By Abhilash Purushothaman During those initial days and weeks of the pandemic, when technologists were working round the clock to ensure their organisations could continue to serve customers (and in many cases – stay in business), few would have imagined that they would still be working under such intense pressure more than a year later. […]
By Abhilash Purushothaman
During those initial days and weeks of the pandemic, when technologists were working round the clock to ensure their organisations could continue to serve customers (and in many cases – stay in business), few would have imagined that they would still be working under such intense pressure more than a year later.
The result of such rapid digital transformation has been spiralling complexity in the IT department, with technologists having to monitor and manage an increasingly sprawling IT estate. A dramatic acceleration of cloud computing initiatives has left many technologists overseeing a patchwork of legacy, hybrid and cloud technologies, and attempting to make sense of soaring volumes of data from across the IT stack.
In research conducted by AppDynamics (Agents of Transformation 2021: The Rise of Full-Stack Observability), 84% of technologists in India claim their response to the pandemic has created more IT complexity than ever experienced, with increasing ‘data noise’ central to this added complexity. So technologists have found themselves on the back foot, in a cycle of constant firefighting to identify and fix issues before they impact the customer and the business. They simply can’t see what is important and where they should be focusing their attention. And the impact of that has been long hours, extreme pressure and the constant worry that any mistake could be costly.
Getting back on the front foot
The fact that IT departments have been forced onto the back foot over the past year was to a large degree inevitable. However, we’re now more than a year into the pandemic and organisations need to find a more sustainable approach to digital transformation. Business leaders should now understand the current pace of change and disruption won’t reverse over the coming years, even after the pandemic has passed; if anything, the speed of innovation required to compete will accelerate further.
Organisations will have to find ways to establish a more proactive and positive approach to ‘digital transformation as usual’, and prepare for what Accenture describes as the decade of the ‘Never Normal—a new era defined by fast changing shifts in cultural norms, societal values and behaviours.’
Critically, organisations need to ensure technologists have the tools and insights they need to manage and optimise technology performance in a proactive way. This means the full visibility of the entire IT estate and the ability to correlate technology performance with business outcomes in real-time.
A moment of reckoning in the IT department
Even after a year of unrelenting pressure in the IT department, technologists remain firmly committed to driving through digital transformation at speed and hugely excited about the future.
However, technologists are being held back from fulfilling their potential, without the ability to prioritise technology performance fixes based on potential business impact. This lack of visibility and insight will hinder them from performing as elite technologists and, ultimately, prevent them from delivering the innovation and faultless digital experiences their organisations desperately need.
Business and IT leaders should take note of this warning, otherwise they risk wasting all of the progress (and investment) they have made in transforming their business during the pandemic. It’s time to end the firefighting and get on the front foot, with a proactive approach to digital transformation and technology performance.
The writer is MD (India & Saarc), Cisco AppDynamics