MTTR has had many meanings over the decades. For the age-old engineering processes, MTTR was Mean Time to Repair. However, in today’s IT industry, MTTR means Mean Time to Resolution. MTTR is the average time taken to fix an issue and prevent it from happening again. If an organization has high MTTR, it implies IT inefficiencies. High MTTR directly affects the service reliability.
MTTR reduction focuses on predictive maintenance to avoid unplanned downtime of systems. Most of it is used for finding out the problem and its source.
Here are some steps that can help you reduce MTTR:
1. Apply Rigorous Monitoring
Modern software systems are complex, and you may spend hours reaching the bottleneck of the problem. Rigorous monitoring is the only way to identify incidents quickly and acknowledge them.
Since system administrators cannot always monitor the performance of software systems, there is a strong need for an application performance monitoring system. There are AI-based tools and products in the market that can help you in automated monitoring, translating into faster identification of issues and MTTR reduction.
2. Focus on MTTR and MTTA
For reducing MTTR, one must also focus on reducing the MTTA (Mean Time to Acknowledge). When an incident occurs within the IT infrastructure, it must be acknowledged. Acknowledging an incident means finding out which IT team has the best resources to fix the issue. If you invest more time in finding who’s responsible for solving the problem, MTTR will increase. If an issue occurs with the VDI desktop virtualization software, you cannot transfer it to a database expert. The IT team that has the resources suited for the incident should solve it.
IT automation with AI tools can help an organization reduce the MTTA. AI tools can offer informed advice on the best team with resources to solve an incident. Decreasing your MTTA will significantly reduce the MTTR.
3. Reduce Alert Noise
Suppose an organization has 2,000 devices connected to its IT framework. There are continuous alerts of bugs and system failures. How will this organization deal with alert noise as with rising impending alerts? Multiple tickets are raised for a similar type of incident. You have to identify the redundant tickets to reduce the alert noise. Too many alerts will not only create a state of panic among the IT teams but also will make it hard to find top-priority alerts.
You can hire an SRE (Service Reliability Engineer) to solve issues even before the user knows about them. But, if the monitoring systems send too many alerts, it is hard to find high-impact incidents. A service reliability engineer can only fix a limited number of incidents in a day. It is where organizations have found AI-based monitoring tools helpful. AI-based tools can help you filter alerts and subsequently, reduce the MTTR.
4. Focus on Incident Prioritization
High-impact incidents within the IT infrastructure should be solved first. An incident within the central software system can shut other systems down too. If you overlook high-impact incidents for a long time, you might experience a system failure. It will further increase your MTTR and downtime. You may try to solve the incidents in their order of occurrence. However, it might be helpful as multiple incidents may arise at once. You need to prioritize the high-impact incidents first to increase your uptime and prevent system failure.
5. Implement a Proactive Plan
Does your organization have an incident management plan? IT teams need an action plan to comply with while fixing an issue and a hierarchy structure to ensure that every issue is handled by the team best equipped to deal with it. An ad hoc action plan is not the best option to solve incidents faster and reduce MTTR. You will bring an IT team in real-time based on the type of incident via an ad-hoc action plan. With an ad-hoc action plan, you cannot take proactive steps to solve an incident.
Some organizations have rigid action plans for incident management which have a dedicated IT team for each type of incident. One may also opt for a flexible action plan that is a mixture of ad-hoc and rigid plans; with the cost for rigid plans being higher. Real-time user monitoring tools are better than these traditional action plans. It can help you take proactive steps to solve an incident and simplify MTTR.
6. Leverage the Power of AIOps Platforms
AIOps managed infrastructure services are disrupting the use of traditional system monitoring tools. AIOps platforms use intelligent AI and ML algorithms for implementing continuous monitoring of software systems. With reliable AIOps platforms, you can collect data from remote sources. AIOps tools make the best out of telemetry and historical data to report incidents. An AIOps platform can also convey proactive steps to solve any particular incident based on historical data.
AIOps platforms ensure a drastic reduction in MTTR by leveraging the power of AI to intelligently correlate alerts and reduce alert noise. A healthy MTTR indicates end-to-end IT process efficiencies and is an important goal for the IT team.