Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014. Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed article by Jason Meserve, principal product marketing manager, CA Technologies
In 2014: A Redoubling of IT and Focus on the Customer Experience
2013 was yet another banner year for IT, proving that it is
at the center of just about everything we do in our personal and business lives.
The proof? CyberMonday
sales reached a record $1.735 billion and not one of these sales would be
possible without technology. The continuing Healthcare.gov saga shows that you
need good IT to make big projects go successfully. And, the CEO of a major bank
an ongoing lack of investment in IT was part of the reason for a meltdown
on CyberMonday that left customers unable to access funds.
As we flip the calendar to 2014, I hope we see businesses
double down on IT and bolster their investment. IT and the business services
they run are the business. It's no
longer IT partnering with the business side; the two entities are really one
and must work in unison. I don't think another CEO wants to have to make this
admission: "For decades, we failed to invest properly in our systems."
What does that mean for the IT group itself? We're going to
see continued investment in cloud, virtualization and other technologies that
help them deliver the business services they need and do it in a cost efficient
manner. Just because there's an increased focus and investment on IT doesn't
mean there is going to be a blank checkbook of spending.
IT is also going have a major responsibility in driving the
overall customer experience. Yes, the entire company should be focused on that,
but with so many services supported by technology, IT must make customer
experience the number one focus. Ensuring the data center systems are available
or cloud service providers are meeting service level agreements are not enough.
Even where there's 100% availability, the customers could still be having a
miserable experience interacting with your business service.
What technology will help support this effort? IT
operational analytics. As business services inevitably get more complex as they
grow and expand across physical, virtual and cloud architectures, the amount of
performance metrics are going to continue to expand beyond the point where
humans alone cannot keep pace.
Application performance management suites and network
management tools create a lot of data and while such tools have historically
been great at showing the extreme problems with the familiar red, yellow, and
green lights on a dashboard, they can leave a lot of gray area where problems
could be lurking below the surface.
With all that data being collected - for instance we have
customers collecting 100 billion metric instances per day - there's much more
that can be gleaned. That's Big Data being generated by IT itself. Analytics
can sort through all those metrics to help reduce complexity and find problems
quicker. There are multiple types of analytics that can help,
such as event correlation, statistical pattern analysis, text pattern analysis,
log analytics and more.
Being able to dig through mountains of IT data more
efficiently will help IT operators find problems more effectively and hopefully
before customers are impacted. This will also help them focus on more than just
service availability by delivering that great customer experience that the
IT operations personnel
are looking for all the help they can get and analytics will be one of the
answers in 2014.