Content By Devops .com
Enterprises entered 2020 with the best-laid plans; many had efforts lined up to expand their use of cloud services and continue their steady efforts to digitally transform their businesses. Then the pandemic happened, and business and IT teams found themselves scattered and with a new playbook: make the organization as effective as it can be while working remotely.
This sudden shift to remote work exacerbated existing challenges within organizations, from managing hybrid environments, personnel management challenges and teams finding themselves struggling to adjust. Meanwhile, enterprises still had to focus on staying ahead of their competitors technologically. All of these challenges meant there was no room for wasted or time-consuming efforts to manage the underlying business-technology systems.
To help increase efficiencies, some contend that the answer is artificial intelligence for IT operations, or AIOps. Proponents of AIOps say that AI is needed to augment human decision-making today because of the complexity of modern enterprise environments. Today’s environments often find their operational data spread across on-premises and multiple cloud systems. The result is difficulty in managing infrastructure issues as they arise, and the considerable time it takes to identify and fix IT issues.
According to a survey of leading European IT analysts and advisories, conducted in fall 2020 by operations automation software provider Digitate and executive network forum CorporateLeaders, the drudgery of managing routine tasks was the most commonly cited reason for turning to AIOps, which was followed by “no proactive capability of detection and correction of system issues” at 64% and “no flexibility to scale with business needs,” also cited by 64% of respondents.
When respondents were asked to identify the key benefits of AIOps, they highlighted common strategic and operational issues that hinder performance. According to respondents, these include the removal of manual processes (91%), improvements in agility and reliability (82%) and reach predictability (73%). More swift problem resolution also was cited by 73% of respondents.
In a case study shared within the CorporateLeaders report, Marion Fokkinga, technology advancement manager at Netherlands-based semiconductor maker NXP explained that NXP’s move to AIOps was driven by the company’s swift expansion. “Since 2015, we have been busy with multiple merger and acquisition projects,” Fokkinga explained. “As a result of this, there was less time for innovation and transformation in IT and in the business.”
The company set out to automate routine operations tasks with AIOps so that their resources could be freed to focus on higher-value tasks. According to Fokkinga, AIOps enables tasks, such as report generation, that previously consumed half a workday to be completed in several minutes. Saving time is the most significant result, said Fokkinga. With AIOps, NXP reports a 97% improvement in incident response time and a 95% reduction of manual effort in some of its supply chain planning work.
Of course, in the current treacherous business environment, there’s a lot more at stake than simply building enterprise operational efficiencies. Over time, it may come down to the very success of the organization. According to the survey, a full 82% of respondents said that AIOps is necessary to the future growth and transformation of their business. “Respondents who went on to give qualitative answers later in the survey explained that the complexity of hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures, increasing transactional volumes and the criticality of online business systems make it impossible for traditional IT systems to manage every application and infrastructure without recourse to automation. It was highlighted that the overwhelming amount of data in today’s Operations are simply beyond human analysis capacity,” the report stated.
One respondent said that, through AI, the performance of some tasks and decisions were improved, as routine tasks were eliminated. That has to be welcome news to enterprises struggling to remain competitive while simultaneously striving to remain productive and agile during a global pandemic.