CIOs 'squeezed' by COVID digital pressures

IT leaders are increasingly concerned that accelerated digital transformation, combined with the complexity of modern multi-cloud environments, is putting already stretched digital teams under too much pressure.

This is according to a global survey of 700 chief information officers (CIOs) in large enterprises with over 1,000 employees, conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Dynatrace. The sample included 200 respondents in the US, 100 in the UK, France, and Germany, and 50 in Australia, Singapore, Brazil and Mexico, respectively.

The research found that 44 per cent of IT and cloud operations teams’ time is spent on manual, routine work just ‘keeping the lights on’, costing organisations an estimated average of $4.8 million per year.

It revealed that 89 per cent of CIOs think digital transformation has accelerated in the last 12 months, with 58 per cent predicting it will continue to speed up. A further 56 per cent said they were almost never able to complete everything the business needs from IT.

The report found that 63 per cent of CIOs said the complexity of their cloud environment has surpassed human ability to manage. Organisations are using cloud-native technologies including micro-services (70 per cent), containers (70 per cent) and Kubernetes (54 per cent).

On average, organisations are using 10 monitoring solutions across their technology stacks. However, digital teams only have full observability into 11 per cent of their application and infrastructure environments - with 90 per cent of CIOs stating that there are barriers preventing them from monitoring a greater proportion of their applications.

Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of CIOs said their organisation will lose its competitive edge if IT is unable to spend less time ‘keeping the lights on’. A further 84 per cent said the only effective way forward is to reduce the number of tools and amount of manual effort IT teams invest in monitoring and managing the cloud and user-experience.

In terms of automation, 93 per cent of CIOs said artificial intelligence-assistance will be critical to IT’s ability to cope with increasing workloads and deliver maximum value to the business.

CIOs expect automation in cloud and IT operations will reduce the amount of time spent ‘keeping the lights on’ by 38 per cent, saving organisations around $2 million per year, on average. Despite this advantage, just 19 per cent of all repeatable operations processes for digital experience management and observability have been automated.

“History has shown successful organisations use disruptive moments to their advantage,” commented Bernd Greifeneder, chief technology officer and founder at Dynatrace. “Now is the time to break silos, establish a true BizDevOps approach, and deliver agile processes across a consistent, continuous delivery stack."

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