Virtual CISO

For years, companies have sought the holy grail of visibility and control over their critical services. That holy grail is a single pane of glass providing the ability to be alerted to, report on, and inspect performance health and status across all components in support of a business service.

This need is most urgent when one or multiple severe issues cause service degradation. It’s also brought to a head when IT leaders realise their teams don’t talk to each other and point fingers when something goes wrong, or when they look at their budget and see a long list of monitoring vendors with expensive renewal price tags. Sound familiar?

With solutions offering a single pane of glass approach, organisations can:

  • Simplify complex IT by providing cross-departmental visibility into the health and performance of each element of a service (eliminating finger-pointing with a single source of truth)
  • Demonstrate SLA improvements by reducing time to solve issues and revealing the interconnected workings of services to make improvements
  • Reduce software and labour costs associated with implementing, learning, and maintaining multiple monitoring applications

Implementing a monitoring platform can bring many of these benefits. A singular monitoring platform also helps siloed teams reduce finger-pointing because they work from a shared view of the problem. However, to achieve maximum benefit from a single pane of glass approach, you should also consider a change in organisational design to best support improving service performance and reliability.

Organisations doing this well typically have:

  • A centralised team with a singular focus of monitoring holistically
  • A team who views monitoring through the lens of the business service and can work with business owners to map out relationships, dependencies, and monitoring requirements
  • A focus on advising the rest of the organisation on how to improve their operations through automation

The benefits of a centralised team include:

  • Service level improvements – A centralised team can implement strategies for improving services at the business layer. They understand the big picture and how service elements communicate with one another, and who is responsible for responding to issues or making improvements to the overall service. The team can outline consistent policies to how elements are monitored with structured tagging, alerting, and reporting.
  • Accountability – When one team is responsible for monitoring, they have a view into what alerts are being responded to, and when something goes wrong, they’re focused on understanding what was missed, what needs to be tuned, and what process improvements need to be made to ensure all possible problems have an advanced warning system in place.
  • Focus – When a central team is responsible for monitoring the environment and for implementation and maintenance of monitoring tools, time and resources are freed up for infrastructure and application owners to troubleshoot problems and improve their domain. These teams are now focused on responding to alerts, providing feedback to the monitoring team to help fine-tune the system, and identify when new monitoring requirements are needed.

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