Reinforcing IT processes can have significant benefits for organisations of any size, and generate strategic value for their business. According to a recent report by Cisco, global companies are assigning about 28% of their IT budget to the transformation of IT operations, specifically to launch initiatives focused on IT optimization and issue remediation.

Two-thirds of them are likely to grow this figure over the next 12 months. Incremental spending will be aimed at gathering more IT operations data from current infrastructure, performing more analytics, and extending process and workflow automation.

CIOs are more and more relying on IT operations data to feed business decisions: this means that information from IT systems and processes is not only meant to keep the network running or avoid applications failure, but can be used to deliver key insights to the business, for instance, to better understand how customers are interacting with the company, or what their product experience looks like.

Cisco’s latest IT Operations Readiness Index, which surveyed more than 1,500 IT leaders around the world, discovered that about 26% of organisations have a ‘reactive’ attitude towards IT operations, as they normally react to IT events as they occur. About 38% can be labelled as ‘proactive’ and are able to improve their processes by leveraging past events, while 22% has already matured a ‘predictive’ approach. Only 14% are to be considered ‘preemptive’ since they use data to continuously optimise operations and their outcomes.

Powerful IT events tracking and correlation capabilities are nowadays fundamental to empower IT operations and evolve from a reactive towards a preemptive approach. In data-driven businesses, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to be highly disruptive for automated operations, as 42% of Cisco’s survey respondents believe. About 50% is currently using AI for automation to some degree, and another 38% is planning to do so in the near future.

AI fingerprinting could completely transform IT operations – and allow CIOs to release some of their budget for further innovation.