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    Top 10 Reasons Why End-User Analytics

    Posted by Dave Bondo on Thu, May 07,2015 @ 10:00 AM

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    The standard today is to continuously monitor your servers and take stock of your PCs / endpoints. This is proving insufficient in keeping up with the growing expectations about the contribution of IT to the business. Here are 10 reasons why IT departments should raise the bar and add end-user IT analytics to increase their value inside their organization. Any one of these should be reason enough, but with all 10 you can't afford to ignore the trending evidence.

    1. Consumerization of IT - life for IT organizations has forever changed. Forget standardizing on a single platform or controlling the applications used by end-users, today, IT is less about control and more about coping with whatever new technology is released.
    2. BYO from Anywhere - with less control of device, application and location (office, home, public), IT has little choice but to listen to their end-users. When it comes to the Cloud and SaaS the only way to 'listen' to end-users is from the endpoint device.
    3. Software Defined Everything - has introduced an additional level of complexity across the board. With the dynamic provisioning of virtually everything, IT organizations need a clear understanding of how their IT services are being consumed from the perspective of the business end-users. The only way to gain understanding and insight is to use analytics.
    4. A Movie is Worth 10,000 Pictures - if you think of inventory as a snapshot in time then end-user IT analytics is a movie. Analytics allows you to truly understand the operation of your end-user computing infrastructure by looking at all applications, all connections of all your end-users all the time in real-time.
    5. The 3-Ps (pre-emptive, predictive, proactive support and management ) - are the new standard. It's no longer acceptable to maintain the status quo. IT and their service partners have to make things better. The only way to make things better is to continually measure and improve.
    6. Be Smarter and close the Sat-isfaction Gap - CIOs, CISOs, IT Directors and Project Managers can't afford to ignore the growing satisfaction gap any longer. With over 50% of incidents reported by end-users, you need a complete understanding and visibility of what is going on in your infrastructure to deliver a better service to your end-users.
    7. Protection is Futile - security experts acknowledge there is no way to protect against day-zero threats and targeted attacks. So you are going to need end-user analytics for real-time endpoint threat detection before it's too late.
    8. ETD (Endpoint Threat Detection) - is the new reality. Since you can't protect your environment against everything your end-users will encounter, the best solution is to add real-time end-user / endpoint behavior analytics (as a safety net) to your security strategy.
    9. Strengthen Your Security - by correlating end-user / endpoint behavioral (threat detection) analytics with your SIEM tool, your Security Operations Center can be more deterministic.
    10. Manage Change Successfully - with most transformation projects being delayed and / or not delivering the expected benefits to end-users, analytics can give you the the information needed to avoid costly mistakes and keep the project on track.

      Analytics often times connotes a mad scientist, Orwellian fascination with data. However, you can see that it has real-world applications and benefits that resonate with your bottom line.

    Topics: IT Operations Analytics ITOA End User Experience M

    IT operations analytics: Changing the IT perspective

    Posted by Poul Nielsen on Fri, Mar 21,2014 @ 09:02 AM

    With the addition of more endpoints and with more varied business processes relying upon them, enterprise IT infrastructures are expanding and becoming ever more complex.

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    The growth and complexity of infrastructures, along with the wealth of data that passes through an organisation’s IT infrastructure on a daily basis, presents IT operations teams with fresh challenges that are becoming increasingly harder to address.

    At the same time, such challenges are leading end-users to become further dissatisfied with their IT departments.

    All of this signals a need for a change in focus for IT operations teams; from an ongoing system of reactive maintenance to a more proactive, innovative and tailored approach. CIOs, though, currently find themselves without the financial or human resources necessary to take this approach, having to cut costs and corners in order to find new IT efficiencies.

    Driven by a need to address these concerns, the emergence of real-time IT analytics will prove to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Analysing significant amounts of operational data in real-time brings with it the ability to identify the trends and anomalies that can serve as key indicators of the health and performance of a company’s IT infrastructure.

