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Millions lost due to lack of effective IT operations monitoring

The complexity of modern IT systems means it can be impossible to identify the root cause of a failure

IT administrators are facing system data overload, according to a survey of 800 CIOs in large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees, conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Dynatrace.

As businesses’ IT environment becomes more complex, the system monitoring data collected is becoming unmanageable, making it increasingly difficult for IT administrators to identify problems.

The study found that, on average, IT and cloud operations teams receive 2,973 alerts a day from their monitoring and management tools.

According to Dynatrace, IT teams spend an average of 15% of their time trying to identify which alerts they need to focus on. Almost four-fifths of the organisations that took part in the survey admitted that the volume of alerts, and the time required to sift through them to identify relevant results, is making it hard to automate enterprise cloud operations.

In fact, Dynatrace’s study reported that more than two-thirds (70%) of IT teams have experienced problems that should have been prevented, because of the excessive volume of alerts.

In companies that spend an average of $10.2m on IT staff annually, the study reported that the time IT teams spend trying to identify which alerts to focus on and which are irrelevant costs an average of $1.53m a year.

The study also found that, on average, just 26% of the alerts organisations receive each day require actioning. IT’s inability to identify problem areas quickly means IT teams are unable to support the business and customers properly.

Dynatrace said part of the problem is that traditional monitoring tools only provide data on a narrow selection of components from the technology stack, which means IT teams are forced to integrate and correlate alerts manually to filter out duplicates and false positives before manually identifying the root cause of issues.

“Several years ago, we saw that the scale and complexity of enterprise cloud environments was set to soar beyond the capabilities of today’s IT and cloud operations teams,” said Bernd Greifeneder, CTO and founder of Dynatrace. “We realised traditional monitoring tools and approaches wouldn’t come close to understanding the volume, velocity and variety of alerts that are generated today.”

Read more about AIOps

  • AIOps can take various tasks – such as data collection and analysis – off the plates of network teams. This can provide organisations with better insight into network visibility.
  • DevOps monitoring tools gain refined features as IT complexity soars, but their advanced AIOps automation hasn’t yet gone mainstream.

Analyst Forrester said that through AIOps, artificial intelligence (AI) has become part of the arsenal that IT administrators now have to enable them to manage complex systems more efficiently. In its report Take the mystery out of AI For IT operations (AIOps), Forrester noted: “Current tools and processes aren’t up to the task of monitoring today’s apps and their underpinnings to ensure that digital services perform to customer expectations. AIOps helps to alleviate this deficit by analysing data at scale and velocity to deliver insights that I&O teams can act on.”

But Forrester warned that buying and deploying such AI-based system monitoring is not cheap. “If you have a mandate and at least $150,000 budgeted, go ahead – rip and replace,” said the report.

It urged CIOs with the budget to change their monitoring tools to consolidate monitoring around a single product that can handle 80-90% of the organisation’s data monitoring needs.

Read more on Managing IT and business issues

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