This means that in our millennium, winning companies are the ones who adopt technology in the most efficient and effective way. Think about Amazon: It has been extremely fast to adopt emerging technologies. And it was able to create a vastly profitable business in Amazon Web Services (being effective).
Unfortunately, the average company’s technology uptake is not great. Companies often struggle to achieve their business cases, especially for IT technology adoption. Just during 2022, companies around the world spent about $1.8 trillion on digital transformation, according to IDC Research. Yet most of that vast sum might as well go unspent. Up to 70 percent of complex, large-scale IT change programs don’t reach their stated goals, says McKinsey.
My experience suggests that there is a common denominator of these incomplete efforts: Readiness of IT operations for new technology adoption is seldom considered a necessary investment. Normally this would be a huge contradiction; before adopting anything new, the adoptee should be ready to embrace the change. Unfortunately, for IT operations (ITOps) this is not true.
ITOps: More than just a humble utility
Usually, ITOps are considered merely a necessary cost center like electricity. No company today could run without electricity, but unless you’re a utility, electricity is not considered strategic. Critical, yes, but not strategic. By the same token, CIOs rarely are considered strategic business advisors to the board. The core business is king in any company; if IT is not part of the core business, CIOs don’t become elevated as strategic business advisors. In fact, only rarely will a CIO become CEO in any non-technology company.
This means any project’s IT components will receive intense cost scrutiny from executives. CIOs will be pushed to the limit to reduce costs. Usually, they assume ITOps can absorb change with no investment in new solution adoption. These executives are aware of the risk they assume but they have no choice – they must succeed or be replaced. (In the USA, the average tenure of CIOs is just 3-5 years.)
Equipping better change management
Of course, Digitate can’t change the current workplace culture. But we can help CIOs radically change their IT operations, making them nimbler and more flexible. And in that process, Digitate can equip CIOs to better manage change and really drive technology adoptions effectively.
Since the 1970s, CIOs have been containing costs through outsourcing and offshoring. This approach, while effective at containing costs, doesn’t encourage innovation adoption, speed, and flexibility. That’s because in any outsourcing deal, beyond the potential for supply problems (i.e., logistical delays and differences in time zone, language, and culture) that the past few years have highlighted, deals are regulated by complicated contracts which have an average duration of 3-5 years.
To make things more complicated, usually there are multiple system integrators managing the outsourcing operations. This comes about because CIOs’ real focus is on IT cost containment (efficiency), not driving effective IT operations management. They often create competition among IT suppliers for leverage.
So, when CIOs need to drive a major transformation such as a digital transformation, they need to negotiate an IT transformational plan with the current system integrators. However, SIs’ multi-year contracts typically cover maintaining the status quo (i.e., just “keeping the lights on”), not managing change. And usually, the company has not set aside adequate funds to pay extra for guidance through the transformation. The typical outcome is that SIs deliver adoption on merely a best-effort basis.
Therefore, by design, the core organization that should facilitate the adoption of new technology does not have adequate adoption resources assigned.
Imagine IT autonomous operations
Now let’s use our imagination. What if a Machine Learning (ML)-driven solution could manage 80% of ITOps’ Standard Operating Procedures? It would autonomously manage:
- 50% of ITOps’ ticket-driven activities
- 95% of IT events/alerts/log entries
- 80% of IT operations that are non-ticket driven (for example, report generation or software patching).
There are also additional side benefits. Automating 80% of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), CIOs gain:
- Flexibility: Hyper-automation will create smaller teams, more nimble and agile. All additional staff and procedures established to manage large IT operations teams will no longer be needed. ITOps staff would be optimized to focus on critical operations (severity 1 and 2), new solutions adoption, and business value creation.
- Negotiation power over system integrators: CIOs are dependent on specific knowledge to run operations. Such knowledge (often tribal) is owned by system integrators. When 80% of SOPs are coded into an ML-driven solution, a great deal of this knowledge is controlled by CIOs, so now contractual power shifts back towards the company.
- Change management: IT operations change management is simplified. For 80% of Standard Operating Procedures, new use cases need to be implemented into the ML solution. These new use cases can be part of the warranty period for new solutions post go-live.
Achieving these goals and benefits is possible by leveraging ignio as your single IT autonomous operation solution. As I described in an earlier blog, carefully planned adoption of ignio will help to optimize IT operations.
For details of my recommended approach (which draws on Agile methodology using Sagas and Epics to create monthly goals), check out my recent post, “How to make an elephant fly.”
In conclusion, the best risk mitigation for any digital transformation is to deploy a solution such as ignio as a prerequisite for speeding up adoption of new digital solutions.
For more perspective, check out a new on-demand webinar from Digitate, “Building the business case for AIOps.” In this 45-minute presentation, Abhijit Deshpande, Global Head – Partners and Alliances Ecosystem, and VS Joshi, Global Head of Product & Solutions Marketing, discuss how IT leaders can build a business case for AIOps and prove to any disbelieving stakeholders that it is crucial to business continuity. How do they define the right set of expectations, identify quick wins, and overcome obstacles to success? Tune in to find out.