By Ian Quine, Head of Sales, Alpha Insight
Operational intelligence is rightly a major trend now, which no IT head in the financial sector can possibly ignore.
And its relevance to the financial world was very evident at SplunkLive! London, held at the Park Plaza at Westminster Bridge this month (May).
The venue was brimming with experts exploring where this exciting technology is going. Splunk, of course, is a leading platform, with Splunk IT Service Intelligence already deployed by many financial institutions where it delivers real-time actionable intelligence.
It achieves this by integrating data from right across an organisation, visually mapping services and providing KPIs. It is already transforming the way banks and businesses can garner key insights that boost the overall efficiency of their operations.
At SplunkLive! the debate was pitched at various levels of familiarity with operational intelligence and its applications.
Expert speakers, with hands-on experience at senior level, described how the technology has delivered real, tangible benefits in major organisations as diverse and highly-respected as John Lewis, BBC Worldwide and Shazam.
Very significantly, the role of operational intelligence in IT troubleshooting, monitoring and service-level visibility was a strong theme, much discussed in the later sessions. The debate covered the recommended approaches for end-to-end troubleshooting and monitoring across applications, infrastructure and devices in order to resolve problems faster, slash downtime and improve user-satisfaction and customer retention.
The area covered in these discussions concerned the monitoring of critical services, using commonly deployed apps and technology add-ons to gather data for IT infrastructure uses. It also involves full use of pre-made panels enabling rapid assembly of sensitive dashboards to open a crystal-clear window on the IT environment.
It is here that the combination of an established monitoring platform such as Splunk, with operational intelligence expertise and methodologies can deliver a highly-refined data analytics solution to the financial sector, where the need for consistent context, data-sharing, and accurate and effective visualisation is becoming paramount.
At SplunkLive! the message also came across loud and clear that service intelligence models are most effective when they are aligned with specific business objectives, strategies and key initiatives so that they continuously measure the achievement of business goals.
The acceleration of initiatives relying on service intelligence and the design of such models, must be founded on effective codifying of the domain knowledge and subject expertise of staff and crucially, on the capture of key value metrics. True operational intelligence requires the establishment of what is critical to the operation of the business from among these metrics and the ability to monitor them in real time.
One session covered this by reviewing key aspects of such modelling through the design of a sample that attained its business objectives by means of “service decomposition” and effective integration of the measurement of business value goals.
It was also fully apparent, that just as in other sectors, the right software can help organisations in the financial sector to improve application delivery velocity, quality and business impact using a platform as a continuous DevOps feedback loop.
Finally, the event turned to analytics, covering approaches to handling the ever-increasing volumes of information being generated by multiple data sources within large organisations, including banks.
Clearly, the ability to correlate and analyse this data is a now one of the great fountains of intelligence on business performance.
One session demonstrated how business analytics can be applied to deliver real-time insights, monitoring performance of all key processes.
With operational intelligence now high on the corporate agenda, SplunkLive! certainly covered important ground in the space of a single day.