Reimagining Modern IT Operations with Cognitive Computing

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At the enterprise level, having a robust, effective IT team is paramount. But managing a complex infrastructure and a constant flood of tickets requires a lot of manpower — and every delay or outage impacts your bottom line.

Given that IT is so critical to business operations and customer satisfaction, it is often one of the first areas to undergo a digital transformation. But standalone solutions such as robotic process automation and machine learning are inadequate, requiring constant human intervention and are unable to connect all functions in a given team. To achieve the most powerful, digitally optimized service, it's time to reimagine how you approach agile IT operations using cognitive computing.

The Current State of IT Operations

Today's IT operations environment is full of complexity. Remote workforces, rapid shifts to further ramp cloud capabilities and the integration of new applications add to this complexity. Teams need to understand and apply numerous tools, handoffs and procedures to solve a wide range of problems. They also need to keep up with new software deployments, system migrations and application updates while simultaneously trying to meet performance standards. The complexity — and subsequent inefficiency — of IT operations is what digital optimization attempts to solve. Whether or not these upgrades are successful is typically measured through various KPIs:

  • Improving customer and employee experience
  • Mean time to resolution (MTTR)
  • First time fix rate (FTFR)
  • Preventing incidents
  • Reducing costs
  • Maintaining system availability

So, why do so many IT transformation projects fail to go the distance? They can't solve for the entire process. In order to truly transform and move toward agile IT operations, your solution must address five fundamental areas:

  1. Observe — The solution must continuously observe your incidents, service requests, networks, applications, infrastructure and manual processes.
  2. Engage — The solution must interact with end-users to understand the needs and expectations of effective support.
  3. Prevent — The solution must continuously monitor critical IT assets to flag and address outages/incidents before they occur.
  4. Augment — The solution must enrich the knowledge of the operations team with context-specific information to enable quicker resolutions.
  5. Resolve — The solution must understand and resolve incidents and requests automatically.

While there are tools and programs that perform each of these functions individually, many of them cannot interact with each other to form a comprehensive whole. With UST SmartOpsTM, we set out to create a forward-thinking, revolutionary solution that can perform all six functions and truly achieve IT operations that can handle a modern environment. Here's how it works:

Observe your landscape

Every cognitive computing solution begins with observation. To get an exhaustive understanding of your IT landscape, UST SmartOps connects to all of your interfaces and continuously observes your IT functions. This includes:

  • End users — Connects with popular communication channels such as ticketing systems, email and phone to analyze end user needs.
  • Applications/services — Surveils applications and services (including logs) to check health status and address potential failures.
  • Infrastructure — Monitors business-critical IT infrastructure assets and dependent services to ensure availability.
  • Remote devices — Monitors remote, distributed end user devices for service readiness.
  • Manual processes — Observes manual actions performed by the support team to build intelligence and learn new actions.

As UST SmartOps observes each of these interfaces, the platform uses a combination of natural language processing, machine learning and a host of other intelligent processes to analyze data and build connections with human-like reasoning. With this foundation in place, the program solves problems and interact with users in a way that is natural and seamless.

Engage end users

As an all-encompassing solution, UST SmartOps engages end users on a variety of channels, including chat bots, email, mobile phones, personal assistants and more. Using our Conversation Studio, UST SmartOps learns how to craft natural language and dynamically gather information about end-user challenges. The solution then responds intelligently using a combination of artificial intelligence and knowledge graphs of enterprise information. If human intervention is necessary, UST SmartOps flags a support team member and learns from their interaction with the end user, becoming smarter and more independent over time.

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Prevent outages and incidents

The best way to handle outages is to prevent them from happening in the first place. UST SmartOps supports a proactive strategy by:

  1. Monitoring and collecting system data.
  2. Detecting anomalous behavior based on historic data using machine learning.
  3. Deciding the optimal course of action to rectify the issue.
  4. Executing the right workflow to stabilize the system.

Without an automated solution for preventing outages, your company must rely on technicians with varied levels of experience and inconsistent accuracy due to large volumes of notifications each day. UST SmartOps can accurately process hundreds of alerts around the clock and learns how to diagnose and prevent issues with precision.

Augment your team's knowledge

The fact of the matter is, there will always be situations that are too complex or unusual to be fully automated in IT. The good news is, incidents that require human intervention can still be more efficient with an intelligent solution like UST SmartOps.

With access to existing resources such as emails, tickets, manuals, logs and previous actions, UST SmartOps provides your technicians with context and suggested actions as they work to solve the issue. This saves valuable time that would otherwise be spent tracking down these resources manually.

Resolve incidents and fulfill requests

This is the moment we've all been waiting for. As a next-generation solution, UST SmartOps goes the extra mile with the ability to receive a ticket, diagnose the issue and perform the necessary steps to resolve the incident or fulfill the request without human intervention.

This is the true definition of next-gen IT services: fully digitizing the process of IT support. But this level of independence wouldn't be possible without each area of functionality building on each other and providing the knowledge, tools and capabilities it takes to solve complex problems. Over time, UST SmartOps becomes more intelligent and responds to more advanced tickets and requests. In effect, it's an appreciating asset that only provides more value and efficiency to your IT operations as time goes on.

One solution to transform them all

UST SmartOps combines contextual knowledge, automated decision-making and a natural interface to handle the daily slog of support requests. The result? You can spend more time advancing your IT strategy and solving mission-critical issues. Learn more here.

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