AIOps Is Liberating IT Talent

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Read more about co-authors Ugo Orsi and Jennifer Longworth.

For years, employers have worried about an IT talent shortage, sharpened by the so-called Great Resignation during the COVID years. Now that headlines are dominated by rounds of tech company layoffs, they may think they have the upper hand again. But the truth is that roles for IT skills outside high-profile consumer tech companies are still going begging. The main driver of these vacancies? An epidemic of wasted IT talent. 

From manufacturing to banking to health care and beyond, IT production support staff spend long, grueling hours focused on low-level, repetitive tasks. It’s no wonder many of those IT professionals are leaving their current companies for greener pastures – taking precious institutional knowledge with them. Corporate leaders need to think hard about how they can alleviate many of those menial tasks and keep their IT employees happy. 

Augmenting IT Staff with AIOps 

Tech productivity is the backbone of almost every modern business. COVID demonstrated that IT is not just a cost center; it’s integral to enabling businesses to operate with more speed and dexterity in a rapidly evolving, hybrid environment. No business can succeed without an efficient IT team, but IT can’t be efficient when repetitive, manual chores, such as resetting lost passwords or load-balancing servers, claim so much time and energy.  

How can organizations free up IT to support employees to focus on more interesting and strategic tasks? The answer is applying AI and machine learning to IT operations, a combination known as AIOps (Artificial Intelligent Operations). Gartner explains that AIOps “combines big data and machine learning to automate IT operations processes, including event correlation, anomaly detection, and causality determination.”

AIOps Accelerates IT Operations via Automation

AIOps improves business agility and resiliency by streamlining and automating IT operations through proactive and predictive monitoring, alerting, and repairing system behaviors – sometimes even offering suggestions to streamline operations and prevent future problems. These tasks are completed via advanced AI-based reasoning techniques that “learn” what optimal system performance looks like and how to fix deviations. 

AIOps can take over much of the burden of monitoring and responding to alerts, freeing up human IT staff to work on higher-impact activities. AIOps can also handle many important tasks of IT operations – keeping infrastructure online, monitoring systems, and managing security 24/7. This allows companies to reengineer processes and put talent in places within IT operations where we can best use their skills.

AIOps makes the day-to-day jobs of IT people less burdensome because they’re no longer drowning under floods of alerts or yawning through an unending cycle of dull, routine processes such as rebooting servers. Eliminating repetitive, unexciting tasks improves employee retention and satisfaction. 

What’s more, AIOps improves operations directly: Improved efficiency makes IT jobs less hectic. Given today’s expectations for 24/7, 365-day uptime, when IT systems fail, it creates an emergency for both businesses and the IT staffers who must fix these problems. The predictive and self-healing capacities of AIOps introduce more robustness and resiliency in an enterprise’s IT system. That helps avoid operational disruptions, while improving security and uptime. More uneventful, uninterrupted operations mean IT people don’t have to spend as much time addressing high-priority trouble tickets and putting out fires. (Sometimes literally putting out fires…) Moreover, higher uptime means greater productivity and profitability – which can translate into more resources for the IT department and a better quality of life for IT colleagues.

IT Efficiency Drives Better Business Outcomes

As competitive pressures to improve efficiency increase, organizations cannot afford to continue wasting resources by saddling their IT teams with tasks that can be intelligently automated. Companies also can’t afford to replace dissatisfied IT employees who are overburdened with menial work or frequent emergencies. According to Gallup, U.S. businesses lose approximately $1 trillion per year due to voluntary employee turnover, with the cost of replacing an individual employee ranging from one-half to twice that worker’s annual salary. 

Skilled IT staff will always have companies competing to hire them. While the economy may be entering a recession, it will inevitably bounce back and eventually flourish again. When that happens, these workers will once again be bombarded with opportunities; employers that aren’t using technology to empower them will struggle mightily to hold onto IT talent.

The only answer for enterprises is to drive new efficiencies in IT. That’s where AIOps comes in. Businesses should embrace AIOps to improve employee morale, optimize costs, and boost support services.