24April2018

Digital War Room Strategy – Closing the Gaps to Gain Efficiency

Strategies for Digital War Room Success

In our previous Blog we discussed the findings and implications of the EMA global research into today’s Digital War Room. War Rooms have significant costs to today’s enterprises; they involve large numbers of scarce and expensive talent and are highly disruptive organizationally. Most importantly, they are almost always reactive in nature; continuing a vicious cycle whereby IT is never able to strategically focus on becoming sufficiently proactive to prevent the very issues triggering War Rooms in the first place.

We identified two key metrics for senior IT Management according to EMA:

  • Performance and Latency of the services is the most important technical metric
  • IT Team disruption is the most important business metric

Here, we will discuss the key gaps to achieving proactive success in the Digital War Room and present a strategy by which these gaps can be closed in the context of the two key metrics above. This strategy breaks the reactive cycle to achieve not only faster identification and resolution, but more importantly achieve true service-oriented proactivity to significantly reduce IT Team disruption.

Key Gaps to Preventing Service Issues and Shortening Digital War Rooms

EMA research identified the following key gaps needing closure to accelerate War Rooms and achieve higher proactivity:

• “AIOps/AIA is the most critical Technical Priority in IT Operations today, coupled with Data Aggregation/Management.”

The use of AIOps (Gartner) or AIA (EMA) is the application of analytics and automation across the enterprise management domain to learn, discern, and apply knowledge in the quest for ever more efficient and cost effective delivery of compute infrastructure underpinning today’s digital business. It is telling that EMA’s research has shown that global enterprises are equating AIOps/AIA to the requirement to more intelligently aggregate and manage the growing volumes of metric data required to sustain such initiatives.

• “Capturing Application AND Infrastructure interdependencies is key to solving these problems, and this capture needs to be increasingly dynamic”, and, “You are more likely to be successful if you use AIOps/AIA and Dependency Mapping”.

Today’s complex application and infrastructure architectures are increasingly incompatible with manual, or batch discovery-based CMDB/Service Catalogs in order to deliver an application configuration context to the War Room process (let alone to be applicable to be useable proactively). Without knowing all the infrastructure under-pinning services, not only at the time of the service issue, but beforehand, any attempts to find, fix, or prevent are literally based on “tribal knowledge”.

• “Breadth of the data being measured and analyzed directly correlates to success in being more proactive”

Since most issues span technologies across the stack, from end-point all the way to back-end storage, it is obvious that data measurements must be captured as broadly as possible.

A Strategy for Success in today’s Digital War Room

There are four strategic elements to close these gaps and achieve higher proactivity, faster and more efficient responses, and more efficient IT teams:

1. Continuous Dynamic Relationships

You need dynamic, automated, and continuously created “full stack relationships and dependencies”. By doing this, you will always know how every piece of your complex environment relates to every other piece – continuously and in real time. This is “table stakes” to success. Without this, you are always “guessing”.

2. Analytics in the only context that matters

You need advanced analytics that proactively identify in-context, pair-wise anomalies between application services (response time and throughput) and the related infrastructure supporting those applications and services – before service is impacted. Such knowledge also speeds the mean time to investigate the root cause of any issues that do occur.

To enable automated analytics that deliver truly proactive problem prevention you must simultaneously:

  • Know the exact performance of the shared infrastructure;
  • Know the exact application performance upon its related infrastructure at the times of interest;
  • Know the performance of everything else running upon the shared infrastructure.

Further, knowing with certainty, “what is broken and what is related to what” eliminates all the guessing and finger pointing that causes lengthy War Rooms.

3. Data Platform Breadth and Depth

You need an AIOps/AIA Platform capable of supporting the breadth and depth of data across the entire stack, from applications and transactions, through your compute and storage infrastructure. If a solution is incapable of supporting the breadth in an open, extensible and customizable fashion, it isn’t a solution; it’s just another “data silo” in your organization making the problem worse.

4. Common Visibility

You need shared visibility into all metrics (technology and service related) across both IT and the business in the context that matters: application and service response time and throughput. The organizational coordination required in today’s Digital War Rooms can only be accomplished by having ALL stakeholders involved operating from a common understanding and sharing a common view of performance across the stack. It needs to be available in consumption forms acceptable to each and every role – from technologist to business leader.

A Solution for AIOps and Digital War Room Success

OpsDataStore offers a solution with an AIOps platform that delivers the whole picture, so you can to optimize performance, increase business agility, measure operational risk and drive ROI for every technology investment.

OpsDataStore uniquely collects the metrics across the application, compute, network and storage stacks and automatically and continuously creates the relationships between them. It continuously analyzes all the related data to calculate baselines of normal and abnormal behavior for every metric, in the context of all other related metrics, and all mapped to the business metrics that matter: application, transaction and service performance and response times.

Learn more about how OpsDataStore enables real-time AIOps to quickly win Digital War Room battles.