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All businesses today are digital. Applications, websites and digital services were always important, but today they have emerged as the primary moneymakers and critical internal services for organizations. But when everything — from meetings to grocery deliveries — relies on digital, then the need to handle critical work in real time has never been more important.
In a world where digital is the norm, all work — especially critical, time-sensitive and unpredictable tasks — needs to be managed effectively. This requires a new approach that will see organizations turn to a modern cloud platform to identify and automate digital, technical and physical operations processes, streamline workflows and discover areas to optimize the business.
Digital-Native Era Becomes too Hot to Handle
The move to digital has created huge benefits for businesses, helping them to scale services and innovate at pace. But it has also introduced considerable complexity in modern enterprise environments and tech stacks. Modern customer expectations for digital, hybrid and omnichannel experiences are higher than ever: Everything must be seamless and available 24/7, 365 days a year.
But the volume of data and digital signals generated today has become overwhelming, to the point that humans can no longer manage it themselves. When a critical moment strikes, humans and technology need to know it is happening and be ready to instantly respond. In the best-case scenario, a platform is needed to arm teams with AIOps and machine learning that helps sift through all those complex signals, execute automation to attempt to take action, if possible, and then mobilize the teams and people should they be needed.
In a worst-case scenario, mission-critical work could wind up landing in sequential, ticket-based systems that aren’t designed for addressing urgent, time-sensitive work. By the time someone has got the ticket and sifted through all the information, the critical incident could have already had a negative impact on revenue, reputation, employees — or worse, customers. When you have an emergency, you don’t send an email or register a ticket. You pull the alarm, grab the tools and mobilize to solve it.
The end result of the ticket-based approach? Critical lost minutes and hours (sometimes days) to these inefficient and under-capable queued systems. Too many interruptions for skilled people. Too much time wasted on manual processes trying to identify the root cause and organize a response. An abundance of firefighting as technical teams scramble for a fix. All of this means that teams are at greater risk of burnout and that innovation takes a back seat.
A new approach is needed. Organizations need to be able to proactively monitor business behavior and ingest data in digital-native environments, identify the most urgent tasks while orchestrating tasks across teams and organizations, and inject automation to avoid interruption altogether. Enter the operations cloud.
What Is an Operations Cloud?
As all business functions have increasingly become digitized, digital operations must now be connected to everything and everyone in real-time across the organization. This is what an operations cloud delivers: providing all aspects of mission- and time-critical work and the management of it for the modern, digital business.
It needs to be a scalable, available, managed and hybrid cloud platform. It can integrate into and across enterprises, people and technology. This allows it to identify, escalate, automate and resolve urgent and time-sensitive work before customers, employees or the business are affected. It’s extensible, and accessible from anywhere. It’s built for the future of work and allows teams to address critical work from wherever, whenever and however.
Addressing Critical Work
But what does this mean in practice? These new cloud platforms ensure that all tasks — in particular critical, time-sensitive and unpredictable work — are identified, processed, monitored and managed. It aims to remove the workload for humans where possible, automating human processes, digital services and machines, freeing teams up and making it easier for them to make decisions.
There are four key areas that define what a modern operations platform must deliver. The first is identifying and reducing work, and the length of time work takes. This means enabling people from across the business to automate processes and streamline their workflows in seconds. This automation involves both “human in the loop” upstream work such as signal capture and aggregation, and downstream work such as diagnosis, resolution and remediation.
Second, it automatically monitors the world’s digital ecosystems and collects signals to identify urgent work via integrations and application monitoring. From here, it will proactively route time-sensitive work and attempt to resolve it. If it can’t, it will send information to the right people at the right time, finding the experts needed to ensure issues are resolved rapidly.
The third is optimization. Scalable ingestion of data and powerful machine learning listens, learns and predicts issues and opportunities, orchestrating action to improve outcomes. This could be providing teams and leaders with insights to improve team efficiency, the customer experience and margins. Alternatively, it could be identifying areas to consider automating to extend the offload for resource-strapped teams.
Finally, it has the ability to integrate with other application cloud platforms, monitoring solutions, developer tools, customer support systems and collaboration tools. This allows technical teams to collect digital signals from any system or platform in their environment, and without the effects of context switching. A modern operations cloud allows teams to take action wherever they work.
Uptime Is Money
This platform is the foundation modern enterprises use today to keep their business and services always on. Uptime is critical. But more crucially, now that applications, websites and services are an organization’s main source of revenue and efficiency, “uptime is money.”
The PagerDuty Operations Cloud was born for digital businesses. It allows employees of all types to manage critical and urgent work.
Photo by Philipp Birmes from Pexels.