Why Today’s I&O Challenges Demand a Holistic View of IT

Digital transformation is a competitive necessity across virtually every industry, creating new pressures and stress on IT infrastructure

Digital technologies and the IT infrastructure on which they run have become more crucial to business success than ever — supporting growth, innovation and digital transformation (DX) goals. But adopting disruptive new technologies requires networks and systems to achieve even greater resilience, speed and agility.

At the same time, digital transformation presents IT operations management (ITOM) professionals with new norms and a host of challenges that they must contend with. The deluge of data streaming from multiple applications and devices continues to surge, adding new layers of complexity across hybrid IT architectures. As IT operations professionals struggle to monitor these converging infrastructures – using multiple disparate tools – the resulting operational silos and lack of visibility hinders the organization’s ability to innovate and digitally transform.

In spite of these challenges, the acceleration of enterprise digital transformation shows no sign of slowing. According to IDC, organizations are expected to spend nearly $1.3 trillion in 2018 on DX technologies, a number that is expected to almost double by 2021.

Yet IT outages and network slowdowns persist. As a result, Fortune 1000 companies are spending billions each year on unplanned network downtime.

New Norms for ITOM and the Democratization of IT

Although the costs, complexities and tools associated with managing hybrid infrastructures continue to climb, streamlining IT performance monitoring remains an afterthought for many enterprises. Given that IT is at the core of nearly all business, and infrastructure is the foundation upon which business-critical applications and services run, it’s easy to see why this is a perilous move. Studies show that the loss of critical applications or downtime can cost anywhere between $500,000 and $1 million an hour. As basic as it sounds, flexible cross-domain monitoring of Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) is the key to preventing this, along with ensuring all IT stakeholders have visibility across the depth and breadth of the infrastructure. Only then can decisions be made that are truly aligned with business needs.

Mounting Complexities

There was a time when a single-vendor for the entire IT infrastructure was common. Monitoring and maintenance of that infrastructure could be relatively easily managed with the vendor’s proprietary tools. Not so in today’s rapidly changing and hybrid enterprise IT landscape. Organizations are increasingly expanding their vendor selection to adopt new technologies and gain scalability and agility. But with each new vendor comes another toolset — resulting in more alerts, another dashboard and operational silos.

Today, ITOM professionals have more than 10 monitoring tools in place to manage converging infrastructures. Time is wasted chasing alerts rather than improving outcomes, as a result of disconnected views which in turn create integration and interoperability issues.

Centralized and Multi-Site IT Operations

Adding further complexity is the reality that most organizations create value at multiple locations — the head office, on the road, at supply chain locations and at remote and branch offices. An estimated 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a centralized data center or cloud – and growing. In fact, by 2022, Gartner predicts this figure will reach 75%.

To reduce latency, overcome time zones and improve service on the front lines many organizations decide to decentralize their IT operations over a distributed infrastructure to support geographically dispersed locations. For the same reasons, it can make sense to similarly push their ITOM capabilities nearer for the greater visibility and autonomous response needed for business continuity, speed and agility.

However, when ITOM capabilities become decentralized, strong central oversight is still needed to ensure compliance, streamline operations and reduce costs. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be an either/or choice. The technology exists to provide both centralized monitoring capabilities, and the autonomous monitoring capabilities that multi-site organizations require today.

DX Needs a Unified Holistic View

It’s becoming widely recognized that a single, unified view of this constantly-growing breadth of IT assets lets enterprises better contain costs while future-proofing the IT infrastructure. This approach paves the way for businesses to innovate, ensuring new tools and technologies can be added as DX agendas accelerate – without adding complexity.

Ensuring network uptime, performance and the best possible customer experience is at the heart of digital transformation. But this cannot be done efficiently or cost-effectively without first enabling a business-aware and holistic view into what’s happening across all aspects of the evolving IT infrastructure.

About the Author

Romain Le Merlus is Co-Founder and CEO of Centreon Software Systems, North America. Centreon provides business-critical monitoring solutions for IT infrastructure and applications. For more information visit centreon.com.