The State of Monitoring 2017: More Alerts, More Tools, More Focus on Customer Experience
March 10, 2017

Michael Butt
BigPanda

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Applications and infrastructure are being deployed and commissioned at a faster rate than ever before, the number of tools it takes to effectively manage these services is multiplying, and the expectations placed on IT to ensure customer satisfaction is increasing, according to The State of Monitoring 2017 report from BigPanda.

The urgency to ensure reliability and uptime resonates across the board, and it's clear that IT leaders are focused on solutions that will not only work today, but can scale and adapt to tomorrow.


Below, we review some of the key takeaways from this year's report.

1. Alert noise is only getting louder

More than three quarters of the 1500+ respondents stated that reducing alert noise is a challenge, and the number of respondents reporting high alert volumes (100-500, 500-1000, or 1000+ alerts per day) has increased across the board over 2016. This group reports extremely low levels of satisfaction with their ability to respond to alerts, which is reflected in the fact that only 26% are able to remediate the majority (75-100%) within 24 hours. Furthermore, those with high volumes of alerts are more concerned about complying to customer SLAs and delivering business objectives to schedule.

2. The average monitoring stack is growing

The findings of this year's survey confirm that IT practitioners are relying on a growing number of tools to effectively do their job. According to the report, the average practitioner currently uses 6-7 tools on a regular basis, and over half of respondents reported that they plan to further expand their stack in 2017 – by approximately two tools on average. This means that we are likely to see that figure jump to 8-9 tools on average next year, and that's just per person. The total number of tools required organization-wide to effectively support agile development, uptime and reliability is no doubt much higher, particularly at the enterprise level.

3. Pressure to do more with less?

Overall, company size skewed large, with the majority of respondents hailing from organizations with 1000 or more employees. But interestingly, team size demonstrated the opposite trend, with most respondents reporting a team of less than ten. This may signal that operational independence at larger enterprises is migrating away from a centralized IT, with a larger number of smaller, fragmented teams, or that there is increasing pressure on IT to expand their capacity, without increasing headcount.

4. The frequency of both code and infrastructure change is on the rise

Across the board, the number of respondents reporting daily or weekly code deployments increased, while monthly and yearly deployments declined.

Similarly for infrastructure management, the number of respondents who reported that their organization makes just a few changes per year sharply declined, while all other response groups increased.

5. Room for improvement

Only half of respondents reported that their organization has a defined monitoring strategy in place.

Even more troubling, a meager 13% agreed that they are very satisfied with their approach to monitoring, and just 11% are satisfied based on overall investment.

6. Customer experience is king

For the second year in a row, customer satisfaction far outranked all other performance metrics included in our survey, including some that many might consider “traditional” for IT practitioners, such as MTTR and incident volume. Customer satisfaction was cited as a KPI by a whopping 73% of respondents, while the second most popular metric, SLA compliance, was cited by just 45%.

Methodology: Over 1500 IT professionals took part in this year's survey, representing a wide range of industries and featuring a mix of executives, managers, and individual contributors.

Michael Butt is Director of Product Marketing at BigPanda.

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