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Written by Amitabh Sharma
on 18 Sep 2017

In the dynamic business landscape today, technology is the foundation of growth and innovation in businesses of all sizes and types—it is also the bedrock of any big data strategy.

The data center is a prime example of how beneficial advanced operational analytics can be. IT operations analytics (ITOA) emerged to help companies manage networks and network upgrades. Its aim? To enable a more proactive and productive approach to IT operations management (ITOM) through the effective collation, processing, and analysis of data.

Back in 2011, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and McKinsey's Business Technology Office heralded the age of big data, predicting the analysis of large data sets to become an integral part of the competition.

In 2016, an MGI report, The Age of Analytics: Competing in a Data-Driven World, observed that the volume of data used would continue to double every three years. The report also highlighted the rapid and continual growth of applications and opportunities in data analytics, and the ability of analytics to have a significant impact on the landscape of a number of industries including telecoms, IT, marketing and sales, and manufacturing.

 

Why Should Your Business Invest in IT Operations Analytics?

Before implementing any new operational analytics, organizations must consider its potential value. When it comes to ITOA, the value comes in the form of reduced costs and increased output. ITOA can help telecom companies reach their full potential by enabling their IT teams to be more efficient and therefore more productive.

IT teams are experiencing an explosion of operations data, emerging from multiple and often disparate sources: the live infrastructure, hardware logs, software agents, hypervisors, and more.

Swamped by a slew of information, they may find that proactive management becomes increasingly elusive and complex. In turn, IT teams often struggle to manage the growing complexity and lack time to support business innovation.

ITOA uses big data technologies such as Hadoop and NoSQL to process, store, and interpret the data produced by a distributed architecture. With insights derived from this integrated view, IT teams can monitor performance more accurately, predict issues, and make timely, data-driven decisions.

  • By improving the management of IT resources, ITOA can:
    • Streamline network management
    • Improve end-user experience
    • Map the behavior of your users
    • Reduce meantime to resolution (MTTR)
    • Boost resistance to IT failures
    • Speed up the detection of fraudulent payments and other abnormal events
    • Avoid widespread outages

Telecom companies can use ITOA to avoid fluctuations in service quality, as issues are detected and resolved faster, they are less likely to affect customers. General, long-term improvements in service quality may also be achievable through more effective management of IT resources and personnel better placed to spend time on value-added work. This shift also means they can more easily support strategic enablers such as mobility.

According to Gartner research, the use of ITOA technologies will change how professionals interact with IT operations disciplines by increasing their control and visibility of their networks. It is also the key to continuously delivering flawless user experiences based on digital business initiatives. Carefully implemented ITOA can bring a wealth of internal and commercial benefits.

 

What Outcomes Look Like with IT Operations Analytics

Many organizations are capitalizing on big data to enhance their operational analytics and enhance employee and customer experience. The more telecoms invest in understanding their networks, the more successful they are likely to be.

A leading global telecom provider wanted to offer customers a faster and more personalized shopping experience by transitioning its in-store customer check in process from the desktop to an iPad app. However, there were several barriers to implementing this seamlessly including app errors, battery drain, and weak Wi-Fi connections. These applied both to the initial roll-out and the distribution of updates and OS upgrades.

The IT operations team used ITOA to monitor KPIs for the network, devices, and app across thousands of retail stores. This coordinated, enterprise-wide view allowed the business to proactively analyze and correct issues before they have an impact on customers. Their approach enabled a successful launch and optimized performance in the long term.

In yet another example, a leading manufacturer of off-highway equipment wanted to lower its cost of operations, improve asset longevity and cut downtime. To achieve this, it needed a more proactive approach to maintenance.

Thanks to an advanced analytics solution that produced predictive algorithms, they are now able to anticipate asset failures and propose timely maintenance schedules. The results are impressive—an 8% drop in maintenance costs, a 10% reduction in asset downtime, and a 13% improvement in overall asset productivity.

ITOA has huge potential, not only within the realm of IT operations and end-user experience, but as a source of business intelligence-driven decisions. By providing reliable, real-time analysis, ITOA tools can provide CEOs with deeper insights into the wider impact of the IT environment.

ITOA also supports innovation by partially automating time-intensive tasks and giving key decision-makers better access to crucial statistics around performance, user uptake and more.

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