IT services consist of many components – some you own and others you obtain from 3rd parties. Like a chain that is only as strong as its weakest link, your services are only as strong as your weakest components. To provide service assurance to users and business stakeholders, your IT staff must understand not only how your services are constructed, but also their weaknesses. Here are some of the common weaknesses that IT organizations should identify:
Most components in your IT ecosystem aren’t designed to work continuously 24×7. They require backups, maintenance windows, periodic restarts and sometimes they fail to operate as intended or expected and must be fixed. The downtime of individual components reduces the availability of your service. Understanding what downtimes are needed for your service components and optimizing when they occur can improve your overall service availability.
IT services can be thought of as mini-manufacturing processes with inputs entering, processing occurring in workflow steps and outputs exiting. The throughput capacity of the service is only as big as the narrowest point in the workflow. If you try to push more volume through the service, then it won’t increase the output; your transactions will eventually slow, or even stop. This applies to both speed and capacity.
It is common for IT services to depend on components that different internal team and external suppliers support. For example, a Web development team may support software applications and user-interface components while another team provides hosting and network connectivity involves some external service providers. When the service breaks, SLAs drive the speed at which various support teams respond. It is important to know who is responsible for supporting each component, so you can call for help and ensure nothing is left uncovered.
Security & Patching
Companies’ IT environments are constantly under attack from people with malicious intent (hackers), users who don’t understand the design limitations of the systems they use and simple software bugs that haven’t been fixed yet. The key to ensuring security of your technology and business data is ensuring all components are current on the recommended patches and fixes. This won’t protect you from all the threats in your environment, but it can provide you some defense against those which are known.
Each of these represents an area of potential weakness in your IT environment. Unless you know the components of your IT services, you may be putting your organization at risk when the weakest link fails. Discovery provides the data about what you have, but it often misses much of the dependencies and connective tissue between service components that would enable you to see weaknesses that aren’t obvious.
Visualization makes it easier to identify your weaknesses
The infrastructure visualization capabilities of Virima will help by allowing you to see the different services in your environment, the components that support them and the supporting data for those components that could alert you to potential weaknesses. With these capabilities, you are able to see the services and dependencies in a visual form. Where discovery and other sources have provided data, you are able to connect the dots between components. Your data will likely have some gaps that require you to act. Virima’s autonomic social discovery capabilities will help you identify many missing pieces now, or you may need to enhance your discovery capabilities for items you don’t have a means of collecting today.
Supporting attributes make your visualizations more insightful
In addition to presenting the structure of your services in a visual form, Virima enables you to add supporting attributes about your components to the pictures to make them more meaningful. Some of the common attributes that are most helpful for assessing weakness and risks are:
- Supplier and support team info
- Availability data
- Security risks and threat alerts
- Patching status
You can’t address your areas of weakness unless you know them. Text-based reports just don’t give you the insights you need to understand the complex structure of your environment and highlight the areas of concern. With Virima, you will know the locations of the weak links, have the service performance you need and ensure the right support coverage when things break.
Request a demo today to see how Virima helps identify the weak links in your IT services, and then try it for yourself.