David Noël, Regional Vice President, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, AppDynamics.
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Pandemic flip, creation of overwhelming IT complexity

After more than a year of urgent and rapid digital transformation in response to the global pandemic, technologists find themselves struggling to manage spiralling levels of complexity within the IT department.

In Agents of Transformation 2021: The Rise of Full-Stack Observability, 79% of UAE technologists claimed that their response to Covid-19 has created more IT complexity than they have ever experienced.

The need to meet dramatically changed customer and employee demands during the pandemic has seen organisations develop and launch new digital services at breakneck speed, whilst accelerating their cloud computing initiatives to add greater agility and resilience to their IT operations. AppDynamics research found that the average speed of digital transformation has been three times faster since the beginning of the pandemic.

Research found average speed of digital transformation has been three times faster since beginning of the pandemic

But whilst these digital transformation projects have undoubtedly delivered on their objectives – many businesses simply would not exist today if they had not – they have also left technologists dealing with a sprawling IT estate, across a patchwork of legacy and cloud technologies.

With heightened pressure to deliver faultless digital experiences to customers and employees at all times, technologists have recognised the need to monitor the full IT estate, from customer-facing applications through to third party services and core infrastructure such as network and security.

But this enhanced monitoring has meant that technologists are now facing soaring volumes of data from up and down their IT stack, and this data noise is further adding to the complexity which is now engulfing many IT departments.

Yet they are unable to identify performance issues and monitor IT estate in a single, unified view

Unfortunately, many technologists find themselves without the tools they need to cut through complexity and turn this mass of data into meaningful and actionable insights. They do not have the visibility they need to monitor performance across their IT estate and to identify issues early so they can be fixed before they impact end users.

Research found that as many as 85% of UAE technologists are still relying on multiple, disconnected monitoring solutions — 11% higher than the global average — and this is making their day-to-day activities extremely challenging, if not impossible. They are being asked to deliver digital transformation at ever greater speeds and maintain faultless digital experiences at all times, yet they are unable to easily identify technology performance issues and monitor their IT estate in a single, unified view.

Regional technologists do not just need visibility into IT performance to tackle complexity; they also need to understand how performance issues impact customers and the business. They need a business lens on technology performance in order to prioritise actions, innovation and investment based on real-world commercial impact.

As many as 85% of UAE technologists are still relying on multiple, disconnected monitoring solutions

Despite the critical role that technology is now playing within organisations, many technologists still lack the strategy and tools to effectively measure how technology decisions impact business outcomes. They have no hard data to tell them where they should be focusing their attention and are instead having to rely on instinct and gut feeling when deciding priorities.

On a day-to-day basis, the inability to link technology performance to customer and business outcomes makes it extremely difficult for technologists to make the right decisions as they look to drive innovation and deliver faultless digital experiences.

64% admit that they waste a lot of time because they cannot easily isolate where performance issues are actually happening. And even when they do identify issues, technologists do not know which of them actually matter most. The result is long hours spent and huge frustration in the IT department.

UAE technologists are rightly concerned about the consequences of not connecting IT performance to real-time business data. 83% fear that the inability to connect full-stack observability with business performance will be detrimental to their business in 2021 and 67% are worried that it will mean they cannot exploit the full benefits of the digital transformation they have already driven over the past year.

David Noël, Regional Vice President, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, AppDynamics.
David Noël, Regional Vice President, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, AppDynamics.

Organisations simply cannot afford to jeopardise the innovation gains of 2020 or to falter as they look for even greater innovation in the year ahead.

The landscape in which technologists are operating has changed massively due to the pandemic. For more than a year, technologists have been working under intense pressure at the sharp end of their organisations’ response to the pandemic, battling through complexity to deliver innovation and seamless digital experiences. And it should be said that technologists in the region have undeniably risen to the challenge.

Technologists still lack tools to measure how technology decisions impact business outcomes

But we have now reached a point where traditional, pre-pandemic tools and processes have been rendered obsolete in the face of this heightened IT complexity. It simply is not sustainable or fair for technologists to continue to be asked to hurry through innovation projects and deliver enhanced digital experiences when they still do not have the right level of visibility across their IT estate.

With the speed of digital transformation set to accelerate even further over the year ahead, business and IT leaders need to take notice: almost all 99% UAE technologists state that having the ability to monitor all technical areas across their IT stack and directly link technical performance to business outcomes will be important during 2021; 79% of them cite this as being critical to their ability to meet their organisations’ innovation goals.

The message is clear. Unless technologists have access to a whole new level of visibility and insight into technology performance, and the ability to link this to business outcomes, then organisations in the UAE are hugely jeopardising their digital transformation ambitions. Surely that is a risk no business can afford to take in 2021.

Technologists find themselves without tools to cut through complexity and turn data into insights and get visibility to monitor their IT estate.