To date, AIOps has been a solution first and foremost for IT operations teams. In other words, AIOps has been used primarily to help IT teams manage what happens in the post-deployment part of a CI/CD pipeline, when they need to detect and remediate issues in production environments.
That doesn’t mean, however, that AIOps leaves developers out of the picture. Although the conversation surrounding AIOps hasn’t paid a lot of heed to developers so far, it’s perhaps time to change that. AIOps has much to offer developers, too.
To prove the point, here are four ways in which AIOps can benefit developers in addition to IT operations teams.
Probably the most obvious way that developers can leverage AIOps is to help trace performance problems that arise in production to the specific code that causes them.
If you work as a developer, you’ve probably faced a scenario wherein the IT operations team tells you something is wrong with your application – it’s slow to handle certain types of requests, for instance, or it spits out error codes under certain conditions. But it’s your responsibility to figure out exactly where in the application code the problem lies. The IT operations team typically has no idea what the root cause of an application issue is, because they don’t deal with code.
In a situation like this, AIOps can play an invaluable role in helping developers to narrow down the list of potential root-cause issues. AIOps does this by identifying the specific conditions and correlations that trigger an application problem.
What that means for developers is that instead of having to generate reams of stack traces to try to catch the bug, they can focus on debugging the app under whichever specific conditions trigger the problem in order to pinpoint the buggy code. As DevOps.com puts it, AIOps gives teams “a more complete picture of what’s happening in their systems, where the bugs are and how to resolve issues quicker.”
AIOps can also help to streamline pre-deployment software testing, a task that sometimes falls to developers.
The main reason why is that AIOps helps developers identify the scenarios that are most important to test for, based on data collected from actual production environments. Instead of writing and running a bunch of tests that may or may not be very useful for testing an application under real-world conditions, developers can focus on executing the tests that yield the most valuable results.
The result is more efficient workflows for developers, combined with better application performance in production.
A core principle of DevOps is continuous feedback, which means using information from production environments to inform the next development cycle. In other words, developers are theoretically in continuous conversation with the IT operations team in order to determine which features to implement next or which bug fixes to prioritize.
Actually implementing continuous feedback loops can be challenging, however, not least because of all of the data and perspectives involved. How do you quantify which production issues are most important for developers to focus on, given that different IT operations engineers may have differing opinions about where the greatest problems lie? How do you translate feedback (such as “latency rates are high”) to the specific data that developers need (like “latency surpasses two seconds when the application receives X type of request”) in order to know exactly how to improve performance?
These are developer challenges that AIOps can help solve. By automatically collecting and interpreting complex data from production environments, AIOps gives all stakeholders – IT operations teams and development teams – the visibility they need to know exactly where the greatest opportunities lie for improving application performance in production. In turn, AIOps makes it possible to build efficient, data-driven feedback loops.
In a world where managers are focusing more and more on value stream management, developers face increasing pressure to ensure that what they do drives positive business outcomes.
AIOps can help developers achieve that alignment by providing systematic insight into the business impact of every application feature and release. How does user engagement or customer retention change after the addition of an application feature? Which application bugs correlate most closely with app abandonment or revenue drops? AIOps can answer questions like these by collecting and analyzing data from across an organization’s environment.
With AIOps, developers can stop shooting in the dark when it comes to guessing where to invest development resources in order to strengthen the business. They’ll know exactly which efforts yield the greatest gain. In turn, they can work more efficiently while also keeping management happy.
The term “AIOps,” which is short for “AI for IT operations,” kind of implies that AIOps is for IT operations teams alone. But it’s not. Although it may be too late to rechristen the term “AIDevOps,” the fact is that developers, too, stand to gain a variety of efficiency and productivity boosts by embracing AIOps.
Learn more about how AIOps from Broadcom connects data across development and operations, providing continuous feedback loops for continuous improvements.