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Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference—Managed Disruption & the Central Role of AIOps

The Loom team just got back from Gartner's IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Management Summit in Vegas. We were hard to miss with our bright pink t-shirts (you can see co-founder, Dror Mann, classing up our booth by pairing his pink t-shirt with a stately gray sport coat in the image below).

While over 2500 IT execs attended the event, there are still plenty that didn't join us in Vegas. So here's a recap of the show, for those who didn't attend.   


Dror Mann at Gartner IOCS

Loom VP of Product and Co-founder, Dror Mann, talking about our platform with ITOps teams at Gartner's show.


Gartner hit on a key theme throughout the IOCS conference—disruption. The keynote touched on a recent Gartner survey revealing a full 67% of enterprise Boards of Directors placed digital and technology disruption as their key priority for 2020. As was pointed out, this places disruption above staff, regulatory control, or even growth. While 1% of workloads exist at the "edge" today, Gartner boldly stated that 30% will be on the edge in 2025. The future painted by the analysts throughout the conference was one of disruption and I&O leaders were called to prepare for, if not embrace, that disruption.


From Reactive and Proactive to Innovative

While disruption is uncomfortable, it is nothing new to those in IT. From physical to virtual to public cloud, we've weathered and benefitted from disruption before. This new disruption sees us moving from a "Reactive and Proactive" stance in 2019 to "Innovation" in 2025. It paints an evolution from IT Task Automation (Network Config, Patching, UEM, Server Live Cycle Management, etc.) and IT Service Automation (DevOps, ITPA, Container Mgmt, Cloud Mgmt, etc.) to what's termed Business Service Automation (IT Service Orchestration, Heuristic Automation, and AIOps).

Gartner analyst, Dennis Smith, pointed out that, "Automation is to the modern infrastructure what blood is to the body." He noted that the customers he speaks with who are the most successful at enabling digital strategies are those with a high-level of automation maturity. But he isn't simply talking about the runbook automation or ITPA, rather he is speaking of a holistic approach that tethers underlying infrastructure to key business services—something Gartner has coined Business Service Automation.

The stakes are high for those in I&O. Those teams that successfully adopt business service automation have tripled the customer satisfaction of those that do not. 


I&O teams that progress to business service automation have tripled the customer satisfaction of those that do not. 


The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

It seems almost cliché at this point to say, "IT needs to focus on delivering value to the business." I can hear readers' eyes rolling right now. But some things remain true regardless of the era of technology we find ourselves in. And, in today's context, delivering value to the business means delivering great customer experiences. Or, as Gartner stated, "Success will be directly correlated to high customer satisfaction scores." 


Success will be directly correlated to high customer satisfaction scores.


From Dennis's perspective, there are two focus areas in improving the customer experience: 1) enhance the quality of business services and 2) building customer intimacy. While not mentioned, it is interesting to note that you can't have #2 without #1. To make those two quests an even bigger challenge, I&O leaders were encouraged to prioritize innovation delivery over infrastructure management. In other words, be open and ready to support new technologies like edge computing and microservices, but be sure you set systems in place that will detect service issues well before customers are impacted.


The Central Role of AIOps

I admit that I don't come at this problem from an agnostic approach. That said, I feel confident in saying that Gartner does. They base their worth in the market on an unbiased and objective analysis of technology and vendors, so I couldn't help but notice the central role that AIOps plays in Business Service Automation. And frankly, it makes sense that AIOps is key as we progress into the next several years.

As I&O leaders embrace and support innovation over infrastructure management, ensuring services across new technologies and software will become the norm. They will need tools and capabilities in place that are designed for ambiguity, and able to adjust and adapt on their own. This is much of what AIOps intends to solve: applying artificial intelligence to massive amounts of data in the infrastructure to spot issues well before humans would.

Unsurprisingly, there were sessions specifically devoted to AIOps, including Charley Rich's Mythbusters: AIOps and what it Really Means for IT Operations. He made the point that while it has never been better for developers, it has never been more complex for I&O professionals. Combining the fact that infrastructure will have no boundaries with the volume, velocity and variety of data coming at I & O professionals, we approach a situation where human intelligence is not enough. Enter AIOps.

Charley sees AIOps playing a role in not just one, but three primary domains: observe (monitoring), engage (ITSM), and automation (act). We see this within our customer base as well, with them using Loom's AIOps engine to predict and prevent IT Issues before the business is impacted, then tying into their existing ITSM tool to log relevant incidents, while also automating actions with their existing automation solution. 


AIOps in the Real World

Yes, the market can get ahead of itself when it comes to the promise of technology. But IT organizations are the perfect barometer for what is real and what is hype. Thankfully, Gartner had leaders from ING, a large multi-national bank, talking about their transition from ITOps to AIOps. They spoke about their evaluation process and why they chose Loom Systems, but more importantly, they gave hope that the promise of AIOps was not hype. In fact, they mentioned how after just two days of installation Sophie (Loom's AIOps engine) was already identifying new incidents automatically, and that no tuning or configuration were required. They installed her, and she ran.

They discussed their future, focused on self-healing and tying Loom's insights into their automation toolkit. Much can be learned from ING's example, but more than anything, they are an example that AIOps is not hype and does in fact deliver real value.


AIOps Going into 2020

The switch to 2020 promises more than just a change in the decade, it promises a change in IT and our approach. Leaving the conference, I felt excited for what the future holds for I&O professions. Yes, disruption is hard and scary, but it is also rewarding.

If you are interested in learning more about where AIOps is today and where it will be in 2020, I encourage you to attend our State of AIOps: 2020 webinar, where we will unveil data gathered by an independent research firm from over 250 IT executives on the adoption and use of AIOps.

Here's to a fun ride in 2020! 



Loom Systems delivers an AIOps-powered log analytics solution, Sophie, to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom collects logs and metrics from the entire IT stack, continually monitors them, and gives a heads-up when something is likely to deviate from the norm. When it does, Loom sends out an alert and recommended resolution so DevOps and IT managers can proactively attend to the issue before anything goes down.
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