Top 4 Mistakes in IT Operations

Operational efficiency is undeniably the goal for all organizations. Mistakes in IT operations trickle down to all areas of operations and production. Though they may seem like small, inconsequential issues, they can quickly snowball into high-cost problems that impact company reputation as well as the bottom line. 

The top IT operational mistakes will have a significant impact on your business overall. Understanding these mistakes, how they can affect your operational performance, and how you can overcome them is key to your organization’s future success. 

1. Improper Resource Utilization

One of the more difficult tasks for any organization is their ability to match supply to demand. The inability to properly manage resources can directly affect your day-to-day operations and impact your performance and budget. Simply put, it is poor operations planning. 

Underprovisioning causes bottlenecks and other performance issues that lead to higher costs and less satisfied customers. Production can screech to a halt when the necessary resources are unavailable. You’ll deal with costly downtime, headaches for IT, and the potential loss of customers when you can’t produce. 

On the other hand, overprovisioning can lead to just as many issues. Too many resources results in capacity waste, which directly impacts your bottom line. 

No matter how you look at it, improper resource utilization lowers operational performance and costs you money. 

Solution: Capacity Management with Data Analytics

Efficient capacity management first needs proper capacity planning. The steps in capacity planning sound relatively simple: determine capacity requirements, analyze current capacity, and plan for the future. Without data analytics, each step is done manually with spreadsheets and other means. 

Manual capacity planning can be a time-intensive process and may still result in improper resource utilization. Thankfully, Industry 4.0 has developed a myriad of solutions available to assist with capacity management. 

Machine learning capacity planning streamlines the data collection process, keeping it in one central location and conducting analysis in real-time. Automating your capacity management can make your resource capacity planning more efficient. Sightline Systems’ software can help your facility establish a baseline for operations, plan and allocate resources, and accurately forecast your future needs. 

Capacity management with advanced analytics eliminates issues like under- and overprovisioning and lowers your overall operations costs. 

2. A Reactive Approach to Operational Issues

Reactive problem management is still a prevalent operations strategy. Organizations looking to lower costs will often take a reactive approach to operational issues since it decreases preparation time, lowers labor costs, and saves money. While it may seem like a sound strategy, in reality it is more of a gamble. 

Reactive problem management reacts to a problem once it has already occurred. You save money upfront with the hope that there won’t be any issues detrimental to your IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, that assumption is completely unrealistic. And when those problems inevitably arise, you are left to identify and resolve the issue blindly. 

A reactive approach to operational issues may save you labor and money upfront, but there’s more to the picture. The amount of time that goes into finding the problem and devising a solution coupled with the downtime this issue will likely cause, will cost you a significant amount in the long run. 

Operating under the safe assumption that problems will continue to arise, you end up costing the company an untold amount of money. It’s not a realistic operations strategy to maintain long term. The years of waiting for the systems to break down often leaves your IT infrastructure riddled with hacks and patches that won’t hold forever. It’s a ticking time bomb that could result in problems that significantly impact the organization. 

Solution: Predictive Analytics

A proactive approach is a much more effective and efficient problem management system. Similar to content planning, a manual proactive approach requires a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. It takes time, resources, significant commitment from your team members, and extensive knowledge of IT infrastructure and other systems. 

Baselines need to be established, data needs to be collected and maintained, alerts need to be put in place, and all incoming issues need to be analyzed and sorted. It isn’t difficult to understand why many organizations stick to a reactive approach. 

Luckily, AI and machine learning software make predictive analytics possible. These software solutions make proactive problem management simple and efficient. Real-time and historical data can predict and prevent problems that affect operational performance and analyze root cause in minutes. Downtime decreases, OEE increases, and costs are reduced as operational efficiency becomes the norm. 

3. Process Bottlenecks Going Unnoticed

Your organization will never reach optimum operational efficiency with bottlenecks gumming up the works. Bottlenecks slow down operations significantly wasting time and hurting the bottom line. Production slowdowns don’t just hurt operations, they hold your company back. Problems like these impact customer relationships, relationships with suppliers, and your own employees. 

If those bottlenecks aren’t getting reported quickly and continue causing problems, the financial impact could be unfathomable. 

Unfortunately, even with a proactive approach to problem management, bottlenecks can be difficult to track and manage. Some issues are impossible to detect with a human user alone. 

Solution: Real-Time Reporting & Anomaly Detection

Automated analytics tools can not only help you detect bottlenecks but prevent them. Sightline EDM® collects data in real-time across ecosystems, and compares it to the historical baseline, detecting anomalies in the data. IoT monitoring like this allows your teams to visualize operational data spikes, configure custom alerts,  and identify issues before they interrupt your business operations. 

Don’t just detect bottlenecks after they occur, stay ahead of them and other costly interruptions. 

4. Lack of Process Validation and Review

How capable is your organization of delivering quality products and services with consistency? You can’t accurately measure consistency and assure quality through in-process and finished-product inspecting and testing alone. Without process validation and proper review, quality assurance is impossible. Process validation means that the product is consistent unit-to-unit and batch-to-batch.

FDA guidance promotes modern manufacturing principles, process improvement, innovation, sound science, and risk assessment and mitigation. It is a 3-step process that involves product design, process qualification, and process monitoring. 

Though your products may appear consistent during in-process inspection or finished-product testing, there is no way to guarantee consistency across batches without following process validation and review procedures. 

Solution: Full-Team Visibility and Collaboration for Swift Validation with Data Analytics

Part of the difficulty with process validation is siloed information that prevents teams from easily sharing information and collaborating on solutions. You can get all of your data intelligence unified in one easy-to-use platform. Enterprise-grade systems like this allow for communication between departments and accurate record keeping. 

Sightline EDM® even allows for role-based access controls so you can ensure the people who need the information have access to it. 

The streamlined collection of data in analytics tools built for OT and IT, especially those designed for use with IoT devices, can simplify and speed up processes like validation. Ensure product quality and consistency with data analytics. 

Data Analytics Improve Operational Efficiency Overall

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2022, up 5.1% from 2021. Ensure that your organization isn’t wasting that spend. The gap between internal resources and capabilities and business initiatives is growing wider. Gartner predicts that organizations will increase their reliance on external IT consultants through 2025. 

Outsourcing IT can be an effective way to save money for many, but employing the right people and the right data analytics solutions can save even more money in the long term. Enterprise-grade data analytics and management systems improve the overall operational efficiency and produce ROI that can’t be ignored. 

Sightline EDM® provides advanced analytics and comprehensive monitoring that can address all of the top IT operational mistakes—with an ROI that encourages a 98% renewal rate. With a centralized data intelligence dashboard, real-time monitoring and alerts, predictive forecasting, and top-of-the-line data security, EDM® can predict the future and improve operational efficiency. 

You can see Sightline in motion or book a conversation with an EDM® expert to see how advanced analytics can leverage your data and improve business outcomes. 

FAQs:

How do you match supply to demand and properly manage resources in your organization?

Capacity management with advanced analytics eliminates issues like under- and overprovisioning and lowers your overall operations costs. 

How do you detect bottlenecks and stay ahead of them and other costly interruptions?

Software solutions, like Sightline EDM®, collect data in real-time across ecosystems, and compare it to the historical baseline, to detect anomalies in the data.

How capable is your organization of delivering quality products and services with consistency?

Get all of your data intelligence unified in one easy-to-use platform. Enterprise-grade systems like this allow for communication between departments and accurate record keeping.