Few ITOps specialists wake up at night thinking of the up to 301 different IT monitoring tools, proprietary or open source, that are part of the average IT estate. But what if they did? Cleaning the IT monitoring tool cupboard is highly rewarding: improved IT performance, cost and resource optimization, and bolstered team collaboration.
Should you be cleaning your IT monitoring cupboard today? If you recognize one of the 7 signs listed in this blog post, it’s probably time to get the duster. In this post, we also provide 7 ways to prepare the cleaning operation, plus we list the 7 benefits of having it all done.
7 SIGNS YOU HAVE TOO MUCH IT MONITORING TOOLS
- IT monitoring costs are spinning out of control.
- There are almost as many tools as there are IT domains.
- Monitoring data is duplicated.
- Root cause analysis is fragmented across various tools.
- Correlation or contextualization of data is a complex exercise.
- Tools are provisioned and deployed for individual technological acquisitions or operational needs.
- There’s no direct line of sight into managed cloud services.
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By 2023, most infrastructure and operations organizations deploying cloud provider and open source software monitoring technologies will experience at least a 35% reduction in IT monitoring costs.
7 WAYS TO TACKLE IT MONITORING RIGHT-SIZING
OK, you know you need to cut back on IT monitoring tools, but where do you start? Your IT system is highly organic, it can be difficult to distinguish the necessary from the superfluous … plus some of your I&O colleagues are attached to their old solutions. Here are 7 different approaches to tackle the big clean-up.
1. Determine what actual data you need
When’s the last time your team reviewed what data was actually needed for a modern IT monitoring strategy? Remember that IT monitoring is no longer just about knowing if a given device works. It’s about collecting essential data to monitor performance. One potential starting point is knowing what data is needed and researching the best approaches to collect them.
2. Compare costs
IT monitoring has evolved and your legacy proprietary IT monitoring tools may have become an unnecessary expense. There may be open source solutions that are scalable to exactly the IT domains you need that will do the job for a fraction of the cost or even at no cost at all, if you monitor fewer than 100 devices.
3. Shake up the status quo
Look at the tools you use to monitor older assets first. This is a foolproof way to spot the IT monitoring solutions that are no longer growing corn for the modern digital business. Even if you’re attached to them, it’s time to let go. Take the time to look at what some happy IT monitoring users say.
4. Follow the innovation trail
Most organizations make IT monitoring decisions at each operational or technological change. Best monitoring practices recommend to start monitoring right at the development phase. What’s the next big technological investment? The timing is ideal to adopt the IT monitoring solution that will be able to bridge the latest tech with the older IT domains, for single-glass-pane monitoring that will enhance collaboration between DevOps and ITOps, and even with line of business teams.
5. Refocus your IT monitoring on workflows
You don’t like tidying? Try mapping instead! A more fun and creative way to look at your IT monitoring needs is to follow the business-critical workflows, considering that IT monitoring is your direct lever on the quality of user digital experiences. The 3 steps method works great if you’d rather start with the big picture and then work your way down to the details.
6. Look at all pricing options
Why pay for capabilities or IT domains you do not need this minute? One surefire way to spot the money wasters are the small prints on the signup page. In the era of always perfectly sized IT networks, the best option is a flexible, modular pricing scheme. Monolithic pricing schemes are a clear sign of obsolescence.
7. Combine open source with outsourced
As key IT assets are being dematerialized, you need better conversations with cloud or other providers. This conversation needs to be based on a shared, but single source of truth. OK, your provider may be the one collecting the data, but you should be able to use that data too. How else are you going to map key workflows, track KPIs, and work with these providers to constantly optimize IT performance? That’s the business case for a catch-all, open source third-party monitoring solution that will integrate the data from multiple sources so you get the full picture, not just a fragment of it.
In How to Optimize Your Investments in IT Monitoring Tools2, Gartner makes three key recommendations to increase business value:
- Reduce overspend by rightsizing your IT monitoring tools to your needs, based on the different pricing models in the market.
- Instrument modern environments by deploying native cloud provider and open-source technologies based on subscription models with significantly lower costs.
- Consolidate tooling by replacing legacy point solutions with modular components that are best of breed and can integrate across suites.
7 BENEFITS OF A CLEAN IT MONITORING HOUSE
OK, so now you know the symptoms of IT monitoring messiness. Is it really a problem? Actually, it is. The devil is in the details, and that applies to IT monitoring as well. When all is considered, from unnecessary expenses to inefficiencies, even the tiniest, carefully reviewing IT monitoring the tools portfolio and strategy adds up to significant benefits.
- Lower costs: you pay only for what you need – and use.
- Efficiency: you eliminate noise by getting rid of useless or duplicated data.
- More awareness: you monitor entire workflows rather than individual devices.
- More flexibility: you decide what and when you monitor, and how much you pay for monitoring.
- Future readiness: you’re not limited by your monitoring tools at the start of new innovation projects.
- Simplicity: you manage only one solution and build on it as you go.
- Increased collaboration: you build a platform to engage teams and interact with providers.
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Who can afford to waste time or resources these days? See how easy it is to optimize IT monitoring in your organization.
1 Gartner, How to optimize your investments in IT monitoring tools, October 2019, ID G00397280.
2 Published 31 October 2019 – ID G00397280, By Analysts Federico De Silva, Charley Rich, Josh Chessman © 2019, Gartner, All rights reserved.