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Managing IT has become more complex than ever. In the interest of giving customers access to a more flexible IT environment, managed service providers of all sizes have embraced technologies such as virtualization. But the challenge this creates is that there is a direct correlation between providing increased flexibility and the cost of the complexity required to deliver it.

Providers of managed and cloud computing services often find that providing IT flexibility can narrow profits considerably. All it takes is for one or two things to go wrong before a series of cascading events wind up having an adverse impact on service levels. What providers of IT services really need is more insight into what’s really happening within their IT operations.

That’s the thinking that went into the development of a new Traverse Predictive Analytics Module for the cloud and IT monitoring services provided by Zyrion. According to Zyrion CEO Vikas Aggarwal, this new module allows IT service providers to capture system events in a repository that can then predict future likely IT scenarios based on the data being gathered. In that context, the IT service provider can be alerted that, for example, a particular service is about to adversely affected by the imminent failure of a particular type of disk drive that has already failed in a number of other systems.

Aggarwal says it takes four to six weeks for the module to really learn the nuances of particular IT environment. But once that information is gathered, the internal IT operations team can become a lot more proactive about preventing problems before they occur. As service level agreements (SLAs) become more stringent the difference between profit and loss is increasingly coming down to whether any given service is interrupted, so applying predictive analytics to maximize availability of any given service makes a lot of sense.

More importantly, predictive analytics serves to lower the cost of IT labor, thereby enhancing profitability.

There are, of course, several predictive analytics applications that a service provider could choose to adopt. But Aggarwal says that very few predictive analytics applications have been optimized to be delivered as part of an existing IT monitoring service that is already gathering all the key metrics that need to be analyzed.

In addition, the fact that the Traverse Predictive Analytics Module is delivered as a service means that IT service providers don’t have to pay for software licenses and dedicated hardware needed to run the application. Instead, the IT service providers are given access to dashboards that allow them to access critical analytics data as part of the overall Zyrion monitoring service.

They say any ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to IT and predictive analytics that ounce of prevention could easily wind up saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. In fact, it’s going to be the ability to effectively leverage IT automation that will ultimately make the difference between IT service providers that can compete in an increasingly price sensitive market and those that simply wind up fading away.