IT Disruptions Continue to Plague Enterprises
March 25, 2020
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Time-critical, unplanned work caused by IT disruptions continues to plague enterprises around the world, leading to lost revenue, significant employee morale problems and missed opportunities to innovate, according to the State of Unplanned Work Report 2020, conducted by Dimensional Research for PagerDuty.

In fact, more than 81% of respondents agreed that urgent, unplanned work keeps their company from focusing on key objectives.

The study also found that almost half of participants said their organizations experience major technology issues at least once a month.

In addition, 40% of North American respondents said their issue resolution process is entirely manual, and customers worldwide are discovering major issues before tech teams become aware.

“Today, every company is a software company with customer experience determining your success. Delays, outages or any form of downtime are unacceptable and redirect teams away from innovation projects. The downside of this is lost productivity, revenue and brand equity,” said Jonathan Rende, SVP of Product at PagerDuty.

“Compounding the situation is the fact that ensuring a perfect customer experience is very difficult. Complicated ecosystems, lack of time and resources and changing consumer behaviors create huge complexity for developer and IT teams. It’s very difficult to plan for every possible situation that could arise which means many companies are on the back foot when something needs urgent attention.”

One of the most striking findings in the report shows that 62% of IT professionals in North America spend more than 100 hours each year on disruptive, unplanned work. “Based on the average IT team size of six to eight people for a mid-market company, you’re looking at nearly two days a week spent on firefighting and dealing with time-critical unplanned work. This leaves little time for innovation or working on the projects that matter, consistently.”

Unplanned work also surfaced as a major factor in employee unhappiness, particularly in North America. While nearly one in every five employees worldwide said they would leave their positions as a result, nearly three-quarters (72%) of North American respondents said unplanned work impacts their work-life balance, compared to 55% in APJ and 49% in EMEA.

“Unplanned, time-critical work is unavoidable. How you prepare for it makes a huge difference. You need to take an automated approach so that when unplanned work arises you can bring together the right people with the right information in real-time. This is what allows identifying and resolving issues in minutes and seconds, not hours. It also means your teams are freed up to focus on innovation and fueling your company’s competitive edge,” concludes Rende.

Methodology: IT and business professionals responsible for planning, responding or resolving major technology issues were invited to participate. The survey was administered electronically, and participants were offered a token compensation for their participation. A total of 509 participants from all five continents who are responsible for technology issue response and resolution completed the survey.

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