How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 2
November 17, 2020
Share this

APMdigest posed the following question to the IT Operations community: How should ITOps adapt to the new normal? In response, industry experts offered their best recommendations for how ITOps can adapt to this new remote work environment. Part 2 covers communication and collaboration.

Start with: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 1

VIRTUAL TEAM CULTURE

In order to adapt to the new normal, ITOps leaders should focus on fortifying a virtual team culture that fosters an environment for open communication. In a remote and digital world, it's imperative that teams communicate effectively.
Kalyan Ramanathan
VP of Product Marketing, Sumo Logic

ONLINE-FIRST CULTURE

Our office culture placed a high value on in-person interactions, so office budgets were targeting an inviting atmosphere. During the overnight change to work-from-home, we worried that we'd lose our office culture, so tried to adapt our in-person office culture to online forums. We held video conferences with an effort to create a facsimile experience — but it turns out it was not possible. The online experience works best where there is one voice at a time. We made a mistake in attempting to adapt our in-person office culture, and it's just not fully reproducible. This mistake led to trial and error, and we realized that we couldn't recapture what we had in-person, so instead had to create a new online-first culture. We are still working on this. So far we found ways to balance communication, using tools like company messaging apps and video conferencing. In ways, we now have better company-wide communication. The communication limit of one voice at a time allowed us to condense information into numerical goals, for instance we have breakout general gathering video conversations for general chats.
Stephen Blum
CTO and Co-Founder, PubNub

TEAM ALIGNMENT

In order to adapt to the new normal, ITOps and DevOps leaders should onboard a streamlined process that ensures team alignment.
Kalyan Ramanathan
VP of Product Marketing, Sumo Logic

SET NUMERIC GOALS

We found that focusing on communication using numeric goals and progress towards them helped. Numeric goals are easy to communicate visually (bar graphs) and explain in a short sentence.
Stephen Blum
CTO and Co-Founder, PubNub

PRIORITIZE AND DELEGATE

In order to adapt to the new normal, ITOps and DevOps leaders should learn how to prioritize and delegate correctly.
Kalyan Ramanathan
VP of Product Marketing, Sumo Logic

CROSS-ORGANIZATIONAL VISIBILITY

The need for cross-organizational visibility is more critical now than ever before. IT teams can often be siloed — and working from home can make that worse. To find gaps in IT operation hand-offs, track productivity (response to tickets, support workloads by operator, development release cycles, etc.) over time to see if there has been a major change (up or down) in workloads and engagement. Examine your teams' workflows and identify places where tools sprawl might be creating delays due to mental switching costs; streamline through integration and/or aggregating monitoring, change and topology data into a single pane of glass. IT Ops teams will have less competing noise, better understanding of the health of their IT Operations and the right tools to help them.
Assaf Resnick
CEO, BigPanda

ASYNCHRONOUS COMMUNICATION

Ever since the work-from-home mandates started, ad hoc conversations and resources that were already scattered are often going into a black hole. For many engineers, it's become overwhelming to keep up with all of the communications when working out of the office. To succeed from home, teams need to maintain real-time, aggregated communication streams.
Tina Huang
Founder and CTO, Transposit

High stakes and urgent (synchronous) communication are especially challenging during Covid. I vote that teams invest in automation and monitoring that enables employees to move fast — coordinating asynchronously and with guardrails built in — yet recover quickly when things go wrong.
Mohit Tiwari
CEO and Co-Founder, Symmetry Systems

MAINTAIN FEEDBACK LOOP

Knowing that feedback is a key element to the culture of your ITOps teams, it is critical to address the lack of in-person feedback in a remote culture. Creating several, smaller touch points is critical to keeping this feedback loop going without creating more arduous meetings.
Collin Mariner
Analyst, Gigaom

OFFICE HOURS

We have seen success by scheduling 30 minutes near the end of each day for what we call office hours. We publish our office hours to the entire organization and encourage anyone to join. This allows us to be available to the organization for asks that typically come in person, as well as receive more real-time feedback.
Collin Mariner
Analyst, Gigaom

MAKE A CONNECTION

The most prepared IT leaders will develop new programs for engaging staff that may feel disconnected.
Sean McDermott
CEO, Windward Consulting Group

