Request a Software Demo

See why EMA says "FixStream is a vendor to watch very closely."

Please share your email to download the report

Download Document

Download Document

Download Document

Monthly Archives : July 2018

Conquering the CIO Talent Challenge

Introduction

CIO’s face many challenges today – cybersecurity threats, limited budgets, and business transformation hassles, to name a few. But would you believe the biggest worry is headcount? Yes, according to a May 2018 Gartner survey, CEOs said a lack of talent and workforce capability is the biggest inhibitor of digital business progress. There just aren’t enough trained IT professionals to go around, and the competition for available tech talent is fierce.

Current reports show IT employees nearly at the top of the hiring list. According to Indeed’s Employer Outlook 2018 survey, 75 percent of those surveyed plan to hire more IT workers this year. With an estimated one million computer programming jobs in the US expected to go unfilled by 2020, CIO’s need to get creative with their hiring and retention strategies.

Recruiting Opportunity – Learn from the experts

Professional recruiters and consultants have valuable recommendations on how to win the talent war when vying for high-demand IT workers. They include:

  • Look for Characteristics – In lieu of specific domain experience, look for candidates that have these characteristics – mathematical aptitude, curiosity, creativity, perseverance, rapid learning, passion for problem solving, and interest in your specific business.
  • Think outside the box – According to Gartner, CIO’s who think beyond traditional recruitment processes will have more success tapping into IT talent pools. Relationships with universities, partners and crowdsourcing sites can uncover appropriate candidates. Also train non-IT professionals for IT roles. As IT and business priorities integrate, hiring people with business skills makes sense.
  • Match the job description to the actual requirements – It’s vital that the job description accurately defines what the position entails. Not only will this help speed up the hiring process by weeding out mismatched candidates, it will ensure that the new hire understands what is expected.
  • Recruit millennials where they congregate –  With millennials forecasted to be 35% of the global workforce by 2020, IT recruiters need to target them on sites that they visit, like Snapchat and Instagram.

Modernize Your Organization to Retain IT Talent

CIOs realize that they need to change their culture if they are to retain talented employees. Implementing work-saving automation tools and cutting-edge technology can boost IT professionals’ morale and job performance. Let’s take a close look on how automation like AI for IT Operations (AIOps) changes culture.

  • Enable Staff to be More Efficient – Many IT employees feel underutilized and bored with ongoing responsibilities like patch management and system maintenance, with no time to work on innovative projects that benefit the business. Eliminate waste by automating IT inventory discovery. In typical IT environments, staff wastes significant time and resources in performing manual service management tasks since their CMDB is inaccurate and they do not have visibility into the CI relationships. This is specifically challenging when the organization has deployed dynamic environments (virtualized, containers, cloud). To avoid repeated, wasted work, automate the discovery of IT assets.
  • Make Teamwork a Priority – Break down internal silos by mapping application to infrastructure. Traditional silos caused by IT monitoring tools force the IT team to manual correlation processes across multiple domains. This means long conference calls, manual collection of large amount of data, and finger pointing when performance issues arise. By mapping applications to infrastructure you break down these barriers and drive constructive teamwork.
  • Become Predictive – Increase productivity by automating root cause analysis. Instead of repeating the same manual, error-prone and wasteful troubleshooting process that can last 4 hours on average and consume 11 full time employees in 15% of the cases (Digital Enterprise Journal), why not predict when the next outage will occur?  This will not only increase the uptime and performance of the business application, but it will free up the IT staff to work on new projects.

Conclusions:

By modernizing recruitment/retention practices, and the IT operations process itself, CIO’s can succeed in hiring and keeping valuable IT personnel. Using AIOps is one way to enhance staff productivity and effectiveness so they become a source of innovation.

Succeeding at IT/LOB Collaboration

Succeeding at IT/LOB Collaboration

By Sameer Padhye

The digital transformation of core business processes is helping organizations of all sizes become more agile, customer-centric, and efficient. It also underpins the importance of IT’s investment in digital technologies, which is exploding. However, these investments must support the organization’s business strategy, emphasizing the need for IT and LOB managers to be on the same page when it comes to digital priorities.

