Top Five Things to Look for in your IT Operations Software Provider

In this guide, we outline 5 key things to look for in your IT Operations software provider – and avoid a bad choice that could cost you.

When it comes to IT Operations software providers, there is a limitless market of options. It’s not a matter of options, but a matter of what to look for in those IT software systems and providers.

While an IT software should have technical capabilities that match your IT environment needs, it’s most important that the solution is meeting business objectives and KPIs. This is where you will have a good valuation of what you are investing in.

In this quick guide, we’ve outlined five key things to look for in your IT Operations software provider that will meet those business objectives. 

1. Time to value

“How soon can I get value out of the product?” is the question most asked. If you’re looking at IT software that includes AIOps, that journey starts with the data in your pipeline. It can take upwards of four to six weeks for the machine to learn the environment and start identifying anomalies. 

It’s important to focus on the big picture and compare ‘the now’ environment to ‘the future’ environment. The value lies in the inefficiencies and redundancies you remove over the course of the AIOps journey. This includes redundant manual tasks done by IT personnel or how quickly they resolve them. The number will vary from enterprise to enterprise, but it’s reasonable to expect a 30% to 40% increase in efficiency.

>> Looking for a starting point for AIOps? Check out this free resource.

2. Combination of the ‘AIOps trifecta’

Any IT software with AIOps should have three ‘trifecta’ of capabilities:

  • Anomaly detection → identifies rare items, events or observations which deviate from the majority of the data.
  • Event correlation → makes sense of a vast amount of data and pinpoints the relevant events that are important in a mass of data
  • Dynamic thresholds → calculated by anomaly detection algorithms and continuously trained by a datapoint’s recent historical values. 

These three capabilities are the building blocks for an AIOps model to mature and eventually fulfill the ultimate goal of AIOps: self-healing. A self-healing, automated AIOps platform will provide more value in the long-term. As mentioned above, it removes the manual human labor and resources it takes to detect, analyze, and resolve a problem in the IT environment.

3. Scale

Any IT or AIOps software should be built to grow as your business grows. Look for capabilities like choice of algorithms. There is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to enterprise data management. It’s beneficial to offer a base out-of-box (OOB) AIOps platform, but allow it to expand into the techniques data scientists have developed in house.

4. Future-proofed IT software

No surprise here, but the IT environment is always changing. This quality of constant change should also inform your decision to search for an IT Service Provider that adapts as you do. Whether migrating from on-prem to cloud or installing data centers, you need software that can be there as a single-pane of glass. It doesn’t matter how IT moves, your IT software system will stay with you.

This is especially crucial given the current IT skills shortage. First generation AIOps tools presented great potential, but organizations were not prepared to hire (nor were they able to) teams of data scientists. Given the scarcity of qualified people in the market, the AIOps software has to produce outcomes without teams. New software with the right topology and dependencies to feed that into the algorithm automatically will have an advantage.

5. Security 

In our digitized economy, there’s a lot of value in the data your organization collects and stores. Cyber criminals look to capitalize on that. Sharing your data with a third-party provider can be risky to your security infrastructure. The data information that AI tools monitor is mission critical information. If you are a SaaS-based solution, you have to ensure that data is secure. You should feel confident you can trust an IT Operations software provider with your DLC practices and compliance checks. As you interview candidates, make sure they will treat your data with utmost importance.

Elevate IT Operations above the noise 

As you search for an IT Operations software provider, it’s crucial to think about where your environment is now compared to where it will be in the next five to ten years. The IT environment is already complex, and it’s only getting noisier. Your search should take these five criteria into consideration, plus your strategy to decide which provider is best for you. Make sure your consultation with a partner focuses on elevating ITOps above the noise.

Put a sound operational approach in place and deploy tools that support your approach.

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