Listen to the AI+ITOPS Podcast with special guest Sean McDermott

Read Windward Consulting's New Report: 2020 COVID-19 IT Economic Impact Study

COLLABORATION TOOLS

As remote work has become a mainstay of doing business, ITOps should work with their company's CTO and CSO to offer the right mix of collaboration tools for employees. Remote work will continue to add stress for employees, and it's the company's job to provide a framework of respect for the home situations of their employees and the tools/resources they need to be successful, such as video conferencing platforms, Google Drive, and notification systems. ITOps teams should regularly evaluate the performance of their organization's communication and collaboration tools to ensure employees can maintain their productivity levels while working remotely.
Marc Linster
CTO, EDB

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, few enterprises had made the leap forward to remote working. When the pandemic hit, many companies transitioned to a fully remote work environment, accelerating the trend many years ahead in a matter of months. ITOps suddenly needed to fight an uphill battle, supporting a remote workforce of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people. Setting up the proper infrastructure, in terms of tools and processes, is the number one priority, ensuring that in the short term the company survives and long term that it thrives. New tools must be procured, which inherently are built to support remote collaboration, particularly for mission critical roles such as SREs.
Odysseas Lamtzidis
Developer Relations, Netdata

Go to: How ITOps Can Adapt to the New Normal - Part 3

Share this

The Latest

September 27, 2022

Users have high expectations around applications — quick loading times, look and feel visually advanced, with feature-rich content, video streaming, and multimedia capabilities — all of these devour network bandwidth. With millions of users accessing applications and mobile apps from multiple devices, most companies today generate seemingly unmanageable volumes of data and traffic on their networks ...

September 26, 2022

In Italy, it is customary to treat wine as part of the meal ... Too often, testing is treated with the same reverence as the post-meal task of loading the dishwasher, when it should be treated like an elegant wine pairing ...

September 23, 2022

In order to properly sort through all monitoring noise and identify true problems, their causes, and to prioritize them for response by the IT team, they have created and built a revolutionary new system using a meta-cognitive model ...

September 22, 2022

As we shift further into a digital-first world, where having a reliable online experience becomes more essential, Site Reliability Engineers remain in-demand among organizations of all sizes ... This diverse set of skills and values can be difficult to interview for. In this blog, we'll get you started with some example questions and processes to find your ideal SRE ...

September 21, 2022

US government agencies are bringing more of their employees back into the office and implementing hybrid work schedules, but federal workers are worried that their agencies' IT architectures aren't built to handle the "new normal." They fear that the reactive, manual methods used by the current systems in dealing with user, IT architecture and application problems will degrade the user experience and negatively affect productivity. In fact, according to a recent survey, many federal employees are concerned that they won't work as effectively back in the office as they did at home ...

September 20, 2022

Users today expect a seamless, uninterrupted experience when interacting with their web and mobile apps. Their expectations have continued to grow in tandem with their appetite for new features and consistent updates. Mobile apps have responded by increasing their release cadence by up to 40%, releasing a new full version of their app every 4-5 days, as determined in this year's SmartBear State of Software Quality | Application Stability Index report ...

September 19, 2022

In this second part of the blog series, we look at how adopting AIOps capabilities can drive business value for an organization ...

September 16, 2022

ITOPS and DevOps is in the midst of a surge of innovation. New devices and new systems are appearing at an unprecedented rate. There are many drivers of this phenomenon, from virtualization and containerization of applications and services to the need for improved security and the proliferation of 5G and IOT devices. The interconnectedness and the interdependencies of these technologies also greatly increase systems complexity and therefore increase the sheer volume of things that need to be integrated, monitored, and maintained ...

September 15, 2022

IT talent acquisition challenges are now heavily influencing technology investment decisions, according to new research from Salesforce's MuleSoft. The 2022 IT Leaders Pulse Report reveals that almost three quarters (73%) of senior IT leaders agree that acquiring IT talent has never been harder, and nearly all (98%) respondents say attracting IT talent influences their organization's technology investment choices ...

September 14, 2022

The findings of the 2022 Observability Forecast offer a detailed view of how this practice is shaping engineering and the technologies of the future. Here are 10 key takeaways from the forecast ...