IT organizations continue to face pressure to contain costs, continuously improve end-user services, and support business generation and innovation. The impact of disruptive trends such as Consumerization/Mobility and exploding “Big Data” further stress the importance for IT to leverage technology and automation to address these significant challenges. As a result, IT organizations are looking at the use of Smart Computing (intelligent analytics) to deliver proactive end-user support services, improve end-user productivity, and help address the issue of “doing more with less”. Key opportunity areas for Smart Computing in this arena relate to improving Problem Management services to proactively avoid future incidents, and using End-User Experience Monitoring to reduce desktop and application performance issues.
Problem Management includes diagnosing the root cause of incidents and determining a resolution; however it is somewhat reactive since the incidents have already occurred. Taking a proactive approach to Problem Management by preventing incidents from occurring in the first place will help reduce overall incident levels and associated support efforts, as well as improve end-user satisfaction and increase productivity. Proactive Problem Management solutions apply intelligent analytics to data and content collected from multiple data sources (i.e. Configuration Management Database (CMDB), Asset Repositories, and Incident Histories) to identify potential service disruptions, which can then be resolved before they become incidents noticeable by the end-user.
End-User Experience Monitoring can help gain increased visibility into real-time application/device performance and end-user productivity metrics, which can be used to identify and resolve issues before they impact end-user operations. As stated by a recent InformationWeek article, many IT managers are now measuring the true quality of the end-user computing experience from the “outside in” (from the end-user’s perspective) and not only by how well data center applications are performing. End-User Experience Monitoring uses data aggregation, analytics, and correlation of end-user and device performance metrics that enable IT to quickly react to performance issues based on real-time business intelligence.
Effective use of Smart Computing to interpret data streams and make appropriate business decisions will improve operational efficiencies and free up end-user support resources to focus on higher value, and more strategic initiatives that support business expansion. I believe that the upfront investment for Smart Computing solutions in the end-user support area will often be justified by savings in future reduced incident levels and increased end-user productivity (improved application performance and increased uptime). As Consumerization of IT/Mobility and other disruptive trends evolve, organizations can expand their ability to leverage new technologies such as Smart Computing to sort, process, and exploit increasing volumes of data to gain a true competitive advantage. At Unisys, we’re incorporating some of these smart computing techniques within our End-User Outsourcing and Support solutions in order to help our customers achieve some of the benefits outlined here.
End-User support groups have an opportunity to use this rapid influx of data to their advantage by exploring Smart Computing benefits, prioritizing potential areas to apply the technology, and deploying solutions where it makes the most sense for their organization.