Friday 4 August 2017

Using Busines Data for Better IT Outcomes

SAP IT Operations Analytics (SAP ITOA) brings a lot of value to IT organizations:
  • Embedded Predictive Analytics makes it easy to anticipate and respond to issues before they happen
  • Realtime monitoring and alerting lets IT respond immediately when issues do occur
  • A holistic view helps simplify root-cause analysis and reduce meantime to resolution
But while the stats associated with these benefits are impressive, the customer use-cases I find most compelling are bringing business context to IT data.

SAP ITOA is a native HANA application—which means anything that can be written to HANA can be analyzed in SAP ITOA. This helps IT understand the impact of issues or outages. Here are some interesting use-cases for this…

Topology Information

Knowing what went down is good, but knowing what it impacts is better. If five servers fail at the same time, understanding what servers are running which applications can help IT prioritize a fix that will have the biggest impact to the business. For example, getting the Order Management System up would take priority over say Vacation Bookings.

SAP HANA Tutorials and Materials, SAP HANA Certifications

Prioritizing Productive Customers

SAP’s IT is responsible for the datacenters that host out SaaS applications. We marry customer contract data with IT events as they stream in. So if there is an issue or an outage, our IT sees which customers are impacted and what their SLAs are. Of course fixing issues that impact productive customers would take priority over SAP employees, or customers with dev licensing.

SAP HANA Tutorials and Materials, SAP HANA Certifications

Understanding Physical Location

We spoke with one educational institution who has different physical access depending on the building. Some buildings were locked from 10pm-6am. They were exploring implementing rules to suppress alerts between those hours if the known fix required manual intervention. No point waking someone up at 3am if they can’t access the building anyways.

Another example of this is distribution centers…if you have issues impacting product shipment at two distribution centers you may prioritize the one that is closer to the end of business day (for example fix East Coast Issues before West Coast) since the West closes after the East.

HR Data

We’ve also seen customers bring in HR data, so they can understand impacted groups. Revenue-generating departments like sales may take priority over operational areas of the business.

These are just a few examples of how enriching IT events with business data transforms SAP ITOA from a monitoring tool to a true analytics solution for IT. We also have a quick video on understanding the business impact of IT issues.

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