These investments underscore the commitment IT leaders have made to designing innovative new business models and customer experiences. In the State of the CIO 2018 study conducted by IDG World1, 88% of IT leaders confirmed that their emphasis has become more digital and innovation-focused, and 37% said their IT departments can play a critical role in this area.

Unleash IT’s Potential Value to the Business

LOB managers may not know that their IT department is already moving past “business as usual”. The CIO study reveals that IT departments are investing in various technology areas, including enterprise applications (35%), data and business analytics (33%), cloud computing (28%), and security/risk management (28%).

Given the impact of digital business processes on corporate success, it’s vitally important for IT and LOB managers to collaborate on IT project planning and budgets. This collaboration is easier to facilitate in areas where IT and business priorities align, and where there is shared oversight. In the CIO survey, most respondents already recognize this and reported on specific business initiatives driving IT investments at their firms. These initiatives include increasing operational efficiencies; improving customer experiences; increasing cybersecurity protection; and transforming existing business processes.

Start with the Foundation – Collaboration

LOB can help set IT priorities and get budget dollars to fund specific technologies. In turn, IT can help LOB managers by spearheading prioritized projects, recommending appropriate technology solutions, and adopting agile development/delivery practices. Of course, these priorities must be backed up by adequate resources, including budgets and the latest tools to improve IT productivity and accuracy. IT managers can also help their LOB peers build a business case for investing in new technology initiatives.

A recent survey conducted by McKinsey and Company2 shows many executives expect IT to become a more valuable contributor to business results. And 80% of those surveyed backed up the findings in the CIO study, reiterating the need for business and technology leaders to actively collaborate on digital strategy. Yet just over half of them are doing so now. What’s the hold up? In some cases, there’s a disconnect between IT and LOB leaders. Better communication and joint ownership can help them resolve differences on what and where IT should focus to meet ongoing business needs.

The Importance of Partnering with IT

LOB managers should actively partner with IT so that business priorities are met with appropriate IT budgets and resources. Recommendations include:

  • Giving CIO’s a “seat at the C-level table” to better understand the needs of their organization, such as revenue growth, risk reduction and improved agility.
  • Agreeing on business priorities and hiring enough talent, which will help IT improve their effectiveness within the organization.
  • Empowering IT leaders to shift their time and resources to areas the business values most, such as e-commerce, analytics and cybersecurity.

Improve IT Effectiveness, Increase Its Value to the Business

A frequent criticism of IT Departments is their inability to meet business demands and resolve technical issues, but it’s understandable why. The scale at which IT needs to monitor data and identify problems cannot be effectively managed by humans. With today’s complex, dynamic and distributed technology stack, diagnosing and resolving system and performance issues can become a sinkhole, draining manpower away from more productive and impactful initiatives.

The answer is Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps), a one-stop solution which can streamline a variety of IT operations processes and tasks. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, AIOps can help businesses with proactive system planning and identify business-impacting issues before they occur. By helping them better manage the “nuts and bolts” of IT operations, and avoid system outages, AIOps can dramatically free up IT departments to work on more high-value digital transformation projects.

Ready to learn how AIOps solution can help modernize your IT department? Download the FixStream white paper here.

Sameer Padhye is founder and CEO of FixStream.


1CIO’s Shift Digital Transformation into High Gear, State of the CIO 2018, @IDGWORLD
2IT’s Future Value Proposition, McKinsey and Company, July 2017

Seeing the Unseen with AIOps

This article was originally published in Dataversity.

Today, businesses are implementing new applications and adopting new technologies to become more agile, efficient, and responsive. As part of those efforts, they are employing more cloud-based solutions, software-centric and microservices architectures, virtualization and containers.

In addition, hybrid IT is now table stakes in most enterprise organizations. The dynamic and increasingly complex nature of hybrid IT creates new challenges and makes it difficult to operate efficiently. For example, Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 50 percent of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from less than 20 percent today. The upside of containers is that they offer portability and greater scalability. However, containers move around a lot, they appear and disappear in the blink of any eye. That in itself multiplies the number of moving pieces exponentially.

