How to Build Business-Focused Enterprise Monitoring

Fairoze Kudroli, Enterprise Tools Architect, Trianz

In today’s disruptive world, the way businesses consume IT is via services. Because of advancements in virtualization, when an IT component fails it doesn’t make a huge impact on the services overall.

Traditional Silo Monitoring

These underlying IT components act as independent entities. Thus, the teams managing them might deploy a traditional silo monitoring strategy, which works well within their silo system. However, monitoring service performance while working in silos doesn’t provide an overall monitoring picture. This makes it difficult to understand why a service that spans across a dynamic infrastructure has failed.

By 2021, 60% of IT monitoring investments will include a focus on business-relevant metrics, up from less than 20% in 2017." - Gartner

Each team managing an IT infrastructure has its own tools within its technology—and with its own set of monitoring baseline and playbooks. Without a centralized business view, whenever a problem occurs it takes a long time to analyze, and, in turn, it increases mean time to repair (MTTR). As MTTR goes up, the business suffers, customers lose money, and brand value decreases.

To solve this problem and gain a broader understanding across the IT enterprise, organizations must shift their strategy from traditional silo monitoring to a business-focused enterprise monitoring approach. This will provide an enterprise-wide view of service availability and performance irrespective of the underlying IT infrastructures scale, technology, or topology.

Business-Focused Enterprise Monitoring Strategy

Organizations must adopt a collaborative approach for this paradigm shift and focus on six effective business-centric components of their strategy:

Business-Focused Enterprise Monitoring Strategy

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1. Alignment with the customer's business goal

First and foremost, the monitoring strategy needs to align with the customer's vision, mission, values, and current and future strategy. This ensures that it will be an integral part of the customer's journey in achieving its vision.

In the traditional method, the monitoring strategy starts from the bottom (i.e., first technology, then defining the measures, and, finally, business metrics). We come to realize at the end of a long and expensive roll-out that the monitoring doesn’t fit the business expectations.

Instead, opt for a business-centric top-down approach. In other words, start with business metrics and drill down to infrastructure metrics. This ensures that the monitoring strategy is focused on the business objectives.

Alignment with the customer's business goal

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2. Centralization

For a traditional client-server architecture, the siloed monitoring would work well. The tools are specific to each technology, and each team defines its own set of monitoring policies. But in this age of the converged and hyper-converged systems, businesses need a centralized approach to monitoring and a strategy with defined objectives.

Businesses must put in place a standard set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that will become the foundation for the monitoring baseline and playbooks. This will encourage a collaborative approach rather than monitoring in silos.

3. Service-specific view

A service-specific view is needed to show if an IT failure is impacting the service. It should be easy to use and accessible by the service owners, who should provide input while it’s being built.

End-user experience monitoring should also be an integral part of this view. The help desk operators—who are usually the first responders to the end-user queries—should receive these. Also, having a view of enterprise-level service health will help reduce the incident MTTR and increase service availability.

Service-specific view
End-user experience monitoring

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4. End-user experience monitoring

End-users or consumers are an integral part of any business. Monitoring from their perspective shows how a service performs in real life.

End-user monitoring can be real-time or synthetic, and it should also cover broad and numerous locations. In addition, it must cover the different connection types. And finally, the end-user monitoring metrics must be integrated with the service views. This will help the service owners gauge how the service is being consumed.

5. Predictive analytics

Silo monitoring still collects a rich set of data, but the lack of a business-centric view makes this data less valuable. Use this historical data along with end-user experience monitoring metrics to build a predictive model with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence. This will help with proactive monitoring.

Predictive analytics
Business Intelligence

Predictive analytics can be further leveraged to build business intelligence (BI). Using underlying data in the BI model makes it data-driven rather than based on assumptions. By combining internal (historical data from silos) and external (end-user monitoring metrics) data sources, the resulting BI model becomes more effective.

6. Re-evaluation of your strategy on a regular basis

Strategy re-evaluation is the most neglected part of any strategy management. Never stop updating a good strategy; rather, evolve it into a more sophisticated model.

Consider re-evaluating your strategy when the any of the following occur:

Re-evaluation of your strategy on a regular basis

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Shifting to an enterprise monitoring strategy aligned with business objectives will provide numerous benefits that will move your business forward. The end-state with these services is centralized asset visibility across hybrid- and multi-clouds, with deep process-level application monitoring.

This is supplemented by artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that enable predictive alerting and remediation, resulting in a self-healing IT network. Proactive measures like these reduce downtime and disruption, driving down operating costs and maximizing the revenue generation capabilities of your user-facing services.


Copyright © 2020 Trianz

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