AIOps is a category of cloud-based software systems that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to automate and transform IT operations. In my first post in this series on AIOps, I discussed the specific benefits of integrating this technology into your SAP operations and BASIS administration processes to shrink the time and effort required to detect, understand, and resolve incidents. I suggested that with AIOps, you will not only crush your incident mean time to resolution (MTTR) metrics, but eliminate frustrating routine and mundane manual processes. Removing those will allow IT teams to refocus their energy and talent on higher value-add functions like planning and innovation.

But what are the primary business drivers used to justify investments in AIOps? To make the business case for AIOps, we need to align the benefits described above to executive-level priorities. Here are four AIOps initiative themes that will resonate with your executive stakeholders and that can help you find a business sponsor to serve as a champion for your AIOps initiative.

Enterprises are using AIOps to:

Modernize Their IT operations. No matter what you call it (IT ops modernization, IT process improvement, IT productivity improvement, or IT ops automation), your business is under pressure to use resources more efficiently and create a learning enterprise. AIOps accomplishes both by transforming IT operations to reduce major incidents, dramatically shrink resolution time, and free up resources to focus on planning and innovation. Specifically, AIOps eliminates alert fatigue through dynamic behavior profiling and intelligent anomaly detection; makes sense of the volume, variety, and velocity of data through AI-powered incident contextualization and root cause analysis; and minimizes trial and error remediation by proactively identifying recommended fixes and automating workflows. In sum, AIOps automates system performance and behavior learning. It provides a growth path for SAP professionals while increasing their job satisfaction.

Regain Control and IT Oversight over Outsourcers. Many organizations outsource SAP operations, which means ceding control and the ability to oversee them effectively. Even if your outsourcing partner meets the terms of your service level agreements (SLAs), outsourcing arrangements introduce many risks, unintended consequences, and hidden costs for IT and business stakeholders. If you grade service providers purely on contracted service-level attainment, your outsourcing partner has no incentive to innovate and raise the bar. You end up defaulting to that oft-used proxy for control and oversight—the RFP during contract renewal negotiations.

The good news is that a relatively small investment in AIOps allows you to take back control and mitigate these risks without losing the economic benefits of outsourcing. AIOps provides a window into IT operations performance that IT leaders can use to empower themselves with the insights to keep their service partners honest. Visibility and insight into IT operations processes and their underlying performance data and metrics give you the basis to negotiate for continuous improvement in your SLAs and year-over-year cost reductions. Or, for example, they can help you push back on demands to add server capacity if you can show that existing resources are not being used efficiently.

Drive Digital Transformation. By reducing the need for bandwidth to deal with SAP incident resolution, AIOps supports digital transformation by allowing teams to focus on these new initiatives. By providing a baseline of SAP performance (the “before picture”) that can help you set goals and expectations for digitally transformed processes (the “after picture”), AIOps can de-risk your transformation program. After the transformation, AIOps embeds modernized operations into your newly digitalized processes to make sure you are always operating in a Known Good State, which FogLogic defines as an environment in which you operate with meaningful KPIs that your organization understands well and that can be measured on demand.

With AIOps, you will not only meet the business’s need for always-on applications, you will lead by example as you champion digitalization and free your limited IT resources to deliver on additional digital transformation projects.

De-Risk Cloud and SAP HANA Migrations. As in digital transformation scenarios, system migrations to cloud environments or SAP HANA pose several obvious risks that you can mitigate through AIOps. In this case, AIOps can empower your resources to focus on the migration without getting distracted by firefighting. You can also use AIOps to establish baselines for Known Good States before and after these migrations to achieve continuity in service levels.

AIOps at the Center of Strategic Business Priorities

Your business cares about using modern technologies to improve operational efficiency, maintain IT control, achieve digital transformation, and deliver on strategic projects like cloud and SAP HANA migrations. AIOps is an essential technology to support all these executive priorities. Take the next step and learn about various AIOps tools and how they fit into your SAP landscape. For tips on how to navigate that process, look for an upcoming post in this AIOps series: Understanding the AIOps Tool Landscape. For next post, I'll discuss concerns over "Is AIOps Going to Take Over My Job?"  

If you’re attending SAP TechEd, register for ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar, “Hands-on with SAP Solution Manager: Adopting the Best End-to-End Strategy to Transition to SAP S/4HANA,” Sept. 23 in Las Vegas. Additionally, we welcome all ASUG members to submit their ideas for blog posts they want to write.