January is the time for predictions. Our industry is going through major changes (as it almost always is). Cloud computing, DevOps, SecOps, artificial intelligence and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are a few of those changes.
In no particular order, here are my predictions for the upcoming year.
1 Automation of IT Operations will accelerate – are you automating?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a hot topic, IT Ops is just one area. IT Operations is ripe for automation because there are so many repetitive tasks. And it is essential because of the dearth of skilled IT personnel. As an example of the value you can receive, Schlumberger presented at one of our Summits - they automated 94% of repetitive IT tasks using Operations Orchestration, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
2 Artificial Intelligence in Operations (AIOps) still in its infancy
AIOps, according to Gartner, will take more than 5+ years before becoming mainstream. Many implementations require data science skills that are currently in short supply. False positives are also a problem.
However, leading-edge companies are finding value now. We have examples of using AIOps to troubleshoot an incident 72x faster than without AI. Another example, which is a key value of AI, is surfacing information that is nearly impossible to find. One customer gained insight on events, finding 700,000 per month were not relevant. Having the insight to know which events are most relevant has refined their monitoring, reducing irrelevant events which improved the performance of their event management systems and greatly reduced the daily stress on their operations staff.
3 Agile and DevOps are the new Normal for Developers - IT Ops here they come
DevOps is not new - it’s been talked about since 2010, but it is now mainstream, and it impacts IT Operations. Agile is all about delivering faster. In some shops that means multiple releases into production per day. DevOps is about setting up the processes necessary for Ops to speed up to match Dev’s ability to create new releases.
Here are some of the impacts to Ops:
Dev wants to bring their monitoring tools to you to manage because they don’t want the burden of 24x7 support. One of our customers had this happen. He told them “NO, you work with the tool I already have”. Dev was doing monitoring as code, where Dev puts what they want to monitor into their code. The information is sent to a collection tool. Our customer told Dev to have it sent to Operations Bridge (OpsBridge) which is the tool he was already managing. You can read about how to use monitoring as code with OpsBridge here.
Automated testing is essential for Agile, you can’t turn builds quickly if you must manually test. Get those scripts from Dev to use in Ops. Business Process Monitor, a part of OpsBridge, uses scripts from our test tools to monitor apps in production. If you find a condition that isn’t being tested you can write your own script and send it back for Dev to use.
ChatOps is a more recent practice. The idea is to use a Chat tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams while troubleshooting a problem, rather than a war room. ChatBots are robotic processes in tools that will converse with a user in a Chat tool. For example, you might ask OpsBridge to show performance data for a server and the answer comes in the chat session. This allows Dev and Ops and tools to work a problem without a war room - everyone sees the same information (which they probably didn’t have access to before) and all steps are documented for future use.
4 Monitoring the cloud is now top of mind with leading companies - what about yours?
Cloud computing delivers 2 major benefits. It allows companies to be more agile, bringing new resources online in minutes rather than weeks. It also has the possibility of reducing costs. What many forget is it could also cost you more if you’re not careful. There are many documented cases of companies getting million-dollar invoices because unused cloud resources were never shut down.
Service Level Agreements are another reason to monitor. In a recent customer advisory board meeting, a major retailer told us she reported SLAs weekly to her VP who met with a SaaS company executive to discuss refunds for the SaaS vendor missing those SLAs. The same principle holds for IaaS/PaaS providers, make sure you are getting what you pay for.
In the next prediction, I talk about multi-cloud - another reason monitoring cloud is top of mind.
5 Multi-cloud follows the path of the multi-datacenter
Back in the day companies had a single data center. Then came the outage and putting applications in multiple data centers for backup was born. The same thing is happening with the cloud. We’ve all heard about the outages from AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform, but as I looked, I found lots of other providers also have outages. So, comes the move to hosting applications in multiple clouds – just in case.
Here’s the problem – how do you monitor across clouds? No cloud provider monitors other clouds and Ops has enough work without having to watch multiple tools. So, choose your monitoring tools carefully to make sure they can do multi-cloud monitoring – like OpsBridge.
6 SecOps remains in its infancy – all talk little action?
SecOps is like DevOps but in this case, it is the coordination and cooperation of Security teams with Operations teams. The idea is that security breaches are mostly vulnerabilities that are solved with proper patching. And who does the patching? The Ops team. Also, most events come to the Ops team, so they might detect a potential security issue first.
In a recent customer advisory board for IT Ops none of the members were doing SecOps or even had it in their next year’s plan. So, for now, I claim lots of talk but little action. I do believe it’s going to happen just not as soon as hype leads one to believe.
7 Containers, are you getting business value?
Containers have been big talk for the last few years and they are being used. But the talk has all been around the technology which is understandable – they are relatively new.
Now the talk is shifting from tech to what business value they bring to companies. So, if that’s not what your team is talking about consider it might help make IT look better in the eyes of the business.
And if your organization is not using containers yet, get prepared because they are coming.
8 IT Operations continues to be more consumption based
With the move to the cloud comes the move of IT Ops staff from the organization to the cloud provider. However, since private clouds continue to grow IT Operations staff will continue to be important. That said, growing your skills in this environment will continue to make you more valuable to employers. The rate of change will increase - not slow down.
Do these fit with your experience? Are you seeing something different? Let me know in the comments.
For more information on this release and how customers are using Operations Bridge, we are happy to announce the following events:
- ITOM Summit - Phoenix, AZ, USA - 5-7 February – register now
- Micro Focus Universe - Austria Center Vienna 26-28 March – register now
- Webinar replay – How Garanti Bank Delivers an Excellent End User Experience with Operations Bridge
- Webinar replay – Hybrid IT is the new normal
- Webinar replay – Solving the complexity of Hybrid Cloud monitoring
- Webinar replay – 6 Ways to Simplify the Management of Your Multi-Cloud Environment
- See all the Micro Focus events Worldwide
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