This is the third in a series of three blogs directed at recent EMA research presented in a webinar on April 11, with replay now available. The first blog provided a general introduction to the highlights of the research, while the second blog focused more on organization and process.
In this blog we'll look at three areas that have emerged in a spotlight in and of themselves — as signs of changing times — let alone as they may impact digital war room decision making. They are the growing focus on development and agile/DevOps; the impacts of cloud; and the growing need for security and operations (SecOps) to team more effectively.
But first a few key takeaways from the first two blogs to ground new readers and remind past readers:
■ These insights and data points are taken from research done in Q1 of this year across 272 respondents in North America and Europe.
■ We left open — to our respondents — whether the digital war room was virtual, physical, or hybrid. (The majority were hybrid. Purely virtual were the least strongly represented.)
■ We found that the digital war room was, on the whole, a: growing, b. becoming more important as well as more inclusive; c. was generally moving toward a more defined and less ad hoc role; d. was becoming, at least by implication, more proactive.
The growing inclusiveness of the digital war room is, needless to say, foundational to our examination of the role of development and DevOps, cloud and SecOps discussed below.
Development and Agile/DevOps — a Growing Role for War Room Integration
Industry dialogs sometimes point to an agile revolution that's effectively dismantling the role of the war room, IT service management teams, and even central operations as a whole. And while the value of unique DevOps teams to coalesce around targeted applications shouldn't be dismissed, the parallel need for a central authority to handle full-stack concerns with an eye to business as well as IT priorities too often gets overlooked.
The digital war room research shines a light on what's really going on here. When we asked Over the last two years, how have development teams worked with operations and other teams in digital war room decision-making? We received the following answers:
■ Development has become more involved in war room decision making (37%)
■ Development's role has remained the same in war room decision making (32%)
■ Agile/DevOps has led to a separate track for war room decision making (16%)
■ Development has become less involved in war room decision making (15%)
In other words, 69% saw development as having either a growing role, or having a sustained role in the digital war room.
Moreover, when we tracked success rates in assuring overall service delivery and service performance, we saw dramatic alignment with those respondents where development had become more involved. Then, when we asked what respondents hoped for in the future, we saw that:
■ 39% indicated that development should become more involved in the digital war room.
■ 25% felt the level of development's involvement should stay the same.
■ 19% felt that development should become less involved.
■ 17% felt there should be a separate track for agile/DevOps decision making.
In other words — the trend toward war room inclusion of development and DevOps teams should continue along somewhat even lines. And once again, success rates favored those targeting increasing development/war room inclusion.
So then, how exactly does development team with operations in the digital war room? The answers, in ranked order, were, via:
■ A shared IT alerting system
■ Shared insights into end-user experience
■ Shared monitoring
■ Shared analytics
■ Incident alerts from the service desk
■ Social media for team-mode collaboration
■ Shared KPIs and alerts
Areas such as shared insights into end-user experience, shared analytics, and social media all point to proactive collaboration critical for DevOps and agile concerns as well as core incident handling — indicating a significant value for lifecycle application optimization.
The "Journey to the Cloud" — Good or Bad for Digital War Room Performance?
In our research, the average response indicated that about 20% of their workloads were in the public cloud, while 15% indicated that 50% or more were in the public cloud. So, was this good or bad for digital war room effectiveness? The answer was overall encouraging:
■ 50% claimed that cloud has made digital war room decision-making easier
■ 41% felt it was making things in the war room harder
■ Only 9% saw no change
When we asked those who felt cloud was making war room decision-making more difficult about the major reason why — the answers, in ranked order, were:
■ Cloud is requiring new skill sets and internal processes
■ Cloud has challenged war room efficiencies due to migration issues
■ Cloud is requiring new processes for interacting with cloud service providers
Security and Insecurity in the Digital War Room
In almost all my research, there are growing indications that security is becoming an ever more present concern for operations and ITSM teams more broadly. And in some unique SecOps research that EMA did last year, the movement is clearly bi-directional, or in other words a shared need that benefits both groups.
In terms of the digital war room, here are a few relevant highlights:
■ 32% of our respondents had some security-related involvement.
■ After ITSM and executive IT, the third most likely to own the digital war room was security/compliance/GRC/incident response.
■ Improved network security was tied with service performance when it came to optimizing war room performance in hybrid cloud environments. These were followed by integrated security and performance and integrated security and change.
■ Advanced IT Analytics (AIA), security information and event management (SIEM), and security threat intelligence and analysis led as the top three technologies for war room decision making.
■ Security-related issues led as the biggest roadblock to effective war room success.
Beyond all these data points, what should stand out is the growing role of digital war rooms in unifying IT in support of critical, cross-domain (including development) decision making. This may be a surprise to some. It was partly a surprise to me. But I was happy to see these war-room affirming results.
Digital Experience Monitoring is a tool that should be integrated with an organization's change management strategy. A key benefit of SaaS/cloud is no longer being responsible for software and hardware upgrades, maintenance, and patch cycles. Migrating to Microsoft Office 365 means no longer spending precious time and resources on Windows, Exchange or SharePoint upgrades for example. But that doesn't mean that IT can ignore changes or doesn't need to monitor for their effects ...
As systems become more complex and IT loses direct control of infrastructure (hello cloud), it becomes both more difficult and more important to capture and observe, holistically, the user experience. SaaS or cloud apps like Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365, and Workday have become mission-critical to most businesses and therefore need to be examined when it comes to experience monitoring ...
Newly distributed operations teams are struggling to cope with the sudden change to the WFH (work from home) concept. IT operations teams were traditionally set up to work from centralized locations, unlike software and engineering teams. Some organizations have overcome that by implementing AIOps solutions; others are using a brute force method of employing more IT operations analysts to keep the distributed NOCs going ...
Enterprises that halted their cloud migration journey during the current global pandemic are two and a half times more likely than those that continued their move to the cloud to have experienced IT outages that negatively impacted their SLAs, according to Virtana's latest survey report The Current State of Hybrid Cloud and IT ...
Every business has the responsibility to do their part against climate change by reducing their carbon footprint while increasing sustainability and efficiency. Harnessing optimization of IT infrastructure is one method companies can use to reduce carbon footprint, improve sustainability and increase business efficiency, while also keeping costs down ...
While the adoption of continuous integration (CI) is on the rise, software engineering teams are unable to take a zero-tolerance approach to software failures, costing enterprise organizations billions annually, according to a quantitative study conducted by Undo and a Cambridge Judge Business School MBA project ...
I've had the opportunity to work with a number of organizations embarking on their AIOps journey. I always advise them to start by evaluating their needs and the possibilities AIOps can bring to them through five different levels of AIOps maturity. This is a strategic approach that allows enterprises to achieve complete automation for long-term success ...
Sumo Logic recently commissioned an independent market research study to understand the industry momentum behind continuous intelligence — and the necessity for digital organizations to embrace a cloud-native, real-time continuous intelligence platform to support the speed and agility of business for faster decision-making, optimizing security, driving new innovation and delivering world-class customer experiences. Some of the key findings include ...
When it comes to viruses, it's typically those of the computer/digital variety that IT is concerned about. But with the ongoing pandemic, IT operations teams are on the hook to maintain business functions in the midst of rapid and massive change. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is the shift to remote work at scale. Ensuring that they can continue to provide products and services — and satisfy their customers — against this backdrop is challenging for many ...