Observability and Maturity Part 2 – The Six Assessment Areas & Stakeholders

Welcome to Part 2 of our series on Observability and Maturity. In Part 1 of this series, we introduced the Loop1 Monitoring Maturity Model (L1M3—pronounced ‘lime’) and presented the Five Phases of Maturity.

In this post, we will dive deeper into the ‘how’ of pursuing maturity in IT operations through improved monitoring and observability. Specifically, we will explore the concept of stakeholders and their alignment to the business services the organization depends on.

This portion of the L1M3 model provides the framework for the engagement, exploration, and understanding that is necessary to accurately quantify the current state of the environment and organization. Along with understanding the current state, we can begin to develop the roadmap for tools and processes that will raise operational maturity.

To achieve IT operations maturity, we seek to create a matrix of outcomes based on the combination of tools implemented for data collection and the corresponding business services or applications that the business depends on, from which we are collecting (or receiving) observability and performance data.

And while every organization is unique, we can expect to find they all have some form of shared IT infrastructure upon which their discrete business services or applications depend on for delivery to end-users.

So, against those targets of shared infrastructure and application-specific dedicated resources, we apply our six assessment areas, shaped and formed in relation to the specific infrastructure or business service in question.

The Six Assessment Areas are:

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For this post, we will focus on the first area and our Stakeholders.

Adoption and Enablement: To begin our assessment, we need to know who our stakeholders are. We need to consider how they will use the tools and/or the data generated by them. What do they need to know? How do they want to see the information? What do we need to collect so we can visualize and analyze effectively? How will we empower our stakeholders through intelligent dashboards? In our model, we seek stakeholders in four categories;

Executive: Often the CIO or CTO, but could also be a director or other leader within IT. The person accountable to other business leaders for technology-related business outcomes. Alignment with the CIO ensures strategic budgetary direction for the tools and teams that report to them. When deployed optimally, the CIO gains high-level, summarized information that demonstrates reduced costs, reduced risk, and improved business agility through technology solutions.

Service Owner: The person that is directly accountable for one or more business applications or business services. They are typically the liaison between other teams within the business, understanding the needs and managing the prioritization of work related to a given application or service. They may have Application Administrators who report to them and are tied closely to the IT operations for the environment where the application resides.

Service Administrators: The person or people who deliver the business service day-to-day. They are responsible for access and availability of the service or application either directly or in close collaboration with an IT organization.

Service Users:  The end users of the business service. People who depend on the service to do their jobs and are especially sensitive to poor service performance or whose work may stop if the service is unavailable for any reason.

Like so many things, the secret to success in observability and monitoring is to begin with the end in mind. The end, in this case, is the outcomes and objectives as determined by your key stakeholders across your business services. Of course, to best achieve those objectives, we must ensure that we partner with our stakeholders to understand what is possible. So many times when working with end-users, administrators, and executives, we hear them say, “I didn’t know we could do that.

So stay tuned for the next blog installment when we tackle that conversation head-on with the next of our six assessment areas—Feature Awareness.

Bill Fitzpatrick, Loop1 Chairman and CEO

Bill Fitzpatrick
Chairman and CEO | Loop1

AUTHOR

An accomplished engineer with a gift for translating technical concepts into plain English and a sharp business sense, Bill Fitzpatrick is building on the success of Loop1 Systems to execute an ambitious vision for the future. Bill co-founded Loop1 Systems, a SolarWinds Authorized Partner, in 2009. He played an integral role in building the nearly 10-year-old business into what is today, a bustling, Austin-based company counting more than 200 of the Fortune 500 as clients. In the summer of 2017, Bill assumed full ownership of Loop1 Systems and has since laser-focused on one simple goal: to bring the truth to light for each Loop1 client.

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