Over the years, I have heard many analogies used to explain how the typical IT department functions and how they would like to function in an ideal world. The analogy that resonates best for me is the comparison of practicing medicine to that of the IT discipline.

Practicing Medicine is Like Practicing IT

We all know that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare specialists rely on sophisticated monitoring and assessment capabilities to acquire the data and insight needed to effectively treat and ensure the health of their patients. These data-gathering activities must be more than one-dimensional to be effective. Medical practitioners must be able to simultaneously look at multiple aspects of their patient to understand the root cause of the patient’s symptoms.

They must also look at the larger population to spot trends or to identify population-affecting issues before they get out of control.  With proper information, they make informed decisions and can ultimately take the correct actions to heal or to prolong the life of the patient.

In much the same way, IT must implement processes and preventive maintenance practices to ensure the health of the endpoint devices. To do so, it’s imperative that IT keep pace with technology innovations that enable them to better monitor and take the pulse of their IT infrastructure, applications and services.

Unfortunately, many IT departments are stuck in a bygone era, similar to when doctors made house calls with nothing more than the contents of their physician’s bag to aid them. In many companies, “turn it off and reboot,” is the IT version of the old-fashioned “take two pills and call me in the morning” remedy.

Modern IT departments already have access to more than the IT equivalent of the physician’s bag. There are a multitude of monitoring tools for hardware, networks, applications and IT service management (ITSM) that provide knowledge management and problem management capabilities. However, these tools and capabilities typically focus on one thing at a time – they don’t look across the enterprise-wide spectrum of IT activities, through a single lens, to see how many “patients” have the same issue or to spot a potential outbreak if preventive measures aren’t quickly applied across the population.

Rising Above Collective Symptoms to Address Root Causes

Some would argue that this is classic ITSM problem management – you spot a trend, you investigate, you identify the root cause or causes, and you apply a fix (probably via change management). But this is commonly a one-dimensional approach, and relies on human intervention to address repetitive or multiple-impact issues and identify a problem to be rectified. There’s no way of knowing if there are connections between different issues that are missed through the one-dimensional approach.

Prescribing End-User Experience Management

Recent research from leading market research firm Gartner indicates that many enterprises are now implementing a new class of data gathering and analysis tools that will enable multi-dimensional analysis that will yield more informed IT decisions and outcomes for end-point devices. Designed as a method for consuming and distilling vast amounts of IT related activity data, ITOA, and more specifically, End-user Experience Management, aims to help IT professionals address the multitude of operational issues that “keep them awake at night.”

As many of you know, Nexthink is a leader in End-user Experience Management — by combining real-time endpoint analytics and end-user feedback Nexthink is helping IT improve business impact by providing a multi-dimensional approach to delivering IT services. Our unique analytics and visualizations provide new insight and enable IT to adopt proactive operations, reduce costs and ultimately enhance end-user business productivity.