Technology is only accelerating. It’s changing everything from how customers buy, how employees work and how companies operate. But no two companies adapt and evolve similarly. Increasingly complex ecosystems, in-demand expertise and talent and a growing list of competing and often confusing priorities are challenging CIOs, CDOs and business leaders at every turn. Yet, companies still have to adapt. Companies seeking to compete must double down on investments in disruptive and agile technologies and also disruptive and agile operational models. Those that don’t will find themselves on the other side of digital Darwinism.
My friends over at Dynatrace recently published a telling report on the subject, Lost in the Cloud? Top Challenges CIOs Face Amidst Their Complex Enterprise Cloud Ecosystems. As part of its research, the company surveyed 800 CIOs to explore the difficulties organizations face in overcoming the complexity of enterprise cloud ecosystems. Dynatrace identified several technology trends affecting digital transformation, including hybrid multi-cloud, microservices and containers, DevOps, user experience (UX) demands and the need to scale enterprise grade solutions.According to the research, technology executives face five common challenges.
Companies face great pressure to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of emergent and disruptive technologies. It’s not just that these technologies have to be adopted for the sake of technology. It’s that all technologies in one way or another, impact customer and employee behaviors.
In its research, Dynatrace ranked the list of new technologies organizations are prioritizing now and over the next 12 months.
Deployment within 12 Months versus Today
89% | 8%
Software Defined Infrastructure:
86% | 10%
84% | 11%
68% | 18%
With more technologies come increasing layers of complexity.As Dynatrace points out, a single cloud-native application can consist of thousands of microservices and billions of interdependencies with each connecting to other applications and services. Add to that, the estimated number of technology systems or components needed for a single transaction has grown from 22 five years ago to 35 today.
In the report, CIOs shared their top three concerns:
- 89% of CIOs say the challenges of keeping a CMDB up to date in real time is making service management more difficult.
- 76% of CIOs stated that they are worried IT complexity will make it impossible to manage performance effectively.
- 53% of organizations will deploy new, major technology in the next year.
Deploying a system or solution isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning. Executives cited that too much time and resources are spent on resolving digital performance problems. Yet, performance is the key to everything running as promised and needed. But, maintaining end-to-end visibility into the cloud’s impact on user experience is critical and demanding. Performance of mobile applications for example, can be negatively impacted by everything from network quality to the OS to signal strength to the device. Most of these are outside of IT control. Instead, they must be monitored and analyzed to optimize user experience, which takes technology, time and people.
- 76% of CIOs say multi-cloud deployments make monitoring user experience difficult.
- 73% of CIOs say confidently managing user experience is nearly impossible, due to outside factors.
- 72% of CIOs are frustrated that IT teams must spend time setting up monitoring for different providers.
An elite group of businesses are planning to deploy microservices (15%) and containers (18%) in the next 12 months. The “black box” nature of containers hinders visibility into the performance of microservices, which introduces levels of complexities for those tasked with managing the user experience.
84% of CIOs say identifying impacts of container resource consumption on performance is difficult. And, 72% of CIOs say monitoring microservices in real-time is almost impossible. At the same time, traditional solutions are proving problematic.
CIOs cite the following as top burdens:
- 56% of maintaining configuring performance monitoring.
- 54% identifying service dependencies and interactions.
- 53% limited visibility into the micro-service layer.
CIOs are spending an inordinate amount of time and budget resolving digital performance problems and also putting out fires as they arise across the enterprise. On average, Dynatrace notes, resolving digital performance problems costs an organization $2.5 million annually. And 29% of IT teams report that they’re spending their time on dealing with these digital performance problems.
Everything comes at an opportunity cost. If the IT organization is stretched, managing or responding to everyday challenges of agility and adaptation, they are spending less time on investing in innovation. As a result, staying ahead of digital Darwinism and also the competition also becomes problematic.
- 80% of CIOs agree that it is difficult to successfully map the impact of digital performance on business.
- 78% feel it’s harder to find time and resources to answer the range of questions the business asks, while delivering on everything else that is expected of IT.
- 74% say IT is under too much pressure to keep up with unrealistic demands from the business and end users.
CIOs Look to AI to Automate the Resolution of Performance Problems
Technology is only going to continue to evolve and expand. As it does, it undoubtedly introduces layers of complexity that will exceed the human capabilities of any organization, regardless of how adept and capable they are today.Artificial intelligence (AI) is already helping organizations instantly analyze and understand countless interdependencies between cloud applications and the supporting multi-cloud infrastructures.
According to the report, 81% of CIOs feel AI will be critical to mastering increasing IT complexity. More so, within the next year, most CIOs (83%) will deploy automation solutions aimed at resolution of performance problems.
The key here is that problem solving and optimization will be done before users are impacted. This allows for the optimization of user experience and while also freeing-up critical resources to focus on innovation and growth opportunities. Without doing so, organizations will get stuck in a virtuous cycle that prevents adaption and evolution. Instead, AI adds a new dimension to management and scale that allows the IT organization to identify and open new doors to performance and success–all facilitated by AI, next generation technologies and human ingenuity.
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