IT Operations Monitoring (ITOM) teams play a vital role within organizations to focus on maintaining peak performance of the IT platform. However, IT operations management teams must have established processes to resolve problems promptly when issues arise. To secure optimal functionality, IT platforms require constant optimization, resilience, high availability, and regular updates and maintenance. In this article, we will highlight IT operations monitoring best practices so that teams can limit the chance of turning to detrimental business issues.
What Does IT Operations Monitoring Entail?
IT Operations Monitoring (ITOM) involves various tasks and duties to secure the smooth operation of an organization’s IT infrastructure and services. It involves a structured approach to supervise, uphold, and improve IT systems that provide efficient and dependable IT services to users and customers. The following are the essential elements encompassed by IT Operations Monitoring:
- Incident Management
- Capacity Planning
- Change Management
- Incident Management
- Capacity Planning
- Asset Management
- Security Planning
- Vendor Management
- Performance and Monitoring Management
IT Operations Monitoring Best Practices for Businesses
The rise of cross-functional product teams within modern digital enterprises stands out as one of the most noteworthy trends in IT operations. Here, we’ve highlighted three effective strategies for IT operations teams aiming to enhance operational efficiencies by consolidating their separate monitoring areas and transitioning to an AIOps approach:
- Identify Relevant Data
- Adopt a Data-Driven Strategy
- Evolve Your Use Cases
- Use a Monitoring Tools
- Analyze the Existing Procedure
1- Identify Relevant Data
Overlap in operations management tools with similar functions across teams is expected. The primary goal is to gain insight into the behaviour and performance of the infrastructure, as illustrated in the figure below. In this context, dealing with an overwhelming volume of data is challenging, as only some of the information available is valid. To establish a practical and best-practice monitoring approach, it’s essential to adopt a top-down perspective:
Facilitate AIOps Across Disparate Domains
The monitoring approach should support AIOps and address the diverse data-gathering requirements of IT operations management software. This includes domains like IT infrastructure and application performance.
Targeted Data Collection to Avoid Overwhelm
The monitoring strategy must prioritize targeted data collection to prevent being inundated with excessive data. This ensures that only relevant information is processed and analyzed.
In the era of AIOps, a Data-Driven Strategy (DDS) emerges as a crucial element in defining and designing monitoring practices. This approach allows organizations to navigate the complexities of diverse data sources and make informed decisions based on meaningful insights.
2- Adopt a Data-Driven Strategy
Your DDS encompasses a data management strategy centred on determining which data to gather and how to improve, store, and distribute it. This strategy should be developed concurrently with a use-case strategy outlining how the collected data can enhance operational efficiency and contribute value to the business. To effectively integrate DDS into your core IT operations monitoring best practices, the emphasis should not solely be on data gathering but also on the practical utilization of this information. Each piece of information should be perceived not only as a data type but as a data type coupled with its intended purpose. Gartner has identified various types of data, each offering distinct insights, such as:
- Log data improves awareness of local device events and changes.
- Metric data gathers performance and usage metrics over time.
- Flow data provides metadata on end-to-end conversations in the network.
- Packet data supplies full conversation content for diagnostics and security audits.
- Configuration data captures device configuration and change management.
- Forwarding routing and path data examines traffic flow between endpoints.
3- Evolve Your Use Cases
Naturally, once data is gathered, various techniques such as aggregation, enrichment, and analysis come into play to extract valuable insights. However, these processes are secondary to the crucial initial step of determining what data to collect. So, how can this be achieved? This is where the Use Case component of the DDS (Data-Driven Strategy) becomes crucial. The first essential step is to identify business use cases, as these cases define the monitoring data required to achieve desired outcomes. A well-defined DDS is necessary for AIOps initiatives to avoid being inundated by a flood of data without a clear purpose for its collection or utilization. For further information on best practices in IT operations management and the advantages of AIOps tools, you can explore the Optanix Platform.
4- Use Monitoring Tools
Utilizing various monitoring tools can incur significant expenses in both budget and time. A manager must establish well-defined objectives before selecting a monitoring toolkit and communicate them to the designated IT teams. An efficient operations monitoring strategy optimally allocates IT resources, reduces costs, expedites troubleshooting and recovery processes, and mitigates confusion and potential miscommunication associated with managing an excessive number of tools. These tools provide automated features for managing IT tasks, monitoring real-time performance, and effectively handling incidents and problems. The crucial factor is finding an ITOM tool that seamlessly matches your business requirements and aligns with your IT strategy.
5- Analyze the Existing Procedure
It is crucial to comprehend the nature of IT operational processes and their connection to your IT landscape and business goals to optimize and oversee IT operations effectively. A solid understanding of IT operational processes and dependable solutions is essential to identify and chart your IT landscape. If your company lacks them, your ITOM objectives can justify acquiring either. After determining the business goals, IT teams can create a plan for implementing IT solutions that align with those objectives. This involves prioritizing IT initiatives according to their compatibility with business goals and ensuring that IT projects adhere to business timelines and budgets. Initiate your exploration with a manual audit of your environment and procedures, considering the extent of your current processes, the scale and intricacy of your IT ecosystem, and the existing managerial resources.
Implementing best practices in IT Operations Monitoring (ITOM) is essential for businesses that help to maintain a high-performing and resilient IT infrastructure. The identified best practices collectively contribute to efficient operations, including targeted data collection, a data-driven strategy, evolved use cases, strategic use of monitoring tools, and thorough analysis of existing procedures. By embracing these practices, organizations can proactively address potential issues, reduce downtime, and align IT initiatives with overarching business goals.