IT Downtime Is Growing As Digital Transformation Speeds Up

In the race to keep up with rapid industry changes, businesses and brands are increasingly moving processes and deliverables online. Meanwhile, company executives across a wide range of departments are increasingly being tasked with digital transformation initiatives.

While this usually involves moving the company tech stack from on-premises to the cloud, it’s so much more than that. It’s a journey to drive fundamental changes in how your company operates, and how it delivers value to its customers and employees alike, by leveraging new technologies and offering up-to-date solutions and innovation. 
 
Of course, with this push to be “of the moment” comes the trend to release quicker and iterate faster, so that the results of smaller changes can be tested, feedback gathered, and built upon. For example, applications now are being developed with agile methodologies, involving weekly release cycles, or even continuous deployment multiple times a day, which helps current applications deploy and scale quicker too.  

Future-proofing IT Systems   

While this looks great on the surface, the IT infrastructure must be in a state where it can enable this speed - and so often it isn’t. A glance at national headlines shows that high-profile outages and brownouts are increasingly common, and no organisation is exempt.

Add to that a shortage of IT professionals with cloud and hybrid experience, and it means modernisation initiatives may initially cause more outages and headaches than time-savings.  
 
In a recent survey commissioned by LogicMonitor an incredible 97% of 600 global IT professionals said they had experienced an IT brownout in the past three years, and 94% had an outage in the same time, with an average of 15 outages and 19 brownouts every three years.

Tellingly, over half (51%) said they had seen an increase in these outages since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. 
 
In a further report, 300 IT leaders were asked what they felt was causing the increase in downtime. Opinions vary, but nearly 64% of IT executives (Vice President title or above) believe mobile computing, cloud, hybrid environments, AI, digital transformation, edge computing and IoT are making brownouts and outages more common, rather than having no impact or making them less common. But how do we stem the flow? 

Visibility Is Key 

Unsurprisingly, 75% said downtime prevention starts with performing preventative maintenance, whereas reducing downtime once it has occurred, comes down to proactive monitoring (74%). That means knowing how your whole stack runs, being able to spot trends that lead to a problem, as well as reviewing system logs quickly and easily during and after a blip. 
 
Unfortunately, reducing downtime is easier said than done. Further steps are required in your IT transformation – namely, the unification of enterprise monitoring and observability tools. After all, it’s hard to be agile if you’re running 50 different monitoring systems. Here are a few questions to consider when trying to determine how much visibility you have into your organisation’s tech stack: 

 

  • Does the ITOps team have the ability to monitor the full IT environment - from infrastructure to networks, clouds, applications, APIs and devices?
  • Can you see how applications are performing in any environment - including containers?
  • Are you able to quickly find the total number of applications your organisation has deployed and their independencies?
  • Is your ITOps team consistently able to see an issue before a user reports it?

Automating application deployment into multiple monitoring systems is the opposite of agility. Whereas, having a single program for unified observability gives CIOs a valuable status overview that helps them to understand quickly any changes that need to be made to nip problems in the bud. 
 
As the rapid pace of digital transformation - made even more imperative by the lingering pandemic - continues to be driven forward, organisations cannot afford to experience downtime. However, by embracing technology that allows for observability across their entire IT infrastructure, organisations can mitigate the risk of downtime and quickly resolve issues as and when they do occur. 
 
Matt Tuson is EMEA General Manager at LogicMonitor

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