Monday, 05 September 2016 11:46

The value of data-driven automation to the ITSM industry

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IT service management (ITSM) refers to the whole gamut of activities — directed by policies, organised and structured in processes and supporting procedures — that are performed by an organisation to plan, design, deliver, operate and control information technology (IT) services offered to customers.

In the ITSM business, remaining relevant to customers is key to success. With the rise of connected technologies, many organisations collect data from equipment, devices or other connected endpoints with a view to using that data for business purposes.

The need for collecting and interrogating data in order to improve service management is beyond hype – it’s a given.

iTWire spoke to Dana Bullister, Programme Manager – Strategic Data Initiatives, LogicNow, about the key issues.

DanaEnterprises and SMBs have come to expect their IT service providers to have the ability to investigate trends, pre-empt threats to productivity and deliver more thorough and proactive services as a result. With this expectation so prevalent and the future of IT service delivery hinging upon it, the challenge for many service providers is meeting it.

The positive news is the ITSM market is moving in the right direction in terms of collecting and storing data. In our (LogicNow)recent global study of IT service providers’ uses of data, we discovered that 54% are actively collecting and storing data on customers’ IT performance.

But using data to inform reactions and decisions is only half the battle. The key to profitability from using data lies in data-driven automation of actions – empowering technology to make real-time, accurate decisions.

Automation is currently a step too far for many Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Our research revealed they are held back by complexities over how data would be stored and a lack of data interrogation skills. So, what makes it possible for an IT service provider to deploy data-driven automation?

As with almost every hype cycle that has existed in business IT, adoption and investment starts with companies at the larger end of the spectrum. Larger ITSM organisations managing more than 50 IT estates have the resources, skill sets and customer base to warrant the investment in data automation.

This enables them to comfortably meet customer demand to handle far more complex IT projects, including “internal IoT” such as connected buildings. The automated use of data also improves capacity. Our research indicates the early adopters of data automation have seen value in this, with 38% of organisations doubling their capacity as a result. As a result, time and resources are deployed back into strategic business initiatives.

The most important impact is that on your business’ ROI – and predictions are positive. 20% of the early adopters have identified at least 100% return directly attributable to the deployment of data-driven automation. This number is expected to rise to 47% in two years’ time.

The future of managed services clearly belongs to companies who are equipped with automated processes for transforming data into actionable recommendations. As the Internet of Things rapidly creates a new wave of data to be gathered and stored, automation will enable MSPs to better manage their customers’ increasingly complex IT estates. It is time for the rest of the industry to stop lagging behind and take advantage of the range of new services and capabilities data driven automation is likely to bring.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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