IT is challenged and rapidly changing—consider the shift to Cloud, demand for Five 9s, ever more complex landscapes, increasingly strict SLA’s, and drive for digital transformation. Uber, one of the largest transportation companies, doesn’t own cars. Airbnb, one of the largest accommodations sites, doesn’t own properties. Cloud means data centers managed by IT, which is now more than ever, the mission-critical heart of a company.

IT must lead, be innovative, and find resources in the face of pressure to do more with less. To free the needed resources, you must be efficient, effective, and lean.

We always talk about analytics for the business. So what about Analytics for IT?

In this blog, I will give an overview of the value SAP IT Operations Analytics brings to IT, share case study results, explain why SAP created it, and offer resources for you to learn more. (Like this overview video.)

How Does SAP IT Operations Analytics Work?

SAP IT Operations Analytics (SAP ITOA) brings analytics and a predictive, holistic, single pane-of-glass view to IT, by correlating data from disparate sources across your IT landscape, including existing monitoring tools. Amazing work has been done with Lenovo to integrate Lenovo XClarity as a source providing data from Lenovo systems that can be combined with other data for necessary insights. (Read about this work.)

The capability to ingest ABAP and SAP HANA logs enables IT to understand the performance of SAP systems in context of its broader IT landscape. Importantly, SAP ITOA can combine a variety of master data with IT events, which brings business value and insights to IT and IT decision makers. It also brings predictive capabilities and insights in addition to providing an overview and orchestration.

With SAP ITOA, when an event occurs, you won’t have impacted teams working in parallel and finger pointing till the right owner is identified. Instead, you can identify the correct team to deal with the issue out of the gate, optimizing resource utilization and reducing wasted effort. And, with fewer tickets generated, you have faster post-event cleanup.

Insight to Business Impact—A Case Study

Insight to business impact helps with prioritization and planning. Built on SAP HANA, SAP ITOA lets you react immediately to issues as they occur. Refresh rates of 5 seconds are a far cry from lags of 15 to 30 minutes from when an event happens to when it is searchable and usable.

Read this case study to discover how one large organization used SAP IT Operations Analytics to:

  • Reduce the number of unique monitoring tools deployed, reducing complexity and saving licensing costs
  • Use analytics and a real-time single pane-of-glass view across tools and data center landscape, combined with customer and other master data. Benefits:
    • prioritize responses
    • Breakdown team and tool silos
    • Reduce duplicated effort
  • Achieve efficient orchestrated responses resulting in fewer wasted resources that were redeployed to achieve a multitude of things

You can learn more by watching these videos:

  • See how SAP IT Operations Analytics can help IT in your organization with Business Impact Analysis in this video.
  • See how it could specifically help an IT practitioner with their day-to-day responsibilities in this video.

How Predictive Forecasting Enables IT to Become Proactive

Most importantly, IT must become proactive and stop fighting reactive battles. You need to anticipate and predict incidents before they happen to increase uptime, customer satisfaction, and liberate even more resources. Out-of-the-box predictive forecasting can help move you toward proactive activities along with the ability to automatically run scripts to automate processes.

Utilizing SAP HANA’s Predictive Analysis Library (PAL), SAP ITOA provides predictive forecasting at the slide of a toggle. This helps capacity planning, optimizing resource allocation and utilization (under- and over-used assets), and justifying capital budget asks.

It can also be used to identify issues that are not of concern. For example, a CPU may be set to alert at 75% but if based on historic trends a peak of 85% is expected over a given period, it’s not a real issue. Trigger automated actions—for example adding and/or removing resources in a virtualized environment—can save time, and even avert and outage.

  • Watch as SAP ITOA automatically adds and removes storage in this video.

Augmenting SAP ITOA’s out-of-the-box predictive forecasting capabilities with SAP Predictive Analytics can take you to the next level. It will bring true predictive capabilities to IT and shift it to a strong proactive stance.

  • Combined corollated data will allow you to move toward preventive maintenance.
  • Models use the data to predict the failure or event with an associated confidence level.
  • These insights will let you operate more efficiently and to mitigate downtime.
  • You can be alerted to potential issues, or at a critical time (like quarter end), you can proactively examine key components to be forewarned of any potential concerns.
  • Companies that have implemented predictive maintenance have seen cost improvements of up to 40% over their preventive expenditures.

Using a combination of SAP ITOA and SAP Predictive Analytics can also provide causal analysis to help with root cause analysis. When an IT event occurs, it’s rarely isolated—a domino effect impacts other systems and components. An incident may see several things worked on, but if there is no clear path back to the origin, it may be traced to 2 or 3 with no indication of which is the cause.

Causal analysis can assist with this root cause effort and identify the origin—which means you have the knowledge to work to prevent the incident from reoccurring. You’re not just reacting and fixing things, you are gaining knowledge and insight to help you to become proactive.

Get Results You Need

With SAP IT Operations Analytics, you can become proactive, orchestrate responses, and optimize resource allocation by bringing analytics and a predictive holistic end-to- end view to your IT operations.

An Aberdeen study found organizations with an end-to-end view of IT operations visibility are:

  • 3 times more likely to reduce the time needed to fix issues,
  • 6 times more likely to have very low error rates for IT services,
  • 2 times more likely to have high availability for IT systems and services and
  • 40% more likely to detect problems before their services are deployed.
  • Get the Aberdeen knowledge brief here for more details.

Created to Solve SAP’s IT Problems

SAP created SAP IT Operations Analytics (SAP ITOA) to help solve our own IT challenges, and it can help you solve yours. The genesis of SAP IT Operations Analytics came from challenges faced by SAP’s own IT department. SAP IT has 42 datacenters in 12 countries, over 87,000 servers on over 20,000 physical hosts, and a virtualization rate of 70%. Supporting customers on SAP Ariba, SAP, SAP Hybris, Concur, and SAP SuccessFactors means SAP IT is also supporting Cloud business.

SAP IT needed analytics and a holistic real-time view across their global datacenter network and they needed to understand the business impact of issues. And they wanted to predict issues before they occurred. As Martin Heisig, Senior Vice President Infrastructure Services Cloud Delivery of SAP IT said, “I needed a better way to monitor and predict issues and outages.”

  • Hear Marin speak about the value SAP ITOA brings to SAP IT in this video.
  • Learn more about the solution’s benefits in this SAP ITOA, What and Why video.

Learn More