AI to Unravel ITOps Complexity

Photo credit: iStockphoto/gorodenkoff

Digital infrastructures can be messy, complex and obfuscate risks. Yet companies increasingly depend on them to drive their business.

While it is always nice to reboot the infrastructure to make it leaner and cloud-native, it is not an option for many enterprises. With the pandemic requiring companies to be more agile yet cost effective, they are desperate for answers.

IBM is the latest to join a new drive by vendors who believes the AI is key to those answers.

At its Think Digital conference, the company unveiled a broad range of new AI-powered capabilities and services for automating IT infrastructures. These help infrastructure heads to build more resilient operations as disruptions and cost efficiency become major issues post-pandemic.  

“The COVID-19 crisis and increased demand for remote work capabilities are driving the need for AI automation at an unprecedented rate and pace. With automation, we are empowering next generation CIOs and their teams to prioritize the crucial work of today’s digital enterprises — managing and mining data to apply predictive insights that help lead to more impactful business results and lower cost,” said Rob Thomas, senior vice president for cloud and data platform at IBM.

Research company IDC believes AI holds the key to making infrastructures more resilient. In its “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation 2020 Predictions” the company predicted that, by 2024, enterprises powered by AI will respond to customers, competitors, regulators, and partners 50% faster than those that are not using AI.

For enterprises like Lufthansa Group that is facing a massive business downturn and changing travel behaviors, infrastructure resilience will be crucial.

"Our industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Our work in AI over the past several years will help us to mitigate some of the future challenges," said Roland Schuetz, executive vice president and chief information officer of the Lufthansa Group.

"Working with IBM to apply its Watson AI technologies has helped us accelerate how we modernize our Data Science Tool Landscape. We use AI to automate processes that result in benefits such as highly responsive customer care and operational topics. In this way, we are making an important contribution to a solid start after the crisis," Schuetz added. 

The new IBM Watson AIOps uses AI to automate how enterprises self-detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in real time. Unforeseen IT incidents and outages already cost businesses USD 260,000 per hour says market research firm Aberdeen

IBM Watson AIOps on the latest release of Red Hat OpenShift. It runs across hybrid cloud environments and works “in concert” with technologies at the center of today’s distributed work environment, such as Slack and Box.

“By using Slack with Watson AIOps, IT operators can effectively collaborate on incident solutions, allowing them to spend critical time solving problems rather than identifying them,” said Stewart Butterfield, chief executive officer and co-founder at Slack.

It also works with providers of traditional IT monitoring solutions, such as Mattermost and ServiceNow, said the announcement.

IBM is also unveiling the Accelerator for Application Modernization with AI, within the IBM’s Cloud Modernization service. It says that this new capability can reduce the overall effort and costs associated with application modernization by optimizing the end to end modernization journey by accelerating the analysis and recommending for various architectural and microservices options.

The accelerator leverages continuous learning and interpretable AI models to adapt to the client’s preferred software engineering practices and stays up-to-date with evolving technology and platforms.

The AI-driven enhancement comes at a time where companies are trying to squeeze flexibility and cost efficiency from the infrastructures.

IBM Research developed ,any of the technologies underlying Watson AIOps and the Accelerator for Application Modernization. 

Additional announcements include new capabilities for IBM Cloud Pak for Data, IBM’s integrated data and AI platform, to help decision makers to “critical business-ready data”; a major new IBM Cloud Pak for Automation update to create AI “digital worker” automation solutions; a pre-built user interface and an upcoming autolearning feature for IBM Watson Assistant, IBM’s AI-based conversation platform. The latter will be due in summer will use prior customer behavior to provide relevant answers.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/gorodenkoff