The new 3 pillars of IT Service Management: ChatOps, analytics and automation

2 1 2,524





The Parthenon has lasted through the ages as a symbol of how solid architecture can stand the test of time.  The same is true with ITSM.  The correlations don’t end there; ITSM is built on three pillars: 

  • People
  • Processes
  • Tools

If we look at modern ITSM, we can map new capabilities and technologies that still hold those previous concepts at heart, but look to modernize via:

  • Collaboration (ChatOps)
  • Analytics and Machine Learning
  • Automation and Orchestration

People – Collaboration and ChatOps

Previously, service desk agents were at the center of support to resolve issues and fulfill requests.  They made calls and organized the right people and processes together to complete a task as efficiently as possible.  With the introduction of collaboration tools like ChatOps, these same people are able to perform similar activities—but at a much higher efficiency rate.  Chatbots and integrated APIs allow for communication directly to hardware and software systems.  Real time, world-wide interactions can be setup instantly with both humans and machines to debug, track, and fix issues at light speed.

So how does ChatOps change the game?  Surprise, it doesn’t.  ChatOps brings the work you are already doing in-line with the context of the conversations you are already having.  This means that ChatOps isn’t changing anything, only simplifying the collaboration process. This allows for tasks to be completed and issues resolved more efficiently.  

In one example, for an ITSM solution in the financial industry, a crashed VM caused an outage for a large portion of its customers.  From the time of initial discovery to the completion of the fix, the total outage was six minutes.  This includes time for ticket submission, bringing DBAs, server admins, and operational managers into the mix to discover and debug the issues.  A normal situation like this would have previously taken half to a full day of troubleshooting before discovering the issue.  With ChatOps, this entire transaction and process is fully captured and reviewed for ways to improve the process even further the next time it happens.

Processes – Analytics and Machine Learning

What was a process?  A set of step-by-step guides that are followed by a manual, human process.  As ITSM has modernized, less is being done manually and by human interaction. Now the focus is on the systems to not only resolve issues more quickly, but also proactively predict and fix issues before they happen.

What if the system could do the following?

  • Make assumptions about the problem that created multiple incident tickets
  • Group similar tickets together to identify patterns or similarities
  • Create comprehensive tickets based on a single image of an issue
  • Offer solutions for incidents based on simple ticket data

This is at the heart of what analytics and machine learning does: describe, diagnose, predict and prescribe what has happened, what is happening and what will happen.  All of this needs to be accomplished without human interaction.  As the system creates a more comprehensive database, it only gets better at this process.

Tools - Automation and Orchestration

Similar to the process modernization, automation and orchestration is changing the paradigm on turnaround times for requests.  Like Henry Ford’s assembly line revolutionized how automobiles were made, orchestration is changing the way we look at how requests are serviced from an ITSM perspective.  Activities that once took days or weeks can now be completed in seconds or minutes.

In and of itself, this doesn’t mean much. Companies have armies of developers to build automation and orchestrate these into non-manual tasks. But what if we didn’t need developers to build the processes?  What if there wasn’t testing and updates and maintenance to worry about with their scripts?  This is where the game changer comes into play. Leveraging the process designer, anyone can build their own automation scripts and orchestrate them to complete tasks. By changing the requirement from a developer to someone familiar with what is required, that user has been empowered to quickly and easily build, maintain and update their own workflows to improve efficiencies.  By eliminating the need for custom development, time and money is saved on IT budgets to focus on what’s really important…your customers!

So what does it all mean for companies?  Here are just a few enhancements that companies can experience:

  • A game changing approach to how work is done!
  • Fast, responsive service desks that improve user satisfaction and productivity.
  • Self-service websites for increased user self-sufficiency and lower ticket volumes.
  • Increased service quality, service levels, and better staff utilization.

This translates to an overall improved user experience and staff efficiency which translates to a lower cost, better run IT department.  Who wouldn’t want to have a modern ITSM Parthenon like that?

Find out how you can build your own Pantheon of service management with Micro Focus Service Management Automation.

1 Comment
Micro Focus Frequent Contributor
Micro Focus Frequent Contributor

For the moment the way I use Analytics and Machine learning is a bit like a black box, that I configure and get results, but don't really know how it works inside

I believe automation is the future and IT needs to adapt to it. I hope that persons can still add value to that, though

About the Author
I am the Product Marketing Manager for Micro Focus's Network Operations Management. Follow me on twitter @JasonOdorizzi
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of Micro Focus. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation. Certain versions of content ("Material") accessible here may contain branding from Hewlett-Packard Company (now HP Inc.) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company. As of September 1, 2017, the Material is now offered by Micro Focus, a separately owned and operated company. Any reference to the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks is historical in nature, and the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks are the property of their respective owners.