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What is IT Operations (ITOps)?

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IT Operations, or ITOps, are the processes and services that an organization’s IT staff administers to internal or external clients. ITOps makes up the ITOperations Management framework in ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), which includes ITOps, applications management, technical management, and service desk.

ITOps is an integral tech team within most businesses, typically composed of a dedicated group of skilled IT operators led by an operations manager. Their purpose is to ensure all the technical equipment and infrastructure needed to keep organizations connected runs smoothly – critical for successful day-to-day operations in any modern enterprise environment.

ITOps plays a critical role in modern IT ecosystems, enabling businesses to maintain stability, reliability, and a well-defined IT architecture that empowers employees and management. In the cloud age, ITOps is transforming via the emergence of approaches like DevOps, NoOps, and CloudOps. These IT operational approaches allow businesses to take advantage of the cloud’s scalability, cost savings, and flexibility by controlling IT resources from hundreds of miles away.

However, IT operations will be supercharged through the integration of AIOps that leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). ITOps teams can then focus on putting together better ways to utilize advanced IT operations capabilities like automation, predictive analytics, and event correlation without relying too much on manual intervention. ITOps can bring new advantages to cloud environments: improved uptime, reduced IT costs and improved customer experiences.

What Do IT Operations Include?

ITOps is a critical and all-encompassing role within IT departments. IT operations managers strive to create and maintain an efficient IT environment where the entire IT infrastructure functions reliably and in line with business goals.

ITOps can involve the management of networking hardware and software, asset inventory, system security, cloud services, disaster recovery systems, and much more. IT operations teams also administer these roles while ensuring high levels of service availability and accuracy of IT data storage, as well as leading IT compliance efforts across the organization. IT operations managers must be seasoned professionals with strong technical skills and knowledge of current trends in modern IT systems.

Six Core Classifications of ITOps

With that said, there are six common core functionalities that are often found throughout different sectors. These six classifications of ITOps include:

  1. Run Solutions: ITOps is tasked with ensuring optimal performance for system operations, through proactive measures such as data backup and resource allocation. Additionally, ITOps must be ready to respond promptly in the event of an outage or update so that service delivery remains uninterrupted. By investing time into configuring servers correctly and allocating resources effectively, ITOps can ensure reliable operation throughout its entire network environment.
  2. Manage Infrastructure: IT operations are entrusted with the important responsibility of overseeing IT infrastructure, both physical and cloud-based. This includes managing applications deployed in the cloud environments, ensuring network security measures are up to date, handling facilities management tasks for hybrid clouds as well as controlling data access across all sources available within a given environment – from software programs to hardware tools and beyond.
  3. Manage Configurations: IT operations teams are tasked with optimizing IT services by identifying dependencies and configuring hardware accordingly. This requires an intricate balance of documenting configurations, executing specifications, as well as creating updated solutions based on the most current information available.
  4. Evolution: ITOps are on the frontline of digital transformation, guiding technological advances in ways that align with and support organizational objectives. They monitor an ever-shifting landscape for opportunities to boost performance through predictive analytics, preventative measures, and software patching processes – all towards ensuring reliable operations today as well as tomorrow.
  5. Disaster Mitigation: ITOps is at the forefront of protecting businesses from experiencing detrimental downtime due to disasters, by testing and planning for recovery. Through comprehensive simulations that challenge random disaster scenarios, ITOps equips operations with a detailed plan and response strategy needed in an emergency.
  6. Governance: The ITOps team plays a critical role in keeping the infrastructure running smoothly and securely. They analyze data related to performance, security posture, metrics of important services and processes, software license management, and raise alerts whenever needed.

What’s the Difference Between ITOps and DevOps?

Terms like ITOps and DevOps can sometimes be confused, but they are different approaches to structuring a company’s IT teams. Each approach has its own responsibilities and goals.

ITOps is responsible for delivering and maintaining the foundational technology that makes a business run, such as managing networks, data centers, and security. Further to this core task list are helpdesk management duties, licensing and software maintenance, plus ensuring regulatory compliances – all in service of empowering staff productivity. It's important to note – ITOps does not include programming or development-related tasks.

On the other hand, DevOps is an innovative approach to IT delivery that unifies people, processes, and tools to make information flow more efficiently between development and operations teams. It also describes a specialized role within the industry – someone who develops custom applications for internal or external use while managing ongoing maintenance tasks.

By consolidating development and IT operations, DevOps enables organizations to meet the rapidly changing demands of today's digital economy. Adhering to DevOps practices expedites application and service creation and boosts responsiveness in managing infrastructure, allowing for faster deployment and updates of technology products.

In ITOps, precision and risk minimization take center stage; the goal is to provide a secure infrastructure that adheres to standards. Conversely, in DevOps, innovation and app optimization are paramount – delivering software quickly while maintaining quality levels is key. Together they create an operational platform where both reliability and agility intertwine for optimal performance outcomes.

ITOps Best Practices

When implementing ITOps into an organization, there are a few key practices that should be considered:

  • Embrace New Tools: ITOps teams should be embracing the potential of new tools and technology as they are incorporated into their infrastructure. By doing this, ITOps can stay ahead of emerging trends and position themselves for success in an ever-evolving IT landscape. Having a deep understanding of the latest IT technologies and trends is paramount in meeting the demands of a complex IT world, allowing ITOps to capitalize on cloud and data center advancements, SAAS platforms, security solutions, process automation tools, and more.
  • Respond Quickly to Business Needs: ITOps professionals are critical for businesses to operate smoothly and efficiently. ITOps must be capable of efficiently responding to the needs of their business, which requires organizing teams and activities based on a product-centric approach while avoiding traditional silos. ITOps personnel must possess strong technical knowledge along with an understanding of their business objectives in order to effectively anticipate potential administrative issues, identify strategic solutions, and implement systems accurately and expediently.
  • Integrate IT Automation: ITOps automation offers many valuable benefits that organizations should not ignore. Data management is one of the key areas where ITOps automation can create a huge impact. IT automation ensures that expanding real-time data can be read and processed rapidly, eliminating the risk of human error in the process. Moreover, ITOps automation also has great potential in increasing visibility with automated monitoring, which then leads to faster resolution times as well as improved IT performance. Organizations stand to benefit greatly from ITOps automation if they choose to invest in it.
  • Performance Indicators: ITOps teams are increasingly relying on automated IT environments for a range of IT tasks, so it's crucial to define key performance indicators in order to monitor and measure progress. This provides an accurate evaluation of IT operations, ensuring they remain productive and efficient. To guarantee their success, ITOps teams should develop a list of performance indicators tailored to the organization's priorities; this way they can track those metrics regularly and make any necessary adjustments in order to maintain peak performance.

ITOps is a critical role within IT departments. IT operations managers strive to create and maintain an efficient IT environment where the entire IT infrastructure functions reliably and in line with business goals. With the proper tools and processes in place, businesses can empower their employees and management to make decisions that will help the company succeed.


*When considering ITOps and artificial intelligence for your business, make sure to check out our list of best AIOps platforms on the market. 


Alex McFarland is an AI journalist and writer exploring the latest developments in artificial intelligence. He has collaborated with numerous AI startups and publications worldwide.