High-Profile IT Outages Set Alarm Bells Ringing in Boardrooms Around the World
January 06, 2022

Gregg Ostrowski
AppDynamics

Share this

In a world where digital services have become a critical part of how we go about our daily lives, the risk of undergoing an outage has become even more significant. Outages can range in severity and impact companies of every size — while outages from larger companies in the social media space or a cloud provider tend to receive a lot of coverage, application downtime from even the most targeted companies can disrupt users' personal and business operations.

In addition to putting more pressure on the IT teams to resolve the issue, the company can also be at risk to lose revenue and customer loyalty. For many technologists, these outages have served as a reminder of how these types of firestorms can ignite in a flash and intensify the difficulties of getting them back under control.

Consumer expectations around reliability and performance for digital services have soared over the last 18 months, and most of us now have zero tolerance for anything less than the very best digital experiences. The moment we encounter a performance issue, we immediately switch to an alternative provider, and in some cases, we refuse to return. While Meta will undoubtedly recover from its recent troubles, the reputational and financial cost of any kind of outage could be crippling for some businesses.

In the wake of these recent events, Cisco AppDynamics conducted a global pulse survey of 1,000 IT decision makers (across 11 countries) to gauge whether these types of high-profile outages have caused increased concerns about digital disruption within their own organizations and about the adequacy of the measures they have in place to mitigate against this risk.

The findings give a fascinating insight into the challenges facing enterprise technologists in today's current environment. Not only did 87% admit that they are concerned about the potential for a major outage and the resulting disruption to their applications and digital services, but as many as 84% reported that they are coming under increasing pressure from their organization's leadership to proactively prevent a major performance issue or outage.

With stakes rising ever higher, the IT department has become a pressure cooker within many organizations. I know from my own time as VP of enterprise services that the burden to keep applications and digital services up and running at all times can be all consuming for a technologist.

What's now making this situation even more challenging is that technologists are having to look after an ever more complex IT estate. All while quickly rolling out new features ensuring an intuitive interface and always available service in which the user simply wants it to work when they want it. Requiring businesses to innovate at breakneck speed during the pandemic in order to meet dramatically changing customer and employee needs. And this has necessitated rapid digital transformation and a seismic shift towards cloud computing over the last 18 months. The unwanted side effect of this is massive technology sprawl, with IT departments now managing a vast patchwork of legacy and cloud technologies.

For technologists tasked with optimizing IT performance, things have become much more difficult. 87% of those we polled said the increasing complexity of their IT stack is causing long delays in identifying the root cause of performance issues. They simply can't cut through the complexity and overwhelming volumes of data to quickly and accurately identify issues before they impact the end user.

High profile outages like those we've seen over the last couple of weeks are a stark reminder for many technologists of the urgent need to address this problem before their worst fears come to fruition.

Encouragingly, our survey suggests that most technologists are taking steps to ensure they have the tools and insights they need to manage IT performance. 97% of IT teams currently have some form of monitoring tools in place, many of which provide highly sophisticated and advanced solutions to identifying and fixing anomalies.

The problem is that many technologists doubt the effectiveness of their current monitoring tools in this new world of spiraling IT complexity — only a quarter (27%) claim to be totally confident that these tools meet their growing needs. Indeed, these concerns are fully justified — many traditional monitoring tools still don't provide a unified view of IT performance up and down the IT stack and very few are able to effectively monitor legacy, hybrid and cloud environments.

Technologists are acutely aware they urgently need a newer approach to managing IT performance. In fact, almost three quarters (72%) believe their organization needs to deploy a full-stack observability solution within the next 12 months to enable them to solve complexity across their IT stack and to easily identify and fix the root causes of performance issues.

With full-stack observability in place, technologists can get unified, real-time visibility into IT performance up and down the IT stack, from customer-facing applications right through to core infrastructure, such as compute, storage, network and public internet and inter-services' dependencies. It also means that technologists can quickly identify causes and locations of incidents and sub-performance, rather than be on the back foot, spending valuable time trying to understand an issue.

But even with full-stack observability in place, technologists can still struggle to pinpoint those issues that really could cause serious damage. They're bombarded with a deluge of IT performance data from across their IT infrastructure and it's very difficult to cut through it to know what really matters most.

This is why having a business lens on IT performance is so important. It allows technologists to immediately identify the issues that could have the biggest impact on customers and the business and be confident knowing that they are focusing their energy in exactly the right places.

By connecting full-stack observability with real-time business metrics, technologists can optimize IT performance at all times and ensure they're able to meet the heightened expectations of today's consumers. And hopefully it means they can sleep more soundly at night!

Gregg Ostrowski is Executive CTO at Cisco AppDynamics
Share this

The Latest

June 29, 2022

When it comes to AIOps predictions, there's no question of AI's value in predictive intelligence and faster problem resolution for IT teams. In fact, Gartner has reported that there is no future for IT Operations without AIOps. So, where is AIOps headed in five years? Here's what the vendors and thought leaders in the AIOps space had to share ...

June 27, 2022

A new study by OpsRamp on the state of the Managed Service Providers (MSP) market concludes that MSPs face a market of bountiful opportunities but must prepare for this growth by embracing complex technologies like hybrid cloud management, root cause analysis and automation ...

June 27, 2022

Hybrid work adoption and the accelerated pace of digital transformation are driving an increasing need for automation and site reliability engineering (SRE) practices, according to new research. In a new survey almost half of respondents (48.2%) said automation is a way to decrease Mean Time to Resolution/Repair (MTTR) and improve service management ...

June 23, 2022

Digital businesses don't invest in monitoring for monitoring's sake. They do it to make the business run better. Every dollar spent on observability — every hour your team spends using monitoring tools or responding to what they reveal — should tie back directly to business outcomes: conversions, revenues, brand equity. If they don't? You might be missing the forest for the trees ...

June 22, 2022

Every day, companies are missing customer experience (CX) "red flags" because they don't have the tools to observe CX processes or metrics. Even basic errors or defects in automated customer interactions are left undetected for days, weeks or months, leading to widespread customer dissatisfaction. In fact, poor CX and digital technology investments are costing enterprises billions of dollars in lost potential revenue ...

June 21, 2022

Organizations are moving to microservices and cloud native architectures at an increasing pace. The primary incentive for these transformation projects is typically to increase the agility and velocity of software release and product innovation. These dynamic systems, however, are far more complex to manage and monitor, and they generate far higher data volumes ...

June 16, 2022

Global IT teams adapted to remote work in 2021, resolving employee tickets 23% faster than the year before as overall resolution time for IT tickets went down by 7 hours, according to the Freshservice Service Management Benchmark Report from Freshworks ...

June 15, 2022

Once upon a time data lived in the data center. Now data lives everywhere. All this signals the need for a new approach to data management, a next-gen solution ...

June 14, 2022

Findings from the 2022 State of Edge Messaging Report from Ably and Coleman Parkes Research show that most organizations (65%) that have built edge messaging capabilities in house have experienced an outage or significant downtime in the last 12-18 months. Most of the current in-house real-time messaging services aren't cutting it ...

June 13, 2022
Today's users want a complete digital experience when dealing with a software product or system. They are not content with the page load speeds or features alone but want the software to perform optimally in an omnichannel environment comprising multiple platforms, browsers, devices, and networks. This calls into question the role of load testing services to check whether the given software under testing can perform optimally when subjected to peak load ...