Could you ever imagine we’d better learn the lessons of a 19th Century English schoolmaster for managing modern digital infrastructures?

In 1884, the English schoolmaster, theologian and priest Edwin Abbott published a work of scientific fantasy entitled Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Flatland is a satirical two-dimensional world occupied by geometric figures.

The book focuses on the practicalities of existing in only two dimensions. Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight lines, triangles, squares and other shapes move freely about on or in the surface, but without the power to rise above or sink below it. That’s the world conjured up in Flatland. A world where perceptions are limited because entities cannot elevate into higher dimensions.

Physicists take this mathematical fantasy of lower dimensional spaces a step further. Recent developments in theoretical physics, attempting to explain the nature of the universe, make us live in a 11-dimensional space. In the ‘String Theory’ – itself an analogy to Flatland – we perceive only four dimensions (x, y, z, t) of the 11-dimensional space we’re supposed to live in. That might explain many of the real-life phenomena we have difficulties to link with an actual, understandable root cause.

AIOps Provides Insights Across Multiple Dimensions

So what does a 19th Century English schoolmaster’s scientific satire have to do with AIOps? Everything- to be precise! There is a direct correlation between Edwin Abbott’s Flatland and AIOps (or to give it the full name, ‘artificial intelligence for IT operations’). As the volume, variety and velocity of IT data grows exponentially, it all needs to be managed, correlated and analyzed – to mine the gold that this data can present.

AIOps solutions develop a perception of IT environments and IT operations across multiple dimensions, thereby avoiding a two-dimensional ‘Flatland’ effect. AIOps acts inside a N-dimensional space. It generates actionable, predictive insights by ingesting and analyzing diverse data sets, including metric, topology, text, log and wire data from various monitoring tools. It spans across users, apps, infrastructure and networks including modern, ephemeral, containerized and software-defined environments. 

AIOps understands traditional IT and datacenter environments as well as hybrid and multi-cloud, connecting the dots between all elements. In fact, the connection between the elements is critical to providing the N-dimensional observability that leads to understanding of how the IT ‘universe’ works together to deliver a given digital service. Because of the insights generated by observing and analyzing all relevant dimensions of the digital delivery chain,  IT operations teams can act on potential issues much earlier, isolate the real root cause faster and ultimately remediate issues faster, before they affect the business.

The key takeaway? AIOps has become a core component of a broader commitment to the increasing efficiency and reliability across businesses of all types. In addition, AIOps helps improve the experience of the digital services that an organization’s customers, employees and partners rely on. After all, the ultimate dimension to consider is that of business outcomes, which is where AIOps truly shines, helping align IT operations teams to what matters by understanding a complete view of digital services. Indeed, it can be argued that AIOps has become the linchpin in the latest phase of digital transformation. AIOps solutions augment human intelligence across all primary IT operations functions, including availability and performance monitoring, event correlation and root cause analysis. 

Connecting the Pieces Together

The central character in Flatland is A. Square, a mathematician and resident of the two-dimensional Flatland. He has adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions) and dreams of visiting a four-dimensional land. It’s a revolutionary idea for which he is returned to his two-dimensional world. That higher-dimensional world is where AIOps sits. 

What can we draw from Edwin Abbott’s satirical book and its relevance for AIOps? Missing or hidden dimensions alter your perception of reality. AIOps solutions can help you look through all the dimensions that enable the complete, connected insights you need to manage complex digital environments as you strive to deliver differentiated digital services.

Learn more about AIOps in this ‘Definitive Guide to AIOps’. Discover more about the current state of AIOps, the core components that drive an AIOps solution and the main use cases for AIOps-powered tools.