For years, in IT, we have been very good at telling people what happened. The tools and processes we’ve adopted as IT operations professionals, in central IT organizations, are designed to keep everything working while driving cost out of the equation. We’ve served the business, with technology infrastructure, and when asked, we can most often produce a report (or cobble together a picture) that cites what happened or shows the state of “things.” This, in all reality, reactive approach satisfied the majority of needs when technology only touched a fraction of the value chain. However, as technology now touches every aspect of your company’s value chain, the traditional approach to analyzing data, typically historical data, puts you on a crash course of irrelevancy in the face of the fast-moving, real time collection of connections that is the new digital service. As we transition from technology providers to the core of the digital business, the questions we ask, the conversations we have and the data we examine, must radically change in 2016.
Every strategic move an IT organization makes in 2016 should start with a question that can only be answered by data. Up for consideration should be historical and real-time data as well as data source and data type. Don’t rely on just the data you have, validating or disproving a question required data exploration beyond your traditional IT confines.
At BMC, as we’ve been diligently developing a digital analytics offering, built for IT operations teams and technology owners in the face of the digital era, we have spent quite a bit of time on the topic of questions IT and tech owners need to be asking (and answering.) Depending on the state of your business, your questions will inevitably vary. Just recently we spoke with a BMC customer who, in 2016, wants to understand how widely adopted is a set of capabilities in his primary service offering compared to the cost of maintaining those capabilities. You see, he has a hunch that he’s over spending to provide capabilities that aren’t creating tangible value for his customers and in 2016, he wants to use the data to validate or disprove his theory so he can refocus his team (if appropriate) on cost-appropriate, value-add capabilities.
At BMC, we believe the bright future of IT Operations lies at the intersection of data and the digital business. It’s up to the IT organization to develop the right questions. Adopting new technologies and processes, driven by advanced analytics principals, optimized for the big data analytics needs of IT Operations will be the key to helping IT organizations transition from “describing” a situation to validating hypothesis through data driven insights that drive digital business-aligned decisions.