IT currently has many disparate tools that collect data. Big data is no longer enough – IT operations needs to gain deep insights into their distributed multi-vendor, multi-domain and multi-technology IT infrastructure in order to meet their challenging business objectives and data correlation is critical.

We need new tools that collect and correlate information about the application itself and about the underlying infrastructure. That should include data about application server performance, events, logs, transactions, and more. The compute, network, and storage resources involved in application delivery also need to be figured into the equation. Only with this full complement – and correlation – of data can organizations understand what is happening with their applications. That is important to ensure applications perform as expected to yield the desired business results.

AIOps Sees Everything…and then some

Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) changes IT Operations by correlating, visualizing and predicting business affecting issues across hybrid IT stacks. It allows IT operations unprecedented visibility into the relationships between every entity in your IT ecosystem.

Let’s take a look at what machine learning for AIOps can do for you.

Application and Infrastructure Inventory – With the complexity of running multifaceted, multi-tier enterprise applications, do you really know what you have in terms of infrastructure and application assets? AIOps with machine learning technology map all the relationship between all of the entities in your IT ecosystem. Before you continue to invest in your stack, you have to know exactly what is in your stack and how it works together. You need to see an accurate and complete inventory of application dependencies so that you know the potential impact of changes and plan transitions and migrations that will not affect the application performance monitoring of business critical applications.

Optimum End User Performance – With AIOps, monitor performance from an end-user’s perspective from transaction through each aspect of the datacenter ensures high performing applications for each individual transaction—with no blind spots—including front end, application performance, infrastructure, containers, and cloud. High-performing customer-facing applications help increase revenues, customer satisfaction, and business agility.

Quickly Identify Root Cause – AIOps maps the flow from applications to infrastructure, including application flows, and virtual and physical compute, network, and storage locations. With these maps, you reduce the complexity and can rapidly drill down, see anomalies, and rectify the situation quickly.

Predict Problems Before they Happen – Increase uptime and performance with AIOps predictive analytics. AIOps correlate data and uncover patterns, which allow your organization to discern what problems are likely to appear downstream from trouble spots. Predictive analytics enable companies like yours to address potential problems before they impact applications and business operations.

Get More Out of Your Cloud Investment – AIOps provides intelligence on application performance so businesses can better allocate resources. The data correlation capabilities reveal what specific resources each application requires. This mitigates the risk of overinvesting and helps you purchase only those cloud resources your applications require.

Traditional, domain-centric monitoring and IT operations management tools are now inadequate because they can’t correlate the onslaught of data various IT domains create. What’s more, they’re unable to provide the insights IT operations teams need to proactively manage their environments – and that just doesn’t work.

IT organizations need a new class of technology to modernize the IT operations process. This technology needs to be able to correlate millions of data points across all IT domains. It should have the smarts to apply machine learning to detect patterns and it should present that information so organizations can easily see what’s happening and gain insights. This technology is AIOps.

About the Author

Enzo Signore, Chief Marketing Officer, Fixstream is passionate about building and growing businesses. He brings a wealth of industry and marketing experience, having led the go to market strategy of early stage companies and established leaders like Cisco and Avaya. Most recently Enzo was the CMO at 8×8, a public SaaS communications company and 5-times Gartner Magic Quadrant leader. Prior, Enzo was responsible for marketing at Avaya, a $4B communications company and for marketing and sales at JDS Uniphase, the leader in optical and test & measurement solutions. Earlier Enzo lead the DSL and Cable business at Cisco, and helped two early stage companies (Retix and ISOCOR) grown from Series A to successful IPO’s. Enzo loves to travel, play sports and is an avid Torino soccer fan.

Accelerate the Pace of Digital Transformation by Modernizing IT

Accelerate the Pace of Digital Transformation by Modernizing IT

By Enzo Signore

Digital transformation is at the top of every CIO’s agenda. It is no longer just an IT challenge; digital is changing economic fundamentals, industry dynamics, and competition on a global scale.

