A few days ago, I was traveling from Bangalore to Mumbai. It was an overcast and wet morning so I started out early to avoid having to battle traffic and worry about the prospect of being delayed. At the airport, I checked in, went through the usual formalities and boarded the flight. I was anticipating a delay, but to my surprise the flight was on time.
While we were approaching the main runway, I could see many flights ahead of us in a queue, waiting for their turn to take off. At the same time, there were two planes that had landed within a couple of minutes of each other. The entire environment of the runway and the surroundings looked terribly busy. While our flight was preparing to take off, the air traffic control (ATC) tower grabbed my attention. That tall structure looked very calm in the midst of what seemed chaos, orchestrating every move of all the planes, making sure that the ground operations were smooth, error-free and efficient in difficult weather conditions.
I started comparing the runway and airport ground operations with that of the complex IT environment in enterprises today, and the challenges it poses to the IT operations teams. Today, critical business services reside on complex IT infrastructure such as on-premises, cloud and hybrid cloud environments. These require security, scalability and continuous monitoring. But do they have the ATC or the command center that can orchestrate and monitor all the IT assets and infrastructure for its smooth functioning? For instance, if the payment service of an e-commerce service provider is down for few minutes, it would have to incur significant losses and impact overall business opportunities creating an adverse impact.
Perhaps, today’s IT operations team needs one such command center, just like an ATC at the airport, so that they can fight downtime, eliminate irrelevant noise in operations and provide critical remediation. This command center should have the ability to provide a 360-degree view of the health of the IT infrastructure and availability of business services besides providing the topology view of dependent node structure. This could help in assessing the root cause analysis of a particular IT incident or event occurrence. The command center should also provide a complete view of all IT assets, aggregated alerts, outage history and past incident occurrence and related communication, enabling the IT team to predict the future occurrence of such events or incidents to prevent the outages of critical business services. In case these outages or incidents did occur, it would be a boon for the IT operations team if a command center could provide critical data-driven insights and suggest remedial actions, which in turn could be provisioned with proactive BOTs.
I arrived at my destination on time, thanks to the ATC, which made it possible, despite the challenging and complex weather conditions. This brings me to a critical question that I need to ask: Do you have the required ATC or command center for IT operations to help you sustain, pre-empt and continue with business operations in a complex IT environment?