BMC has acquired StreamWeaver, a provider of a platform that makes it simpler to capture streaming data in real-time, as part of an effort to extend the BMC Helix IT operations platform infused with artificial intelligence (AIOps). Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Margaret Lee, general manager and senior vice president for digital service and operations management for BMC, said StreamWeaver brings with it a wide range of integrations with multiple data sources that BMC will use to both train AI models and improve overall observability. While connecting to data sources is relatively straightforward, the challenge now is collecting that data in real-time in a way that is easily repeatable for IT operations teams, noted Lee.
In general, AIOps continues to gain traction as IT environments become increasingly complex. Most IT operations teams are not going to be able to manage highly distributed computing environments without augmenting their IT staff with some AI, said Lee.
Naturally, many rote tasks that were once performed manually by IT operations professionals will become increasingly automated. However, there will always be a need for IT personnel, noted Lee.
Arguably, there may come a day when IT professionals will not want to work for organizations that don’t have an AIOps platform in place simply because the tasks assigned to them would otherwise be considered archaic, especially if they involve a series of tedious tasks that not many IT professionals really want to perform.
At the same time, AIOps should reduce overall risk by making it easier for IT operations teams to proactively identify issues before they disrupt an application service. That’s especially critical as IT environments—increasingly with microservices-based applications constructed using containers—and serverless computing frameworks are being deployed with greater frequency alongside legacy monolithic applications.
BMC has been making a case for AIOps as far back as 2017. However, since then, a wave of startups and IT operations incumbents have either built an AIOps platform from the ground up or updated an existing platform with AI capabilities. It’s difficult to assess which vendors are now ahead in terms of the AIOps race, but one thing that is certain is that IT organizations now have plenty of options.
From a cultural perspective, however, not every organization is entirely comfortable with AIOps. While some IT professionals remain skeptical, others view AI as an existential threat to their existence. Most IT teams are also concerned about the potential impact any flawed AI model might have on IT operations—it’s one thing for a human to make a mistake, but an AI model making a mistake at scale could be catastrophic.
There are few IT organizations that are embracing AIOps across the board, but most do recognize that AIOps platforms, in one form or another, are inevitably here to stay. After all, machine learning algorithms never forget anything they learn. Nor do they ever take a day off or decide to leave when offered higher pay. The challenge is figuring out exactly where the interface between IT staff and algorithms is going to be—not just today, but also in the near future.