The scope and scale of digital-driven change has evolved in the past several years and organizations have invested substantial time and money to keep up. It continues to grow. IDC estimates spending on digital transformation will exceed $2 trillion in 2019 and 40 percent of all technology spending will be for digital transformation technologies. Sixty-four percent of IT executives expect to deliver significant value from digital technologies in the next two years.

Despite this rapid growth, IDC also predicts that 75% of CIOs and their enterprises will fail to meet all of their digital objectives in 2018. IT is struggling to keep up with the fast evolution of digital technology as well as the emergence of newer technologies and how they will affect the current strategy. The pace of change has accelerated and it is overwhelming IT organizations.

There are many reasons why digital initiatives fail but the one reason we are addressing in this post is that digital has created a completely new set of issues for IT.  Digital has created a new level of complexity never seen before that continually drains resources and budget.

IT is Drowning in Complexity

It is easy to see why digital transformation is falling short. IT is coping with; soaring consumer expectations, the steep learning curve of new technology, supporting legacy systems, lack of skilled talent, the lightning fast evolution of new technology, a variety of disparate tool sets, and the inability to see all physical and virtual entities in the infrastructure limiting the ability to optimize performance. The complexity is multidimensional.

A recent survey of 1200 global IT and business professionals found that IT complexity causes revenue impacting performance problems once every 5 days. Forty-eight percent of millennials would abandon a site or app if it fails to load in 3 seconds while the typical IT organization monitors less than 5% of their apps for performance and availability. Senior managers in marketing, e-commerce, IT, customer service and software development are wasting approximately 10 hours per week trying to find and fix unexpected digital performance issues.

We at FixStream have seen this challenge repeatedly at our prospective customers. Recently, we visited a company that used 17 different tools to monitor infrastructure, applications and services. Each tool has its own portal, its own alert system, and is owned by a different department. There is way to correlate the data generated from each of these disparate tools. When there is a critical alert, support staff emails back and forth between departments to gather information needed to identify root cause – MTTR can take hours while the business is at a standstill.

The survey mentioned above also found that on average, a single transaction uses 82 different types of technology, and containers can live in a microservices environment for as little as 10 seconds. It is no wonder why IT struggles to keep up.

In addition, as cloud computing evolves, it is becoming more complex, and more challenging, even for those who do it very well. Most enterprises now manage a multicloud infrastructure. A recent VMware survey found that the average IT team works on eight clouds, each having its own native management and monitoring tools. Multiple clouds bring more choices to the enterprise however there is a tradeoff; with more choices, there is more complexity.

Organizations continue to invest in network, computing, storage and application resources; however, despite continued investments IT cannot holistically see what is in their infrastructure and they have difficulty pinpointing root cause of performance issues. They do not have the ability to correlate millions of data points generated from all of the tools used across the physical and virtual infrastructure.

To mitigate the complexity for digital success, organizations need to be able to visualize the relationships between infrastructure elements (such as the physical and virtual connections at the networking layer), between an application and its infrastructure (for instance, by application mapping to the supporting infrastructure), and between the business transactions and the applications.

Modernizing IT

Traditional, domain-centric monitoring and IT operations management is no longer adequate in today’s dynamic virtualized environment. These older systems cannot correlate the onslaught of data various IT domains create and they’re unable to provide the insights IT operations teams need to proactively manage their environments. CIO’s will not be viewed by the organization as strategic partners until they can get current situation under control and mitigate the risk of lackluster performance or all out failure.

The answer is AIOps – Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations. AIOps are software systems that combine big data and AI or machine learning technology to enhance and partially replace a broad range of IT operations processes and tasks, including availability and performance monitoring, event correlation and analysis, IT service management, and automation. (Source)

AIOps is dramatically simplifying IT operations by automating IT ops processes and tasks. The business benefits are many.

