Data is the lifeblood of today\u2019s organizations, giving leaders insights that help them solve problems faster and make better decisions. But as information pours in from marketing, sales, contact centers, finance, and other business units, IT departments are becoming overwhelmed with the task of managing it.\n\u201cThe amount of data collected from infrastructure, apps, connecting APIs, mobile devices \u2013 and increasingly, IoT devices \u2013 is massive. In some cases, it\u2019s in the terabytes,\u201d says Biren Fondekar, Head of Customer Experience Office at NetApp. \u201cIt has become extremely difficult to sift through all this data to identify patterns and issues.\u201d\nThe growing tide of information is raising IT expenses and causing important systems to slow down. In a Statista survey, more than half of businesses said application performance and latency have become major challenges because of exponential data growth at their organizations. Forty-one percent are having trouble keeping up with data storage needs.\n\u201cAt NetApp, we receive 250 billion data points a day from our products around the globe,\u201d Fondekar says. \u201cThe IT environment has simply become too large and complex for humans to control.\u201d\nThis is happening at a time when digital-native workers and customers show little tolerance for broken or lagging systems, putting more pressure on IT. The pandemic has exacerbated the situation, rapidly expanding the use of digital technology for remote work while limiting the ability of IT experts to do troubleshooting at the data center.\nAn AI Solution\nOrganizations can conquer these problems by using AIOps \u2013 the implementation of machine learning and AI algorithms to streamline IT operations. By taking over mundane tasks, organizing the flood of incoming information into a manageable flow, expanding remote capabilities, and providing actionable insights from aggregated data, AIOps is poised to revolutionize the way IT functions.\nSixty-two percent of IT executives say that among all technologies, AI has the greatest potential to significantly alter the way their business is conducted, according to the IDG\/CIO Tech Priorities 2020 poll. Fifty-six percent of enterprises and nearly half of smaller businesses expect it to see AI have a sizeable impact in the next three to five years.\n\u201cWith AIOps, organizations can proactively look at the health of their entire technology environment and optimize operations,\u201d explains Sheila Rohra, NetApp Senior Vice President of Customer Success. \u201cIT administrators no longer have to worry about the underlying infrastructure and can focus on strategic outcomes.\u201d\nAIOps in Action\nAIOPs runs the gamut from eliminating time-consuming drudge work to performing predictive maintenance and serving as a pilot light for future planning decisions. As with all AI, the more data a system ingests, the more capable it becomes. Here are some of the key solutions today\u2019s IT teams are deploying:\n\nRobotic Process Automation\n\nMany organizations begin their AIOps journey with robotic process automation (RPA), or configuring software to automate routine IT processes. RPA eliminates the human errors inherent in manual data entry and accomplishes hundreds or thousands of tasks in a fraction of the time it would take humans to complete them. It can be used to manage data entry and data migration and to handle help desk tasks such as password resets.\nBy taking over drudgework, RPA lowers costs and frees staff to use their knowledge and experience for higher-level work.\n\u201cIn a study we did, 90% of our customers said they saved a couple of hours a week with our AIOps system, NetApp Active IQ. They can now spend that time on higher-level tasks,\u201d Fondekar says.\nA new update to the automation framework allows companies to deploy the solution in minutes.\n\nAnomaly Detection and Alerts\n\nAIOps cuts all the infrastructure data streaming into IT down to size with analytics that distinguish real threats from noise. Whether it\u2019s a configuration error causing an application to malfunction or a security gap, AI algorithms find it.\n\u201cIf a customer notices something is not running right and calls IT support, the support engineers have the telemetry data in front of them and can engage quickly to address the problem,\u201d Fondekar says.\nAccurate anomaly detection also prevents alert fatigue, which often obscures real problems until they are discovered by angry users demanding an immediate solution.\n\nDiagnostics, Predictive Maintenance, and Remediation\n\nBy combining and analyzing data from disparate IT systems, AIOps can discover dangerous trends, predict looming failures, and suggest or even implement remedies.\n\u201cWith NetApp Active IQ, we pride ourselves on identifying problems before they occur. For example, if a disk is going bad, it will send signals back to NetApp and a new disk will be shipped to the customer. The entire process is automated.\u201d\nNetApp also passes along valuable insights from anonymized, aggregated customer data, a process it calls \u201ccommunity wisdom.\u201d\n\u201cWe might tell a banking customer that others in this sector are getting better performance and lower latency with certain configuration tweaks \u2013 would you like to try them?\u2019\u201d Fondekar says.\nLong-term diagnostic analysis also reveals recurring problems, making IT aware of areas it needs to improve.\n\nRemote Capabilities\n\nCloud-based AIOps allows IT technicians to solve many problems remotely. \u201cThat became really important during pandemic lockdowns, when we couldn\u2019t send people to customer sites to analyze configurations and see their data,\u201d Rohra says.\nOne NetApp support engineer created an augmented and virtual reality solution that lets support engineers see machinery and connections as though they were sitting next to workers in the data center.\nAs remote work, including IT operations, becomes a standard practice post-pandemic, the ability to solve technology problems off-site will become increasingly valuable.\n\nCapacity Planning\n\nBy making sense of data for compute, storage, memory, bandwidth, and other infrastructure parameters, AIOps helps IT leaders create better plans.\n\u201cAIOps gives our customers a heads-up for capacity planning and guides them to decisions for improving performance before systems start to fail,\u201d Rohra says.\u00a0\nFor example, does the company really need to purchase more storage, or would better data management software do the trick? Should workloads that keep bursting to the cloud be moved there permanently? Would some cloud operations be more economical if they were shifted back to the data center?\nAIOps does the heavy lifting behind these calculations and presents leaders with a clear set of options for making informed, data-based decisions. Active IQ provides a comprehensive view of operational data on a single dashboard, with a graphical interface that leaders can customize to prioritize their needs and goals.\u00a0\u00a0\nA Digital Advisor\nIn an age when IT has become too overwhelmed with data to function under traditional management, AIOps opens the door to a brighter future. With swift cross-silo data gathering and analytics, it saves time, lowers costs, foresees problems, and solves many of them before you even know to ask.\n\u201cOne customer told us it\u2019s like having an additional engineer they don\u2019t have to pay for,\u201d Fondekar says.\nBy adding remote diagnostics and pay-as-you-go options to the mix, AIOps gives IT leaders all the flexibility they need to make sound decisions in a fast-changing world.