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What’s at Stake With IT Failures?


What’s at Stake With IT Failures?


Recently Paul Czarnik, Chief Technology Officer at Compuware, wrote in his blog at Wired's Innovation Insights about 'What's at Stake With IT Failures? Business Operations, IT Reputations, and a Lot of Money.' He observes that as a CTO he understands "how failures, slowdowns and interruptions can hobble a business and hurt the bottom line." 

Czarnik shared how he realized "just how costly IT performance issues can be, and how deeply damaging they can be across an organization." 

So this made us think about the impact of downtime and outages even on the modern data center, despite advances in technology and processes, and how the business suffers the consequences of downtime. - See more at: 15 Years Of Chronic Change And Configuration Challenges outages 
Czarnik shared how technology is vital to all parts of the business, saying "The answers are a perfect example of how IT performance issues will impact a business across the board." 

With the pace of change growing, environments becoming more complex, and organization turning to silo-based environment management, this made us think about how something is broken and despite the introduction of change and configuration management tools over 15 years ago, we're still seeing some major performance and availability incidents with painful impact.

Living with chronic change and configuration management issues.

With data center complexity a main culprit for downtime, IT has come to live in dread of failures. Small events are bad enough, but big ones suck the life out of IT staff. One of the most immediate costs of system downtime is corporate image. While varying greatly by business, for some companies, the damage goes beyond monetary valuation.  15 Years of Chronic Change and Configuration Challenges 

IT complexity is only going to expand.

IT complexity is now doubling every two years. With multiple environments operating simultaneously, IT engineers must execute frequent updates and new deployments at an alarming pace. 

Getting Human Error out of IT 

How can you update ad hoc changes?

With the pace of change growing, and seeing the way it impacts IT operations, this made us think about how IT teams need new, smoother ways to reduce the fear of change and to painlessly support change for the business. 

How to not fear change 

Any minute mis-configuration of a single configuration parameter can push a stable system into an incident state.

It's events like this that highlight the pressure that IT operations faces in managing configurations. Minor IT changes can slip into complex systems anytime, both authorized and unauthorized. As shown, an infrastructure the size of Google can be undone by what seems a minor change. 

Misconfiguration Strikes Again Setting Off Google Apps Outage 

How do you handle constant change requests?

End users today expect nothing less than a system that is always available. This is put at risk when IT operations is under pressure to release changes, that need to be accepted and deployed, while frequently IT Operations is even unaware of the background, content and impact. Release, Deployment and IT Operations teams are faced with the added challenge of ensuring accurate error-free application deployments and software deployments and appropriate system configuration during promotion and deployment, taking into account system configurations that are inherently different between pre-prod and production. Introduction of changes into IT infrastructure is today considered to be one of the leading causes of system downtime, with as much as 10% of all changes having to be rolled back due to irreconcilable issues. 

Change Management Challenges In Today's Complex IT Landscape 

IT operations needs to re-examine the current management tools in place in.

The tools most organizations rely on are generally considered ineffective, and most of the processes used are labor-intensive. 

Chaos Characterizes IT Operations Management 

Analytics is the only solution for the prevailing IT Operations big data problem.

IT Operations professionals are now facing overwhelming amounts of change and configuration data in terms of volume, velocity and variety, and see that existing tools lack insight and actionable information, making change and configuration problems a chronic pain.

Your Turn
Are you ready to smoothly unleash change in your IT environments?

About the Author
Martin Perlin