  • AIOps provides unprecedented visibility into IT operations. It can automatically correlate millions of data points across the entire stack; apply machine learning so that IT can increase end-to-end business application assurance and uptime.
  • AIOps optimizes IT and 
reduce costs by automating 
root cause analysis 
and accelerating technology 
migration. It frees up an amazing amount of resources, reduces waste thus making the corporation so much more efficient, which in turn can focus on innovation and can accelerate its business transformation to drive higher financial results.
  • AIOps also has the power to do this across IT, aligning IT with LOB. For example, between infrastructure and application/business operations, and between IT and the LOB creating a more efficient organization.

AIOps in Action

Does AIOps sound too good to be true? Take a closer look at what it has done for these organizations. Click to download each case study to learn more.

  • Reduced MTTR Nearly 4x – Rapid Root Cause Analysis reduced MTTR from hours to minutes and delivered significant ROI to a global digital services company in just two months.
  • Provided End-to-End Converged Data Center Visibility supporting 12 million subscribers.
  • Auto-discovered over 2000 Configuration Items and relationships in 30 mins correlating applications services with infrastructure across worldwide data centers.
  • Reduced MMTR for Oracle ERP user and performance metrics KPI from hours to minutes.

Enzo Signore is Chief Marketing Officer at FixStream.

FixStream AIOPs Platform Now Available In The Oracle Cloud Marketplace

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For Media Inquiries:
Dana Harris
978.440.8392
[email protected]

FIXSTREAM AIOPS PLATFORM NOW AVAILABLE IN THE ORACLE CLOUD MARKETPLACE

Oracle Cloud Customers Can Use FixStream AIOps Platform to Predict Business Application Issues Across Hybrid IT

SAN JOSE, CA —July 9, 2018FixStream, a leading provider of solutions for Artificial Intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) and Gold level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), today announced that its AIOps platform is now available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace offering added value to Oracle Cloud application customers.  The FixStream AIOps Platform offers one of the industry’s first visual Artificial Intelligence platform to predict business issues across hybrid IT by providing correlation, machine learning and visualization for an Oracle environment deployed in a hybrid cloud to quickly and visually detect issues in real-time, reducing MTTR from days and weeks to minutes.

The Oracle Cloud Marketplace is a one-stop shop for Oracle customers seeking trusted business applications and service providers offering unique business solutions, including ones that extend Oracle Cloud Applications. Oracle Cloud is the industry’s broadest and most complete public cloud, delivering enterprise-grade services at every level of the cloud technology stack including software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and data as a service (DaaS).

“With the integration with many Oracle products, such as Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle JD Edwards, Oracle Real Applications Clusters (RAC) and Oracle Fusion Middleware, FixStream provides IT Operations with one of the industry first multi layer correlation and predictive analytics across business KPI’s, application and infrastructure entities, automating the discovery and mapping of critical business processes to application process flows, hosts, backend databases and infrastructure entities such as switches, routers and storage arrays,” said Sameer Padhye, Founder and CEO of FixStream. “FixStream’s participation in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace further extends our commitment to the Oracle community and enables customers to easily reap the benefits of our AIOps solution. We look forward to leveraging the power of the Oracle Cloud to help us achieve our business goals.”

The Oracle Cloud Marketplace offers an intuitive user interface to browse and search for available applications and services, as well as user ratings and reviews to help customers determine the best business solutions for their organization. With its new automated application installation features, customers can easily deploy provider business applications from a centralized cloud interface.

About FixStream
FixStream is the Artificial Intelligence company for IT Operations. With FixStream, IT operations can now get real-time insights and powerful analytics across business, operations, applications and infrastructure to prevent outages and increase revenues. Its out-of-the-box Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) platform offers industry-first end-to-end visibility to quickly correlate, visualize and predict business application issues across an enterprise’s entire hybrid IT stack. For additional information, visit http://www.fixstream.com, or connect with FixStream on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Oracle PartnerNetwork

Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle’s partner program that provides partners with a differentiated advantage to develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle’s products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle’s growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to be recognized and rewarded for their investment in Oracle Cloud. Partners engaging with Oracle will be able to differentiate their Oracle Cloud expertise and success with customers through the OPN Cloud program – an innovative program that complements existing OPN program levels with tiers of recognition and progressive benefits for partners working with Oracle Cloud. To find out more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners.

