervention steps in to determine how and when to improve and fix things. The same is true with AIOps. It frees an IT team to prioritize the most important items and who should tackle them, instead of combing through endless logs and wasting every developer’s time on break fixes.
How a highly qualified, on-demand workforce makes a tangible, measurable difference here is a factor not to be underestimated. Talented technologists who can immediately ramp up on teams and systems—because it’s what they do day in and day out—seamlessly augment internal development staff and can address/remediate issues.
The future of AIOps goes beyond the technology itself and rests in the hands of dynamically built, virtual teams that can address issues just as quickly as the AIOps platforms identify them.