Leveraging Cloud-Based Analytics to Make IT Smarter

There’s good news and bad news about cloud-based IT analytics platforms and tools.
Posted August 19, 2014
By

Jeff Kaplan


Continuity Software conducted a benchmark survey in 2013 of 90 IT executives from a variety of large enterprises that found over half (57%) use analytical tools to measure IT performance. Yet, only 14% track key performance indicators (KPIs) for their Cloud environment.

Like the old adage goes – you can’t manage what you can’t measure. And, many IT organizations have to do a better job measuring KPIs in the rapidly evolving Cloud environment to ensure they’re obtaining optimal benefits from the widening array of virtual services.

Corporate decision-makers and frontline business managers have long recognized the virtues of real-time business intelligence (BI) to guide their decision-making processes, focus their strategic initiatives, and target their sales and marketing efforts. In fact, improving their BI capabilities has a top priority for CIOs for many years according to Gartner’s annual CIO surveys.

CIOs are also well aware that they need to closely monitor their own operations in order to optimize the performance of their computing systems and enterprise applications. However, traditional IT management tools have generally lacked robust analytics capabilities and seldom provided a holistic view of the organization’s end-to-end IT resources.

This problem has become compounded as organizations of all sizes add a new layer of Cloud services atop their existing on-premise systems and software. This has created a new level of complexity and further fragmented the operational data available for IT to consider as it is making real-time decisions and long-term plans.

This situation is only going to get more complicated as IT is asked to monitor, measure and manage a tidal wave of objects and services which will be connected by the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). In this rapidly evolving IoT world, IT will not only be responsible for its internal operations and mobile workforce, but also managing the availability, security and performance of its organization’s actual products and services.

Cloud-Based IT Analytics: Good News, Bad News

The good news is that there is a new generation of Cloud-based IT analytics platforms and tools that promise to make it easier to deploy and utilize user-friendly analytics software without requiring sophisticated data scientists.

The bad news is that the widening array of these new IT analytics platforms and tools are being offered by an equally diverse set of established and emerging players promising more than they can deliver in many cases.

Therefore, IT must carefully evaluate the various analytics solutions at their disposal. IT must also expect that these solutions will need to be customized and specially integrated into their operations to make them effective.

Continuity Software’s benchmark survey indicates that using the right analytical tools to measure IT performance can help organizations attain measurable operational improvements. Sixty-nine percent of the survey respondents were able to convert the data they collected from their analytics tools into tangible operational improvements.

Your task will be to transform the technical capabilities of today’s analytic solutions into meaningful and actionable tools in your environment.

Jeff Kaplan is Managing Director of THINKstrategies, an independent consulting firm focused on the business implications of the on-demand services movement. He is also the founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace, and the host of the Connected Cloud Summit focused on the unprecedented opportunities and challenges created by the Internet of Things. He can be reached at jkaplan@thinkstrategies.com.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.




Tags: cloud computing, big data, big data analytics


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