What is IT Alert Fatigue?

IT Alert fatigue is the condition where IT analysts become overwhelmed by, and de-sensitized to alerts. It is caused by unmanageable volumes of data, much of which seems redundant and/or inconsequential. The unfortunate effect is that operators dismiss alerts without investigating underlying or related issues.

In hindsight, organizations typically learn that they could have seen problems coming and headed them off – the data was there but nobody looked at (or acted on) it. Needless to say, missed indicators can be costly. One well-known example is the way Target missed alarms and compromised 40 million customer credit card numbers.

Why should you care?

With IT handling more data than ever before, and increasing premiums placed on downtime avoidance and immediate remediation, Enterprise executives need to understand a simple truth: humans can’t effectively sort through massive amounts of machine-generated data.

There’s fundamentally no way for an analyst to understand related issues, manually determine root cause and recognize potential impact for every alert or event (even small organizations with only a few infrastructure and application monitoring tools can experience thousands of alerts per day). Manual intervention is no longer scalable or cost-effective.

During “normal” operations (not even addressing critical situations such as alert storms) systems are constantly flooded with alerts. Many of the reported events are “false positive” – they appear to be high priority but might be duplicated and don’t necessarily impact service. Meanwhile, potentially severe situations disguised as low-level alerts aren’t being identified or prioritized.

Related Mistakes

Adding insult to injury, many organizations use email notifications for both low-priority and critical events. There are several problems with this approach, including the fact that mail notifications end up looking like spam; there’s a big box full of problems to solve, with very little order.  For reference, because Evanios is built directly on the ServiceNow ITSM platform, it can seamlessly integrate with numerous applications including notification tools from ServiceNow, PagerDuty, Everbridge, etc.

Further, there is typically little (or no) context provided through basic alert reporting systems. Analysts must guess at relationships and actual impact severity. Plus, they have no visibility into potential downstream events. It’s pretty much a guessing game that takes exorbitant hours to solve.

The bottom line is that humans are highly susceptible to alert fatigue. Machine learning is much more suited for diagnosis and action, but there are other factors you should consider as well.

Event Correlation | Evanios

What’s the best way to deal with IT alert fatigue?

Evanios dramatically reduces event volume, solves alert fatigue, and makes IT Operations staff more effective by:

  • Centralizing all your monitoring tools
  • Filtering, de-duplicating and correlating related events (multiple events can be consolidated into one incident)
  • Scoring and prioritizing all incoming events
  • Identifying leading indicators
  • Providing detailed incident analytics, appending original source data with related information from ITSM tools
  • Ensuring that all alerts are contextual and actionable
  • Automating root cause analysis and remediation

Extensible machine learning can analyze millions of data points each minute and identify leading indicators. The result is a complete solution for IT alert fatigue and highly informative reporting system that eliminates false positives in order to ensure that your staff is focused on the most important issues.

Learn more about IT alert fatigue solutions from Evanios. We will gladly provide consultations, full demonstrations and proof of concept for qualified customers.

After initial filtering, Evanios leverages machine learning to score and prioritize every event | Evanios

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