How Can CIOs Seize the Moments That Matter in a Complex World?

by Jerry Weltsch January 29, 2020 | 3 min read

Everybody puts value on work. But not all work is the same or valued in the same way.

What if we told you there’s a way to gain/protect up to $1 million in new revenue, reduce unplanned downtime by more than 60%, and improve team productivity by nearly 25%?

This is where the differentiation of work comes in.

The Everyday Value of Structured Work

Most of our day-to-day work is planned out; i.e., it’s work with structure. It’s on a to-do list and fits into a larger strategy or narrative for ourselves, our team, and/or our organization. This structured work is based on a schedule, making it predictable and time bound, and is measured in outputs like key performance indicators (KPIs).

This work has value, but its opportunity is predetermined, which means its value is finite. For this type of work, we have an established set of tools that provide us both systems of record and systems of engagement to improve our efficiency and amplify the value of that work.

But there is another kind of work—the kind of work that arises or emerges unexpectedly. The kind of work that can be described as unplanned, unstructured, or even emergent.

The Ephemeral Value of Time-Sensitive Unplanned Work

This unplanned work is based on signals recognized in real time, making it unpredictable and immediate. It’s measured by outcomes like improved response and resolution times, which lead to increased productivity for structured work or revenue and reputation protection with downtime prevention.

It therefore has outsized opportunity—but also an increased measure of risk. Of course, with that increased risk comes much greater reward or value, though that value can be fleeting with the passage of time.

For example, let’s say you receive an alert that your online shopping cart—a customer-facing service—is starting to run slow and may potentially crash. If you don’t acknowledge, respond, and resolve the issue in a timely manner, the value of the work you do to acknowledge, respond, and resolve decreases if it takes so long that the customer experience is affected.

Therefore, this time-sensitive unplanned work requires a completely different set of tools so teams can engage in real time to capture that value at its peak before it diminishes and the opportunity is lost. For the IT staff in an organization, time-sensitive unplanned work is mostly done when there is a slowdown or interruption of a digital service they own for either mission-critical functions of the business on the backend or for customer interaction.

PagerDuty worked with leading analyst firm IDC to measure the value of this time-sensitive unplanned work by researching the business value enterprises derived from using PagerDuty to manage digital operations. I wrote about this last fall when IDC published the findings in a white paper.

Curious to learn more? Check out the webinar: Carpe Momentum: Seizing the Moments that Matter in a Complex World, where PagerDuty and IDC discuss in detail some of the findings from the research.