The Need of Unified Reporting through a Single Pane of Glass

Malcolm is a System Administrator and as part of his daily work routine, he is expected to monitor the health and performance of server, triage alerts, set up event notifications, debug and fix issues and finally report the overall status of the system regularly. Each problem is not very difficult to solve when seen separately. But what makes Malcolm’s job look complex is that each technology comes with its own tool and each tool comes with its own dashboard. The bottom line is that the more technologies/ resources we need to manage, the more dashboards get added.

Over the last two decades, businesses have become more and more reliant on information technology and managing IT has become extremely complex. It has become absolutely necessary to monitor the applications and infrastructure that support the business. With the ever-increasing portfolio of software tools, organizations today, find themselves invested in multiple monitoring tools: custom in-house tools, open source tools, packaged tools, and many more, that add up over time. A survey conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) in the year 2015, found that 65% of the enterprise organizations have 10+ monitoring tools. What is the potential consequence of this?

Indeed, data disparity and information silos begin to plague organizations. It is common for an administrator or a manager to hop from one tool to another, each with a separate login credential and different data source to get the complete story. The data is always there, but not in a consolidated manner/view, causing IT and business users/ executives to waste valuable time hunting for insights. In the enterprise world, siloed data has become a norm. This is a major enterprise level problem, and without a single source of truth that offers a holistic view of service performance, it is impossible to have visibility into what went wrong and where. This results in IT support teams scrambling to manually correlate events and solve problems, while the business and end users suffer leading to degraded end user experience and business productivity. For instance, if a business-critical application is down for even a few seconds, users may choose to click away, and this can directly impact the revenue of a company. For some of the leading companies such as Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, and others, their application presence and user experience are extremely vital, and any technical snag can jeopardize their positioning in the competitive market.

A proven solution for the aforementioned problem is the Single Pane of Glass – a unified dashboard or portal that provides one view of all the disparate sources of data to gain actionable insights. Organizations have begun to realize the cost and productivity implications of piling up tools meant for reporting and monitoring, they are now focusing on unified real time visibility. Every IT manager aspires to have a Single Pane of Glass reporting and governance layer across all IT systems – from laptops to servers, applications to infrastructure end points, virtualization to storage and network to cloud platforms, and even extending it to service performance measurement throughout the IT landscape.

When an end user raises an issue/ problem, instead of spending time in discussion/ war room, the IT manager should be able to:

  • Look at a unified and central dashboard which provides real time visibility of all IT infrastructure
  • Narrow down on the problematic area and isolate the root cause
  • Involve the right IT personnel for further deep dive analysis within their domain Typically, a Single Pane of Glass monitoring solution should be:
  • End-to-end – Provides centralized infrastructure wide visibility from a single console
  • Intelligent – Provides insights to spot the root cause of issue
  • Automated – Enable automation for discovery, monitoring and problem remediation
  • Proactive – Provides trustworthy alerts before the end user is affected
  • Simple to use – Allows IT support agent and helpdesk technician (non-experts) to use the tool for triaging

Characterized along these lines, single pane of glass is a reality today. Furthermore, it provides deep service level IT insights and performance diagnostics that ensures a great end user experience. Over a period of time, this translates into improved efficiency and business objectives.

Audience Role Envisaged benefits
C-Level Executive
  • To view high level IT Service Health
IT Operations Lead, IT Manager/ Director
  • Monitor overall IT infrastructure health
  • Track resource usage and perform capacity planning
Application Owner, IT Service Manager
  • View service levels
  • Understand user impact
IT Architects, IT Consultants
  • Conduct performance assessment
  • Get actionable insights for infra right sizing
Domain Specific IT Admin
  • Quick identification of problem
  • Obtain Single source of truth to avoid finger pointing
  • Get deep dive performance visibility
Helpdesk Technician, IT Support Staff
  • Real time validation of user experience
  • Identify source of the problem and deploy appropriate IT personnel

While consolidating multiple IT tools and platforms for reporting purpose may seem simple at first, it requires an organization wide commitment in terms of time and effort for unifying them. Beyond helping decommission redundant reporting tools and bringing down operational expenditure for an organization, Single Pane of Glass provides a unified, real-time and simplistic view of reports/ dashboards which empowers the IT support teams to be aware of the most critical metrics and statuses on a daily basis. This really puts monitoring and diagnostic power in the hands of the IT teams.

ITC Infotech’s Digital Workplace Solution is all about services revolving around the end-user, a framework that puts the users where they belong – right at the center. With this “user-first” approach, certain principles are framed that provide End-User Computing Services. The end-user outlook provides the ultimate vantage point for very high user experience and satisfaction. ITC Infotech understands what it takes for the IT teams to strategize end-user centric services and get the most out of them. This, despite modern-day service challenges, multi-vendor and multi-technology environment, complex infrastructure and applications. ITC Infotech monitors the entire user journey across interaction channels through the integrated platform ITSM on a single pane of glass. This offers user sentiment analysis and effective platform usage through interactive dashboards.

A structured governance mechanism helps to obtain insights for continuous improvement plans to enhance end user experience and increase self-service usage.

To learn more about the Digital Workplace solution, click here.


Reference Links:

https://kapost-files-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/published/5554fae276c31e448f00017b/ema-report-application-performance-monitoring-apm-2015-industry-challenges-stat-of-the-art-and-the-case-for-unified-monitoring.pdf

https://www.eginnovations.com/white-papers/Overcoming-IT-Monitoring-Tool-Sprawl-with-a-Single-Pane-of-Glass.pdf


Author:

Abhimanyu Pandey
Lead Consultant, INFRA, ITC Infotech


 

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