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Leeds Building Society uses AIops in Dynatrace to improve observability

Automation and AI is improving how the service delivery team assesses the business impact of an IT service degradation

Leeds Building Society (LBS), has updated its systems management, replacing an existing hardware monitor tool with Dynatrace, enabling the building society to improve reliability and performance of its digital savings, mortgage and investment services.

The building society needed a way to modernise IT observability to combine insight from across its entire multi-generational technology stack, which spans purpose-built datacentres, third-party services and cloud applications.

LBS previously relied on multiple monitoring tools to manage the performance and reliability of its services. This approach made it more difficult to provide operations teams with clear insight into the cause of service issues, thus making it harder to resolve problems. 

While its previous tools provided systems metrics such as CPU load, Mark O’Brien, senior service delivery and operations manager at Leeds Building Society, said it wanted to understand the health of its customers and LBS staff use.

Among the criteria when selecting a new monitoring tool was the ability to start seeing value quickly. “We tried a few different things but the big difference with Dynatrace was that it gave us value within the first week of deploying it to monitor some of our services,” he said. “This gave us a huge amount of insight immediately and provided us with room to grow.”

For O’Brien, among the main benefits of Dynatrace is that the hard work is done in the background using AIOps, which provides automation for certain IT operations tasks based on system and application monitoring metrics reaching a certain threshold,” said O’Brien. “AIOps-powered insights give us precise answers about the source and cause of any issues before they interrupt our services. We can even see the exact number of users affected, which allows us to make more informed decisions about exactly how we manage service issues.”

This also allows the technical teams to have a closer relationship with the business. LBS can now monitor the performance of a new product or service and identify how that impacts uptake, so teams can prioritise their engineering efforts where they drive the greatest value.

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For instance, if the Dynatrace dashboard shows that a particular service was using 70% CPU, he said: “We can see whether the number of card payment journeys are increasing or decreasing. Do we need to be prepared? All of a sudden, we’re changing our conversation from talking about technology to talking about the business, so if an incident hits our e-commerce platform, we can very quickly see the impact and adjust our response to that accordingly.”

O’Brien said such monitoring helps LBS improve quality of service. “Our teams can innovate in the spaces we want to, by working faster and managing our services effectively in a fast-paced environment,” he said. “Dynatrace helps us make informed decisions on where we invest in change to drive an improved experience for our customers and colleagues.”

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