Trademarks
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

Uncovering and Improving Control of IT Assets

Uncovering and Improving Control of IT Assets

By Sameer Padhye

The demise of the CIO has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, at one point, CIO stood for Career Is Over. Most people in the job can tell you that their focus and responsibilities has significantly evolved in the past several years in response to new business challenges and disruptive technologies. As technology has become embedded in most parts of the business, the position of the CIO has expanded. In fact, a 2018 Forbes Insight paper (The Challenges for Tomorrow’s CIO) reveals that…

“over four out of five CIOs believe their role has increased in importance over the last five years”.

CIO’s are more essential than ever.

While they are driving IT strategy across the enterprise, CIO’s are still responsible for day-to-day operations and budgets of the IT department. Maintaining a balance between these competing priorities can be a challenge.

Keeping a Lid on IT Assets and Investments

In response to the digitization of business processes, organizations are investing millions of dollars in IT infrastructure and tools, often without a clear view what they already own. This lack of visibility increases system vulnerabilities and security risks, as well as squander IT budgets and personnel.

Keeping tight controls on IT assets and infrastructure is one way that innovative CIO’s can safeguard and manage their complex disparate system environment.  To start, they need full disclosure and listing of their IT assets, including hardware, network, software, and IoT devices. But today’s distributed and hybrid IT infrastructure has become too complex and opaque to manage manually.

Auto discovery of data from all the disparate sources and devices across the IT environment helps IT leaders build and maintain a reliable, up-to-date inventory of resources. This knowledge will enable better budgeting, troubleshooting, capacity planning, maintenance and effective management of all system assets.

Detecting and Taming Technology Sprawl

When IT does not have full visibility into their environment, it exposes the business to risks and additional expenses. The problem is made worse by:

  • LOB Funding IT Purchase Decisions– In many businesses, funding for technology solutions has spread throughout the business. In the Forbes Insights survey mentioned above, 54% of CIOs noted that their company’s business units are more involved in selecting their own technology, and 74 percent say it’s more important to align with business stakeholders on IT acquisitions.
  • Shadow IT acquisitions– If IT isn’t providing a solution that employees want, chances are they will go off and obtain it anyway, without IT being involved in the decision. These “shadow IT” tools can create ongoing security, compliance and workflow vulnerabilities, along with driving up IT costs and workloads. Once those solutions become outdated or unsupported, they require expensive maintenance and don’t adapt to new business needs. And, while IT may not own all the IT purchase decisions, they are still responsible for making sure nothing goes wrong.
  • Redundant Solutions Drive Up Expenses– Point and/or redundant solutions are not just expensive to purchase, but to maintain and support. This diverts IT staff from value-creating activity; redundant technology can also waste money on software licenses that don’t deliver the right functionality to the business.
  • Overly complex IT environments are messy and vulnerable to problems– When business acquire new divisions, set up transactions with partners/vendors, or bring in new enterprise applications, some legacy solutions may be duplicated and no longer needed. They also drive the need for system interfaces and the number of platforms that must be supported. The more interfaces you have, the more fragile your system, and the harder that system is to maintain.

Key to Success: Gaining Insight into the full IT system architecture

The proliferation of IT systems and tools across the enterprise has created a more complex integration environment. But there are new tools available to help uncover system assets and simplify IT management. Auto discovery solutions can identify all the physical and virtual infrastructure components in a hybrid IT environment by automatically collecting data across the IT domain.

With auto discovery, you can develop a complete picture of the network, the IP devices on the network, the applications and services, along with their relationships and interdependencies. The result is an application map that illustrates the relationships among all IT entities, which will help with system diagnostics, migration planning, and root cause analysis down the line.

Updated insight into your organization’s application and IT infrastructure resources can lead to a better understanding of the interdependencies between system components. This Use Case illustrates how FixStream’s Auto Discovery solution helped a global semiconductor company increase visibility and develop dynamic topology maps of all their datacenters worldwide.

Sameer Padhye is founder and CEO of FixStream.

Submit to Download

>