After the ball has dropped and the confetti has cleared it's time to get back to work, but you have to ask yourself what kind of year will 2017 be? I'm not talking about the typical New Year's resolutions such as going to the gym or eating healthier. No, I'm talking about improving your IT Operations and being more efficient in your role.
Where to Start. "Out with the old, in with the new" isn't just an empty saying. There's a lot of real value to be had from eliminating the wasteful things in your life before you move forward and innovate in new spaces.
Let's start with your processes. Think about what you spending most of your time doing. Are there ways to be more efficient? Do you act before having a clear picture of the problem? Do you require many folks with disparate skillsets (and big salaries) to get in a room and sort through an outage for hours? Are you using manual or time intensive methods to analyze problems and gain insights?
If so, it's time to ditch those cumbersome processes in favor of a data-driven approach where you can put comprehensive insights in front of all IT Operations, Networking, and Security roles. You should be able to follow a problem back to the source no matter which domain it technically falls in, and expose the right information to allow the experts to fix the issue. This is a similar concept to DevOps and the need to break down the barriers that have sprung up in our organizations.
Address the Tool Gap. How are you currently managing your complex environments today? Do you have gaps in visibility that often turn a triage & troubleshooting exercise into a wild goose chase? Are you stuck waiting for data to be aggregated and dumped into an analysis engine before you can even start? Or, probably the worst one we encounter, do you just have disparate data sets that promote intergroup conflicts instead of helping speed resolution?
There will always be drawbacks based on which data source you use. This is why a lot of customers we run into operate with an IT Operations Analytics practice that combines sources and correlates across them using technologies like our Open Data Stream. The unique properties of wire data make it a really smart place to start investigations no matter which role you operate in. Wire data is also able to supplant older technologies that cannot provide the depth and breadth of data, nor deliver it in real-time as it streams across the network.
Elevate your team. With disruptive technologies in cloud and SDN changing how we deliver IT, there's going to be a shift in your organization's functions. Those who are able to pivot their careers now to make themselves indispensable during the digital transition will find themselves accelerating out of it. The question is, what skills are your teams missing? Are they reliant on outdated methods of data collection and analysis? Are they prepared to maintain and support such dynamic environments?
In some ways, we are seeing the death of the specialist. Ok, that's a bit overdramatic, but no one can discount the need for a more generalist approach to IT Ops roles. Everything is so interconnected that it's no longer acceptable to stop an investigation because your dashboard is green. The blame deflection game simply won't cut it anymore. Users and Business Units don't care that it wasn't the network, they just want to see the service return to normal.
Make Those Resolutions Stick. Challenge the status quo. It really isn't so different from that commitment to being healthy you probably also made on New Year's Day. It might require some investment (kind of like that Fitbit you've been eyeing) but unless you hone in on what needs to change and commit to goals you can achieve, it'll be all too easy to overreach and fall into the same old rut. Then, come spring, you'll still feel buried beneath the same crushing workload you always have.
January is a great time to take stock of what's out there. You might be starting a new fiscal year, or be halfway through, which means you could have some flexibility. Vendors typically have more availability, allowing you to assess different products. Heck, you might even benefit from a New Year's bump as your colleagues and bosses reboot post-holiday.
Now, ask yourself: What can I be doing differently in the New Year? Out with the old and in with the new!
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.extrahop.com/company/blog/2016/new-year-new-way/