Authored by: Rakesh Jayaprakash, Product Manager at ManageEngine
As organisations adopt a more data-centric approach to their business functions, easy-to-use, intelligent analytics tools become a necessity. This is especially true in IT service management (ITSM) activities like designing, delivering, managing, and improving the IT services provided to end users. However, in a complex, heterogeneous environment of tools, applications, and infrastructure components, it's a major challenge to access and analyse data in one place.
This lack of visibility can create a major barrier for effective monitoring, which negatively impacts productivity and drives up service delivery costs. This is where intelligent analytics tools can be valuable.
Let's take a look at five key advantages analytics has to offer:
1. Increased productivity and service reliability
When IT teams can analyse the historical trend of problematic devices, it helps them predict which devices are likely to fail and when. This enables teams to swiftly reconfigure or replace those devices to minimise the impact on the business and ensure service continuity. Additionally, tracking memory and disk utilisation trends can reveal specific patterns in an organisation’s storage requirements and help IT teams forecast storage capacity needs. Along with helping businesses predict future data storage requirements, a good understanding of storage capacity usage trends allows businesses to create effective backup plans in case of an emergency.
With real-time dashboards, IT teams can monitor periods of peak business activity and manage technicians’ workloads by measuring critical metrics, such as the number of incoming requests, ticket turnaround times, and technician performance. This helps with ensuring that IT teams are well staffed and do not get overwhelmed with routine requests, and will be free to explore new projects and other service concerns. This, in turn, improves productivity in service desks and helps cuts costs within the organisation.
2. Superior customer experiences
Analytics tools help predict the probability of service outages and typical volumes of incident tickets, creating an opportunity for IT teams to plan preventative measures. With analytics capabilities integrated into ITSM processes, IT teams can guarantee customer satisfaction and better service delivery overall.
IT teams can also use analytics tools to study correlations between ticket resolution times and reopen rates to understand the quality of resolutions, and ensure that daily resolution targets are met. Closely watching these metrics is important because high volumes of reopened tickets not only negatively impact technicians’ work schedules and service-level agreement (SLA) compliance, but the customer experience as well. Understanding IT incident volumes and ticket reopen rates is key to achieving better management and service delivery across the organisation.
3. Reduced total cost of ownership and maintenance
IT analytics tools can monitor applications and data, enabling enterprises to identify usage trends and make more strategic business decisions. IT teams can plan and optimise cloud infrastructure usage, eliminating unnecessary costs from overpaying for cloud storage space that's never used.
As organisations continue to analyse data, they start to realise the real costs of running their operations. Data analysis provides insights that can be used to strategically reduce costs. This is in addition to helping companies plan ahead for future license purchases, maintain compliance rates by conducting internal assessments, and purchase software that adds value to the organisation.
4. Improved SLA compliance
A real-time SLA dashboard can monitor ticket priority and assignments while measuring service desk performance against end-user service levels. This information allows teams to set realistic SLA goals, automate and route ticket assignments, communicate risks of SLA violations, and set up escalations proactively. An understanding of the volume of alarms and requests can help enterprises plan and optimise resource allocation so that high priority incidents are addressed immediately, and SLAs are maintained.
5. Increased network uptime and resource availability
It's important to monitor alarms for anomalies in patterns and fluctuations in volume of network and resource utilisation. The information collected from monitoring this activity, combined with the knowledge of what is causing these alarms, helps IT teams actively predict alarm volume and prepare for any failures that could disrupt the network or applications. Proactive application and network management delivers numerous benefits to the IT department, such as fewer outages during business hours and better SLA compliance. For many IT teams, being proactive in operations management can be a challenge, but leveraging unified insights can help managers ensure high availability of business services.
Today, big data is recognised as the fuel that’s driving effective business decisions. Previously, best practices in big data involved evaluating events that have already happened to learn how to avoid problematic ones or reproduce effective ones after the fact. Now, we use big data to look forward thanks to a combination of factors, including higher-power computing systems, lower costs of storage, cloud-based services that provide infinite compute and storage power, and advances in the capabilities of analytics systems.