Achieving The Single View: Breaking Down IT Monitoring Silos

IT is increasingly underpinning the business-critical functions of most organisations. However, the larger organisations get, the more complex and fragmented the monitoring of their infrastructure becomes. This has been further heightened with the recent proliferation of cloud-based services across the enterprise and the move by many businesses towards a hybrid environment combining, on-premise, private, and public IT resources.

As a result, the IT department is often split up to look after specific parts of the IT environment. For instance, there will be different teams for server administration, networking and applications etc. But the fact is today’s IT services are increasingly interlinked, meaning that problems in one area can have a knock on effect elsewhere. Therefore, without obtaining a holistic view of IT performance, identifying and rectifying problems can be extremely difficult.

The explosion of data and devices has undoubtedly increased the need for effective monitoring 24/7 as organisations need to ensure service levels are maintained. IT departments should no longer be managing the different parts of their infrastructure in isolation. If they take this approach, they will be unable to provide an assessment on how performance is affecting business operations. Ultimately moving away from this siloed approach requires IT departments to become more service-orientated and to adopt a more unified and proactive approach towards IT monitoring.

Understanding the end user

In order to effectively monitor IT performance, organisations need to properly understand end user requirements and the service levels they need. So for example, if a particular application is taking too long to load or experiencing excessive downtime, it is clear that the infrastructure is not meeting the requirements of the end user, whether that is an internal employee, or worse still, a customer. By understanding the end-user requirements, IT staff can start to view problems as a business issue and look to address them accordingly.

This approach doesn’t require a complete overhaul of the IT department, it just needs system administrators to take a much more holistic view of the IT infrastructure. Making IT staff more responsible for the performance across the infrastructure, rather than just an individual silo, means that they are also more accountable. This in turn should encourage them to work as one team, rather than several, to tackle any problems that may arise.

Improved IT performance

To support these changes it is essential that organisations have the monitoring tools that can provide them with this consolidated and real-time view of IT performance. This can help them easily identify the problems that could impact on the performance and profitability of their business. Furthermore, such tools can help organisations take a much more proactive approach to monitoring and analysing their IT performance, meaning that they can better utilise their internal resources and potentially reduce the cost of future IT outages.

By having a ‘single pane of glass’ view of IT performance, IT managers/directors can really start to demonstrate the impact that IT has on the business. Through advanced reporting, they also have the detailed level of information they require in order to show the business where potential improvements can be made and where further technology investment is needed. IT today needs to be managed as a service. Those businesses that are able to break down the operational silos and have a truly joined up approach to IT monitoring will ultimately be the ones to prosper.

James Peel is product manager at Opsview. He has over 12 years' experience in IT services and infrastructure management, with a focus on building data centres and developing automated monitoring and management systems.