Who's Behind the Management of 24/7 Digital Services?
March 07, 2018

Eric Sigler
PagerDuty

Share this

There's no doubt that the technological advances throughout the past several decades have drastically changed how we go about our day-to-day lives. Gone are the days of paper maps and digital cameras, replaced by digital applications available at just the touch of a button — all with high user expectations for seamless performance.

What often goes overlooked in our always-on digital culture are the people at the other end of each of these services tasked with their 24/7 management. If something goes wrong, users are quick to complain or switch to a competitor as IT practitioners on the backend race to rectify the situation.

A recent PagerDuty State of IT Work-Life Balance Report revealed that IT professionals are struggling with the pressures associated with the management of these digital offerings. The survey of more than 800 IT professionals across the US, Australia and the UK indicated that this always-on culture has made the management of digital operations a daunting task for any modern organization aiming to provide quality digital offerings 24/7, wreaking havoc on IT employee work-life balance.


Prevalent Pain Points

According to the previously released PagerDuty 2017 State of Digital Operations report series, the usage of digital services is rising. Consumers rely on the use of these digital applications to accomplish a variety of tasks and have come to expect these services to be fast, secure and easy-to-use.

Failure to meet consumer expectations can have detrimental effects on the companies providing these services, adding pressure to IT teams tasked with delivering on customer satisfaction. In fact, the report reveals that the inability to manage the pressures associated with management of digital services was rated the number one side-effect of fair or poor work-life balance across regions.

94.5 percent of survey respondents believe 24/7 management of digital services results in decreased productivity

The survey also indicated that 94.5 percent of survey respondents believe 24/7 management of digital services results in decreased productivity, making it difficult to provide consistently reliable services.

For some, the burden of the always-on digital lifestyle goes much further than a decrease in productivity. The survey revealed 51.6 percent of respondents in the US stated that being on-call affects their ability to maintain overall health and wellness. When asked how being responsible for digital services impacts members of their family, 25 percent of IT professionals said that it makes their job unmanageable at times.

Visibility Matters

Not only does poor operations health management affect IT professionals and their families, it can have a significant business impact. More than half (52 percent) of IT professionals across the US, Australia and UK reported that their organizations spend between $250,000 and $500,000 on DevOps/ITOps tools to help maintain critical digital services.

In addition to these costs, organizations may face a hefty price tag associated with employee turnover if poor work-life balance isn't rectified. In fact, nearly a quarter (23.1 percent) of survey respondents reported that they would be more likely to search for a new job due to poor work-life balance.

58.9 percent of IT managers don't have the visibility necessary to know when their teams experience a difficult on-call period

Worryingly, the report went on to reveal that 58.9 percent of IT managers don't have the visibility necessary to know when their teams experience a difficult on-call period. Without this visibility, managers are unable to take the necessary actions to course-correct for future on-call periods, potentially impacting an IT professional's overall perception of their work-life balance. Of the respondents who said their managers have slight to no visibility into difficult on-call periods, nearly 1 in 5 (18.1 percent) rated their work-life balance as fair to poor.

The Global Work-Life Imbalance

The survey also showed that while the majority (84.1) of all IT professionals rate their work-life balance as good, very good or excellent, of this 84.1 percent, more than half (56.7 percent) believe that poor work-life balance is just part of the job. Additionally, 40.4 percent agree their work-life balance isn't the greatest but they deal with it anyway.

The responsibility associated with keeping critical digital services healthy is stressful. As result, on-call IT personnel are at high risk for experiencing poor work-life balance, resulting in costly company turnover and lessened productivity. Luckily, there is an alternative. IT teams now have the ability to leverage tools, services, processes and best practices to gain better visibility into difficult on-call periods. These tools statistically measure the impact of incident response on human behavior and can help to reduce the burden of alert fatigue.

Eric Sigler is Head of DevOps at PagerDuty
Share this

The Latest

October 17, 2019

As the data generated by organizations grows, APM tools are now required to do a lot more than basic monitoring of metrics. Modern data is often raw and unstructured and requires more advanced methods of analysis. The tools must help dig deep into this data for both forensic analysis and predictive analysis. To extract more accurate and cheaper insights, modern APM tools use Big Data techniques to store, access, and analyze the multi-dimensional data ...

October 16, 2019

Modern enterprises are generating data at an unprecedented rate but aren't taking advantage of all the data available to them in order to drive real-time, actionable insights. According to a recent study commissioned by Actian, more than half of enterprises today are unable to efficiently manage nor effectively use data to drive decision-making ...

October 15, 2019

According to a study by Forrester Research, an enhanced UX design can increase the conversion rate by 400%. If UX has become the ultimate arbiter in determining the success or failure of a product or service, let us first understand what UX is all about ...

October 10, 2019

The requirements of an APM tool are now much more complex than they've ever been. Not only do they need to trace a user transaction across numerous microservices on the same system, but they also need to happen pretty fast ...

October 09, 2019

Performance monitoring is an old problem. As technology has advanced, we've had to evolve how we monitor applications. Initially, performance monitoring largely involved sending ICMP messages to start troubleshooting a down or slow application. Applications have gotten much more complex, so this is no longer enough. Now we need to know not just whether an application is broken, but why it broke. So APM has had to evolve over the years for us to get there. But how did this evolution take place, and what happens next? Let's find out ...

October 08, 2019

There are some IT organizations that are using DevOps methodology but are wary of getting bogged down in ITSM procedures. But without at least some ITSM controls in place, organizations lose their focus on systematic customer engagement, making it harder for them to scale ...

October 07, 2019
OK, I admit it. "Service modeling" is an awkward term, especially when you're trying to frame three rather controversial acronyms in the same overall place: CMDB, CMS and DDM. Nevertheless, that's exactly what we did in EMA's most recent research: <span style="font-style: italic;">Service Modeling in the Age of Cloud and Containers</span>. The goal was to establish a more holistic context for looking at the synergies and differences across all these areas ...
October 03, 2019

If you have deployed a Java application in production, you've probably encountered a situation where the application suddenly starts to take up a large amount of CPU. When this happens, application response becomes sluggish and users begin to complain about slow response. Often the solution to this problem is to restart the application and, lo and behold, the problem goes away — only to reappear a few days later. A key question then is: how to troubleshoot high CPU usage of a Java application? ...

October 02, 2019

Operations are no longer tethered tightly to a main office, as the headquarters-centric model has been retired in favor of a more decentralized enterprise structure. Rather than focus the business around a single location, enterprises are now comprised of a web of remote offices and individuals, where network connectivity has broken down the geographic barriers that in the past limited the availability of talent and resources. Key to the success of the decentralized enterprise model is a new generation of collaboration and communication tools ...

October 01, 2019

To better understand the AI maturity of businesses, Dotscience conducted a survey of 500 industry professionals. Research findings indicate that although enterprises are dedicating significant time and resources towards their AI deployments, many data science and ML teams don't have the adequate tools needed to properly collaborate on, build and deploy AI models efficiently ...