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April 5, 2021 | Matt Pacheco

2021 Digital Infrastructure Trend: Intelligent Automation & AIOps

Building modern efficiencies is a priority for organizations migrating to the cloud. Cloud computing can save businesses from major IT infrastructure expenses, such as facility and equipment maintenance, new hardware purchases, and software licensing. However, as cloud environments become more complex, with diverse platforms, providers, and services, supporting remote users and distributed offices, they require greater expertise and oversight. This can lead to higher staffing costs, as well as overworked IT operations teams.

IT professionals already juggle a diverse array of day-to-day, repetitive tasks. They also plan and implement digital transformation projects critical to their business strategies and user experience. Intelligent automation tools, like Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (or AIOps) – promise to enhance IT operations by automating routine, manual processes and managing digital infrastructure effectively in real-time.

Companies already employ a range of IT automation tools. Most of these applications automate a specific area or set of processes:

  • An intrusion detection system (IDS) can detect a possible intruder in the network and send an alert to IT staff.
  • Application performance monitoring (APM) tools collect and monitor application data to track performance and spot problems.
  • IT infrastructure monitoring (ITIM) applications keep an eye on the performance and availability of cloud and non-cloud infrastructure components such as servers, hypervisors, databases, and networks.

However, traditional automation tools lack the intelligence to evaluate and respond to problems. That’s where AIOps and intelligent automation comes in.

How AIOps is changing digital infrastructure

With the addition of AI and machine learning, an automation tool can make decisions that would otherwise require human intervention. For instance, an infrastructure monitoring tool with AI capabilities can not only monitor and identify problems but also analyze and fix them. An AI-powered application with automation capabilities may detect and resolve a threat before it can cause an outage in the first place. Or in another case, an application may have several redundant components that make up a business service. If one of the components goes down, the service may still be considered available and only trigger an alert to the IT staff. However, if multiple components go down, and AI determines that the business service is threatened the AI can respond with an automated task to move the application to another site or infrastructure set

The name for this emerging category of intelligent automation tools is artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps).

What is AIOps?

AIOps can intelligently automate a wide variety of cloud and non-cloud IT infrastructure processes. Instead of bombarding staff with routine alerts, AIOps-driven systems can respond and allow IT professionals to concentrate on strategic and business-critical issues.

AIOps collects and monitors various data sources, like software agents, hardware devices, monitoring tools, networks, and applications. Through business service classification, machine learning and the application of different analytic approaches—such as pattern discovery and root cause analysis – AIOps evaluates potential problems, and responds.

AI-powered automation tools, like AIOps will enable IT departments to build complex, connected multicloud environments by automating and orchestrating cross-platform processes.

Market research firm IDC predicts that organizations will move from reactive monitoring of critical areas such as infrastructure and security to AI-powered automation. According to the IDC Tech Spotlight on Digital Infrastructure in 2021, leading organizations will focus on AIOps initiatives in key areas including:

  • workload portability
  • consumption-based usage
  • support for dynamic applications
  • expansion of self-service portals for end-users
  • security and regulatory compliance

The bigger intelligent automation trend

AIOps is part of a wider trend of intelligent automation, also called hyper-automation. Applying intelligent automation to businesses processes uses a range of advanced capabilities:

  • artificial intelligence,
  • machine learning (ML),
  • natural language processing,
  • robotics,
  • and data science

Hyper-automation is an important element of cost-efficiency as companies embark on digital transformation projects. By 2024, organizations that use hyper-automation technologies with their re-engineered operational processes will reduce operating costs by 30%.

Hyper-automation supports applications across all industries, including finance, construction, insurance, travel, and manufacturing. Hyper-automation also promises to have a significant impact on IT operations and infrastructure as well as on IT staffing. In that same article, Gartner reports that by 2024, “enhancements in analytics and automatic remediation capabilities will refocus 30% of IT operations efforts, from support to continuous engineering.” These self-remediating or self-healing capabilities will enable IT professionals to focus on innovation and new development, instead of daily maintenance and support.

Learn more about AIOps and intelligent automation trends

To learn more about the future of infrastructure automation, read our new IDC Technology Spotlight on Digital Infrastructure Trends in 2021.

Are you looking to improve your digital infrastructure with cloud solutions? Multicloud environment complexity and customer expectations for fast speed and performance are pushing IT organizations to managed services providers. Managed services providers offer the expertise and the right technologies for digital transformation initiatives. TierPoint supports its clients with a variety of cloud platforms, connectivity options, consulting services, and the expertise to help manage complex IT environments. Contact us today to learn more.
IDC Technology Spotlight Key Trends Driving Enterprises Toward the Future of Digital Infrastructure in 2021

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