Every Company Is a Tech Company: Why IT Ops Is More Important Than Ever

    February 23, 2017

    By Steve Mason

    IT is changing rapidly, and business expectations of technology experts are growing. With IT infrastructures becoming more complex, it’s time to reevaluate the way in which tech departments monitor the performance of their systems.

    In the last half decade, business-driven IT initiatives have accelerated — companies no longer view IT as the cost center that keeps the fire stoked in the company’s engine room. The advent of Web 2.0 means that every business relies on their online presence not only to communicate with current and potential customers, but for an often large portion of their revenue. As such, IT’s focus has shifted away from a day-to-day maintenance to customer-facing innovations that enhance brand identity and drive profits. With this changing focus comes a need to maximize the performance and availability of IT services.

    “Technology is simply a means to the end result the company wants to achieve. What's important for the business is to achieve company goals and objectives, and they do that by providing products and services in a productive, quality, and profitable manner,” writes Mike Sisco for CIO.com. “What this means is that a company's IT organization needs to become a partner to the executive management team in helping the company achieve its objectives.”

    To enhance this partnership, CIOs and IT managers need to find the right tools to communicate how their systems and initiatives drive the business forward.

    Shining a Light on IT

    This new business-centric approach to IT has in turn led to new modes of building infrastructures and managing applications, including the use of containers, microservices, continuous integration, and DevOps. All that complexity has made the problem of monitoring IT infrastructure in a holistic way much more difficult than it was in older and simpler days.

    Because infrastructures have shifted from entirely on-premises networks and servers to a mix of physical, virtual, and cloud-based IT teams, IT teams must now deploy separate monitoring tools specifically designed for each of these environments within their IT stacks. “For example, one of our clients relied on just three monitoring tools five years ago,” BigPanda CTO Elik Eizenberg wrote. “Now they have more than ten. As companies add more tools, the number of alerts that they must field can grow by orders of magnitude.”

    Sifting through the copious amounts of alerts produced by these various tools becomes the primary task of performance monitors, rather the task the tools were designed for — monitoring the network. “It’s simply impossible for any human, or team of humans, to effectively manage that,” Eizenberg lamented.

    If IT lacks the ability to see into every corner of their network and properly allocate their resources in the most efficient way possible, they run the risk of falling victim to the two most costly errors in IT: over-provisioning and outages. Both of these critical pitfalls have a negative impact on revenue, and in turn, the business value of IT.

    Putting a Finger on the Pulse

    To avoid these costly mistakes, IT must have a system in place that pulls all of their IT resources under one easy-to-manage umbrella. While this runs counter to the current “best of breed” thinking that says “deploy the best tool to monitor each individual process,” the truth is that there are still solid one-tool-to-rule-them-all solutions.

    The Vityl Suite from TeamQuest pulls together every resource IT deploys, whether it’s on-prem, virtualized, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud infrastructures, and allows them to monitor the system as a whole. At-a-glance health indicators show which systems are in need of immediate attention, and advanced predictive algorithms can even inform IT of a system that may face more demand than it is prepared to handle in the near future. That means that time, money and resources that would have otherwise been spent putting out IT fires can be better spent driving innovation that brings in new customers and enhances revenue.

    IT looks vastly different today than it did even a decade ago. Technology is important for every company, not just tech companies, and IT teams across every industry should always look for the right tools to get the most out of their networks.

    Category: it-ops