    A change for the good

    IT Operations Analytics, or ITOA, a form of real-time analytics recently identified as an emerging sector by Gartner, is set to have a major impact on the IT industry as it develops, enabling new and more cost-effective ways of carrying out business processes and delivering services to end-users. (BI and analytics a $10 billion market, says Gartner)

    By employing advanced analytics to harness vast volumes of highly diverse data from various applications and endpoints across an organisation’s IT infrastructure, ITOA solutions provide IT service desks with instant awareness of issues as they occur – and often before the person at the other end is able to acknowledge. Along with awareness, they deliver an understanding of how these issues could in turn affect both the IT infrastructure and the wider business.

    As ITOA looks to enter the mainstream over the next four to five years, as predicted by Gartner, the solution will provide CIOs and IT managers with increasingly important operational and business data. This crucial information will be directly captured from the data generated by those business processes and services entwined within an organisation’s IT infrastructure, before being aggregated and analysed.

    This analysis is then used to provide the IT operations team with full and clear insight into the performance of their company’s IT infrastructure, allowing them to identify and isolate any disruptions, inefficiencies and failures.

    The IT service desk is provided with a graphic view of the current state of the IT infrastructure and individual devices as well as the ability to look back and see a device’s activity history. By identifying any changes that have been made, including any installed applications, the operations team will be immediately made aware of potential issues likely to occur at any given point on the IT infrastructure, as well as an understanding of the impact of these issues.

    Additionally, as a boon to IT service desks, these analytics will provide a clear understanding of the issues, allowing the implementation of the solutions necessary to help users restore or maintain the service levels they require and expect.

    The insights that ITOA delivers will, ultimately, allow for a consistent, efficient service regardless of an IT infrastructure’s size and complexity, even on a limited budget. Unlike traditional network and application monitoring performance tools, ITOA solutions are scalable and therefore able to monitor a growing number of endpoints and applications on an IT infrastructure without requiring extensive per-application configuration.

    The right perspective

    This visibility into an IT infrastructure and its respective endpoints and applications should be welcomed by IT operations teams, as there remains a lack of visibility into the consumption of an organisation’s IT services, and just how these services are perceived by end-users.

    Indeed, although many organisations claim that they actively monitor networks and servers, analysts state that more than half of IT issues reported by end-users were not detected by back-end monitoring tools.

    By using ITOA tools that offer this end-user perspective, members of the IT service team will not only be able to monitor the current state of the IT infrastructure, but also focus on individual devices. In doing so, they can identify and isolate a particular issue on one particular affected device, before identifying other devices on the infrastructure with a similar configuration, and taking pre-emptive steps in preventing similar issues affecting users across the business.

    Project leader

    While ITOA are of obvious benefit in providing a current view of an organisation’s IT infrastructure, they are also useful in the planning of migration and transformation projects.

    According to leading analysts, 90% of these projects suffer delays in their implementation, leading to a failure in their delivering the expected benefits. ITOA solutions, however, can help to minimise potential downtime by better controlling planned changes and pro-actively identifying any unplanned alterations.

    Being armed with such information means that those responsible for planning and implementation will be able to avoid making costly mistakes and assumptions, identifying and resolving potential issues before they derail an IT project. The cost of employing an ITOA solution can be justified from the savings made here alone.

    By identifying and isolating problems as they occur on an individual end-user’s device, ITOA can help IT service desks prevent more widespread issues taking place across the whole IT infrastructure.

    In its Hype Cycle Report, Garner rated the business impact of ITOA as being ‘high’, meaning that its use will see businesses enjoy significantly increased revenue or cost saving opportunities. With lower budgets and smaller teams facing ever more complex IT infrastructures, the emergence of ITOA can be seen by CIOs and their operations teams as the right solution at just the right time.

    Poul Nielsen is VP Marketing for Nexthink: www.nexthink.com

    Topics: IT Operations Analytics ITOA End User Experience M