What are IT Operations (ITOps)?
IT operations, or ITOps, are the processes and services that an organization’s IT staff manage for internal or external customers. ITOps constitutes the ITO Operations Management framework in ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), which includes ITOps, application management, technical management, and service desk.
ITOps is a comprehensive technology team within most companies, typically made up of a dedicated group of qualified IT operators led by an operations manager. Its purpose is to ensure that all the technical equipment and infrastructure required to keep organizations connected run smoothly, critical to the success of day-to-day operations in any modern business environment.
ITOps plays a critical role in modern IT ecosystems, enabling businesses to maintain stability, reliability, and a well-defined IT architecture that empowers employees and management. In the cloud age, ITOps is being transformed through the emergence of approaches like DevOps, NoOps, and CloudOps. These IT operational approaches allow businesses to take advantage of the scalability, cost savings, and flexibility of the cloud by controlling IT resources from hundreds of miles away.
However, IT operations will be enhanced through the integration of AIOps that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). ITOps teams can then focus on creating better ways to use advanced IT operations capabilities, such as automation, predictive analytics, and event correlation, without relying heavily on manual intervention. ITOps can bring new benefits to cloud environments: improved uptime, reduced IT costs, and improved customer experiences.
What does IT operations include?
ITOps is a critical and global function within IT departments. IT operations managers strive to create and maintain an efficient IT environment where the entire IT infrastructure operates reliably and in line with business objectives.
ITOps can involve network hardware and software management, asset inventory, system security, cloud services, disaster recovery systems, and much more. IT operations teams also manage these roles while ensuring high levels of service availability and accuracy of IT data storage, as well as leading IT compliance efforts across the organization. IT Operations Managers must be seasoned professionals with strong technical skills and knowledge of current trends in modern IT systems.
Six basic classifications of ITOps
That being said, there are six common core functionalities that are often found in different industries. These six ITOps classifications include:
- Run Solutions: ITOps is tasked with ensuring optimal performance for system operations, through proactive measures such as data backup and resource allocation. Additionally, ITOps must be ready to respond quickly in the event of an outage or upgrade so that service delivery remains uninterrupted. By spending time configuring servers correctly and allocating resources effectively, ITOps can ensure reliable operation throughout your network environment.
- Manage infrastructure: IT operations are entrusted with the important responsibility of overseeing the IT infrastructure, both physical and cloud-based. This includes managing applications deployed in cloud environments, ensuring network security measures are up to date, handling facility management tasks for hybrid clouds, and controlling access to data across all available sources within a given environment, from programs from software to hardware tools and more.
- Manage settings: IT operations teams are tasked with optimizing IT services by identifying dependencies and configuring hardware accordingly. This requires a complex balance between documenting configurations, executing specifications, and creating up-to-date solutions based on the most up-to-date information available.
- Evolution: ITOps is on the front lines of digital transformation, guiding technological advances in ways that align with and support organizational objectives. They monitor an ever-changing landscape for opportunities to increase performance through predictive analytics, preventative measures, and software patching processes—all to ensure reliable operations today and tomorrow.
- Disaster Mitigation: ITOps is at the forefront of protecting businesses from disruptive downtime due to disasters through testing and recovery planning. Through comprehensive simulations that challenge random disaster scenarios, ITOps equips operations with a detailed plan and response strategy needed in an emergency.
- Governance: The ITOps team plays a critical role in keeping the infrastructure running smoothly and securely. They analyze data related to performance, security posture, important service and process metrics, software license management, and generate alerts when necessary.
What is the difference between ITOps and DevOps?
Terms like ITOps and DevOps can sometimes be confused, but they are different approaches to structuring a company’s IT teams. Each approach has its own responsibilities and goals.
ITOps is responsible for delivering and maintaining the fundamental technology that makes a business run, such as network management, data centers, and security. Adding to this list of core tasks are managing help desk, software licensing and maintenance, as well as ensuring regulatory compliance, all in the service of boosting staff productivity. It is important to note that ITOps does not include tasks related to programming or development.
On the other hand, DevOps is an innovative approach to IT delivery that unifies people, processes, and tools to make information flow more efficiently between development and operations teams. It also describes a specialized role within the industry: someone who develops custom applications for internal or external use while managing ongoing maintenance tasks.
By consolidating IT and development operations, DevOps enables organizations to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s digital economy. Adhering to DevOps practices accelerates the creation of applications and services and increases responsiveness in infrastructure management, enabling faster deployment and updates of technology products.
At ITOps, accuracy and risk minimization take center stage; the goal is to provide a secure infrastructure that adheres to standards. By contrast, in DevOps, innovation and application optimization are paramount: delivering software quickly while maintaining quality levels is key. Together they create an operating platform where reliability and agility are intertwined for optimal performance results.
ITOps Best Practices
When implementing ITOps in an organization, there are some key practices that should be kept in mind:
- Embrace new tools: ITOps teams should take advantage of the potential of new tools and technologies as they are incorporated into their infrastructure. By doing this, ITOps can stay ahead of emerging trends and position itself for success in an ever-evolving IT landscape. Having a deep understanding of the latest IT technologies and trends is critical to meeting the demands of a complex IT world, enabling ITOps to capitalize on advances in the cloud and data centers, SAAS platforms, security solutions , process automation tools and more.
- Quickly respond to business needs: ITOps professionals are critical for businesses to run smoothly and efficiently. ITOps must be able to efficiently respond to your business needs, which requires organizing teams and activities based on a product-centric approach and avoiding traditional silos. ITOps personnel must possess strong technical knowledge along with an understanding of your business objectives in order to effectively anticipate potential administrative issues, identify strategic solutions, and implement systems accurately and expediently.
- Integrate IT automation: ITOps automation offers many valuable benefits that organizations should not ignore. Data management is one of the key areas where ITOps automation can make a big impact. IT automation ensures that expanding real-time data can be read and processed quickly, eliminating the risk of human error in the process. Furthermore, automating ITOps also has great potential to increase visibility with automated monitoring, which then leads to faster resolution times as well as better IT performance. Organizations will greatly benefit from ITOps automation if they decide to invest in it.
- Indicators of performance: ITOps teams are increasingly relying on automated IT environments for a variety of IT tasks, so it is crucial to define key performance indicators to monitor and measure progress. This provides an accurate assessment of IT operations, ensuring they remain productive and efficient. To ensure their success, ITOps teams must develop a list of performance indicators tailored to the organization’s priorities; this way, they can track those metrics regularly and make any necessary adjustments to maintain peak performance.
ITOps is a critical function within IT departments. IT operations managers strive to create and maintain an efficient IT environment where the entire IT infrastructure operates reliably and in line with business objectives. With the right tools and processes, companies can empower their employees and management to make decisions that help the company succeed.
*When considering ITOps and AI for your business, be sure to check out our list of best AIOps platforms in the market.