How IT Ops Must Change to Power the Digital Enterprise with Data


IT Ops Powers the Digital Enterprise with DataHow long have we been beating the “everything is changing faster than ever in enterprise IT” drum?  Forever, it seems. For so long, perhaps, that we’ve become numb to the reality that everything really is changing faster than ever in IT. The thing is, this statement was true yesterday, and last year, and the five years before that. It’s true today and it will be even more true in the future.

What makes today’s “change” in enterprise IT different than every major change that has come before and ever major change that’s yet to come? The answer is simple. From here on out, technology will change faster than we can comprehend. Innovation is happening so fast, we barely have time to blink and therefore, the only constant will be the flow of data. This notion practically spits in the face of what we, in IT operations, have been building for decades: process, standardization, and automation in the name of efficiency. Here’s why this change is different than ever major change that came before:

The FUTURE of IT operations in the digital enterprise is built on DATA, not technology.

A little bold, you say? I promise you, it’s not! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. What you’ve built over the past few decades has value. And we know the digital enterprise of the future runs on technology. Technology doesn’t go away; its more important than ever. But, in many cases, IT doesn’t own the technology anymore. Hello, Shadow IT, guess you’re here to stay? This is absolutely OKAY, because IT operations has a NEW, very important role to play: data-driven, strategic business advisor.

How your IT operations organization perceives itself and positions its value must evolve to embrace agility and deviation, in the name of the differentiation and innovation built on a foundation of data and analytics. And this means IT operations must change in three fundamental ways:

  1. IT operations must change and expand the data we collect. The first step involves taking a much broader approach to the data and data sources we consider important. This means, literally lifting our perspective and looking beyond the traditional narrow views created by our existing role and IT tool set. What you’ve been looking at for years MAY or MAY NOT matter anymore. The only way you will know is by looking at the bigger picture shaped by business, operations, and technical data. Asking for data from other sources that aren’t typically controlled or managed by IT operations may feel uncomfortable, but it’s the first step towards a more strategic future for IT operations.
  2. IT operations must change how we view the data we collect. Once you’ve expanded your view, your IT operations organization must look at the data differently. This means seeing your IT operations data in the context of the business purpose it serves. Literally, contextualizing your IT operations data in the light of sales, costs, customer sentiment, marketing promotions, security mandates, and any other dynamic that may impact the business purpose. A seemingly uninteresting event log or alarm, when placed in the context of a marketing promotion that is failing to drive revenue goals in a key geography, becomes much more interesting and relevant.
  3. IT must change how data shapes the actions IT takes. This step is where successful IT operations organizations differentiate themselves from the pack. By collecting a broader data-set and contextualizing and analyzing the data in the light of business purpose, IT operations teams can begin the real journey to becoming a strategic advisor by communicating with the business in language they understand and answering questions around revenue, cost, and risk.

The future of IT operations in the digital enterprise is built on data. Evolving the way your IT operations team collects, views, and talks about data is your opportunity to play an unprecedented, strategic role in the future of the digital enterprise. A new identity requires both a fresh perspective and new technology to compliment the value you’ve built over the past decade. At BMC, we believe the future of IT operations is built on data and we’re making exciting and innovative investments to deliver you the capabilities, tools, and platforms you need to evolve. Learn more about our perspective on IT operations analytics and stay tuned for exciting, innovative product announcements (coming soon!) that will help you on your journey at our user conference, BMC Engage.

Everything really is changing faster than ever before, and the only constant will be the flow of data. The future of IT operations in the digital enterprise isn’t about the infrastructure, it’s about the information.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Erin Avery

Erin Avery

Erin is an analytics expert at BMC, focused on the role of IT in the modern, digital business. She believes that great opportunity is just waiting to be discovered in data. Erin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the Pennsylvania State University.