Organisations everywhere are in the midst of a momentous change that’s transforming them from traditional businesses into software businesses, writes Michael Allen VP & CTO EMEA, Dynatrace.
As they strive to deliver seamless digital experiences and innovate faster to meet user expectations, more workloads are being transferred into enterprise cloud ecosystems that provide greater agility. However, this transformation is introducing a level of complexity that IT and digital business teams have never experienced before. Research reveals that IT teams are now spending around a third of their time dealing with performance problems, costing their employers an average of $3.3 million each year.
The Increasingly Cloudy Future
These surging costs and the escalating challenge of managing performance is being driven largely by the rising complexity of enterprise applications and the dynamic nature of the hybrid, multi-cloud ecosystems they run in. New cloud native and mobile applications are being built on multiple platforms and then integrated with business-critical legacy systems. Whilst this enables the agility needed to accelerate innovation, it’s also resulted in an IT environment where a single web or mobile application transaction crosses an average of 37 different systems or components. This creates an intricate web of dependences that IT must understand to manage the user-experience effectively.
The reality is that if organisations are unable to understand the complexity within their enterprise cloud environments, it could lead to a myriad of problems in today’s age of the customer, where digital experience is paramount. This is causing real concern for CIOs, with 44% saying that their inability to manage IT performance is so significant it poses a threat to the very existence of their business. Whether it’s preventing consumers from buying a rail-ticket or accessing online banking, performance problems can have severe business level consequences, be it through reputational damage or lost revenues, neither of which businesses can afford.
Obfuscation and Obscurity Abound
As they’ve sought to allay these concerns, organisations have come to reply on a mixed bag of monitoring tools that each provide their own piece of the puzzle as to what is taking place within the enterprise cloud. However, whilst these tools were adopted to make monitoring easier, they have in many ways had the opposite effect. Many of these tools have forced IT teams to manually aggregate and correlate data from multiple sources to build and maintain a complete picture of their cloud ecosystem. This has become impossible to keep up with amidst the constant barrage of data that’s being served up on a variety of dashboards every minute of every day. As a result, it’s becoming harder to deliver services reliably, as IT struggles to maintain visibility into user-experiences.
The problems with multiple monitoring tools are exacerbated further by the increasingly dynamic nature of cloud infrastructure. Despite cloud native architectures bringing a phenomenal level of agility to enterprise IT ecosystems, helping organisations to accelerate innovation, it’s made it more difficult to monitor performance. For example, the ‘black box’ nature of containers is creating blind spots, where IT teams have to rely on guesswork and intuition to identify and resolve performance problems. Revealing the extent of this particular challenge, nearly three-quarters of CIOs say they are finding it very difficult to monitor the performance of microservices.
Seeing Through The Clouds To Overcome Complexity
Despite the significant investments they’re making in their efforts to manage digital performance, many organisations are still often unable to identify the precise root-cause and remediate the underlying issue quickly enough to prevent customers and end-users from being impacted. This leaves them vulnerable in a world where consumers have seemingly limitless choice and it’s easier than ever for them to switch to an alternative provider that can offer a better experience.
Ultimately, IT and business leaders must realise that the economics of throwing more manpower at the problem no longer works. Today’s organisations need to combine a real-time view of their hybrid cloud environment with deterministic AI that provides actionable insights into the performance of applications, the underlying virtual infrastructure and the impact that has on the user experience. This can enable true software intelligence and set modern software businesses on the path to autonomous IT operations. Only then will they be able to truly master performance and deliver seamless digital experiences amidst the complexity of the enterprise cloud.