PagerDuty Blog

New Tech Leader Survey Reveals Why the Time for Real-Time Operations is Now

“Customer obsessed.” “Customer-centric.” “Customer-first.” For CEO’s everywhere, setting and maintaining a coordinated focus on the customer has become a top priority when driving innovation. After all, for many organizations regardless of industry, digital customer experiences are what can make or break the bottom line. The adoption of DevOps and cloud technology has rotated around unlocking agility and scale as a competitive advantage to attain and keep these digital customers.

With this focus on digital, all eyes are on technical leadership to deliver. Whether B2B or B2C, modern customer expectations for digital, hybrid, and omnichannel experiences are higher than ever: everything must be seamless and available 24/7, 365 days a year. Reliability and innovation are business imperatives, and all eyes are on technical leadership to deliver.

But digital is hard. As with any complex systems, technology will break down and trends show that digital incidents are on the rise across the board. Left unchecked, these incidents threaten to not only damage customer experiences and business revenue, but also employee morale and retention.

As the operations cloud for the modern enterprise, we know that uptime is money, and we want to keep a pulse on how technical leaders globally are thinking about the needs of the business and how they’re planning to balance innovation with incident response in a way that can unlock better digital operations, enable faster remediation, and keep the business always on. To do this, we commissioned a global survey of 700 senior IT and development decision makers in large enterprises across North America, EMEA and APJ. Here’s what we learned.

The pressure to deliver on digital has never been greater, but traditional ITOps models aren’t keeping up

Today’s technical leaders are not only expected to deliver innovation alongside cost savings, they also have to ensure services are reliable around the clock. This increased pressure comes at a time when team health and happiness are extremely top of mind as the Great Resignation continues to have an impact across industries and leaders are keen to find strategies for preventing burnout and attrition.

Against this backdrop, most tech leaders (68%) say that they are doubling down on their digital transformation strategy and that those strategies (66%) are becoming more aligned to the business. This means more cloud migration and increasingly adopting microservice architecture to give development and IT teams the flexibility and scale to create and deliver at speed.

At the same time, the survey shows that traditional operating models are holding leaders and their organizations back. The overwhelming majority (91%) say that traditional IT Operations that were not built for the dynamic and complex technology stacks of today are no longer fit for purpose in the digital era.

Incidents impact both the business and its humans

The increasing volume of digital traffic, coupled with organizational inability to manage incidents effectively, hits both the bottom line and team morale. Innovation is sacrificed, with 3 in 5 leaders believing that innovation has “taken a backseat” to firefighting digital incidents.

Not having an effective way of managing incidents can also hurt revenues. Forty percent of leaders say their organizations have lost revenue as a result of rising digital incidents.

This increased burden also has a real human impact and poses a risk to teams’ wellbeing. Of the tech leaders we asked, 38% have seen an increase in employee burnout in technical teams. To contain this, workload management and team health must be a top priority to keep individuals happy and productive. To make that possible, leaders need a more dynamic, sustainable way to handle digital incidents.

When Seconds Matter, Real-Time Digital Operations is the Answer

The good news is, leaders are aware of these challenges and they want to do better. The majority (70%) say that if they are to innovate at pace, they need a new way to deal with digital incidents. To do this successfully requires a shift from traditional, ticket-based ITOps approaches towards real-time operations that mobilizes response teams in seconds, drives collaboration, and gives deep context on digital incidents.

And they believe that real-time operations can help. In fact, 65% of respondents say that adopting real-time digital operations will allow them to reduce the cost of ITOps and accelerate innovation.

What’s more, there are some clear steps that leaders have identified that can help them realize this modern vision of real-time operations. One key investment? Automation. Almost three quarters (73%) have already invested, or are planning to invest, in AIOps tools and automation to increase productivity and reduce the toil of manual, repetitive work on technical teams.

Here’s an infographic that summarizes some of the key findings from the report – to read the whole study, visit this link.

Download the full Digital Dependency in 2021: The Urgency of Real-Time Operations report, here.

This report is based on a global survey of 700 senior IT and development decision makers in large enterprises with over 1,000 employees, conducted by Coleman Parkes and commissioned by PagerDuty. The sample included 200 respondents in the U.S., 100 in each of the UK, France and Australia, 50 in each of Japan and New Zealand, 34 in Germany, and 33 in each of Austria and Switzerland.