By Joe Byrne, Executive CTO, AppDynamics
There’s nothing like a high-profile IT outage to focus the minds of technologists.
On the back of the recent problems at Facebook, AppDynamics conducted a global pulse survey of 1,000 IT decision-makers (across 11 countries, including the UAE) to explore the impact that these recent events have had within IT departments.
As you would expect, 90% of respondents from the UAE reported that they are now concerned about the potential for a major outage in their business and the resulting disruption to their applications and digital services. Additionally, a remarkable 88% of UAE technologists claimed that they are coming under increasing pressure from their organization’s leadership to prevent a major performance issue or outage.
Within Boardrooms and IT departments around the region, the question doing the rounds right now is, ‘Could this happen to us?’
Performance risks have escalated on the back of rapid digital transformation
While IT outages have always been a major risk for digital businesses, it’s fair to say that the stakes have been raised considerably over the last 18 months.
Throughout the pandemic, usage of applications has soared as people have turned to digital services whilst living in lockdown. UAE consumers have become reliant on applications across so many areas of their lives — to work and learn remotely, to stay in touch with friends and family, and to access the products and services they need. And organizations across all sectors have done a phenomenal job, innovating at high speed to provide the brilliant digital experiences which have made such a difference to people during this difficult period.
The challenge for technologists now is that people’s expectations for applications and digital services have risen sky high. Consumers demand the very best experiences every time they use an application and are totally unforgiving when they encounter a problem.
There are no second chances for brands that fail to meet customer expectations as evidenced by AppDynamics’ recent App Attention Index in which 73% of consumers in the Emirates (16% higher than the global average) state that brands have one shot to impress them with their digital experiences before they switch to another provider.
A new level of IT complexity
As technologists come under increasing pressure to ensure digital services are continually up and running in this high-stakes environment, they know that the biggest challenge they face today is IT complexity. Accelerated digital transformation and a dramatic increase in cloud computing initiatives have left IT departments struggling to get to grips with a complex patchwork of legacy and cloud technologies.
Unfortunately, most technologists simply don’t have the tools and visibility required to manage performance across such a sprawling IT estate. They’re being bombarded with data from up and down their IT stack, but they don’t have a clear way to cut through this data noise and make informed strategic decisions. In our poll, 95% of UAE respondents admitted that increased complexity is causing long delays in identifying the root cause of performance issues.
Although most IT departments are now deploying monitoring tools to track IT performance, there’s an overwhelming sense that traditional solutions simply aren’t effective enough to deal with new levels of complexity. In fact, only 36% of technologists across the Emirates have high levels of confidence about the capabilities of their current tools, most of which are unable to deliver a unified view of IT performance up and down the IT stack, or monitor across both legacy and cloud environments.
Full-stack observability critical to tackle complexity and drive performance
Evidently, regional technologists are acutely aware that they need to embrace new solutions to optimize IT performance and deliver the faultless digital experiences which are now so vital. They cannot continue with the status quo, where IT departments are constantly firefighting, unable to understand performance issues, and unsure where to focus their attention.
Significantly, 81% of technologists believe that their organization needs to deploy a full-stack observability solution within the next 12 months to enable them to solve complexity across their IT stack and to easily identify and fix the root causes of performance issues.
This type of solution will make a massive difference to technologists, providing unified, real-time visibility into IT performance up and down the IT stack — from customer-facing applications right through to core infrastructures, such as compute, storage, network, and public internet and inter-services dependencies. It will give them the insights they need to get to the bottom of performance issues, quickly and easily.
But I would argue that in the current environment, even full-stack observability isn’t enough to tackle heightened levels of IT complexity and filter through the deluge of performance data emanating from all over the IT estate. Technologists can still struggle to identify those issues that could potentially have the biggest impact on customers and the business, and that’s a big risk for businesses.
The answer is to link full-stack observability with real-time business metrics. This enables technologists to assess IT performance data through a business lens, so they can evaluate issues based on their impact on end-users and immediately identify those which have the potential to cause the most disruption and damage.
By connecting full-stack observability with business outcomes, technologists can cut through the complexity and get onto the front foot when it comes to managing IT performance up and down the IT stack. They can focus on the issues that really matter and deliver the faultless digital experiences which are now so critical to business success in the UAE.