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PagerDuty 2018 Predictions: Focusing on the Human Side of Ops

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Eric Sigler, Head of DevOps at PagerDuty

Focusing on the Human Side of Ops

2017 brought about mounting pressure on professionals operating IT infrastructure. Our always-on, always-available culture perpetuated by mobile devices and multiple screens has become the norm, raising the stakes on the performance of digital services. Ninety-eight percent of organizations indicate that just one hour of downtime costs them over $100,000, and one third report that an hour of downtime costs them over $1 million.

With thousands--or even millions--of dollars on the line, tackling unplanned interruptions to a digital service or a reduction in the quality of a that service can be a daunting responsibility with significant implications. For today's IT professionals tasked with maintaining 24/7 digital offerings, the struggle to find work-life balance is real. On-call teams are often asked to drop what they are doing--even if it means an interruption in their sleep or personal lives--and respond if something goes wrong with a critical system.

In 2018, I believe we'll start to see more organizations consider the impact these expectations have on their employees--and ultimately what that means for their business. With the growing tie between operations and the business bottom line, there is an increased pressure on ITOps teams to move quickly. As a result, there is bound to be significant impact on the health and well-being of these professionals. This not only produces concerning work-life balance challenges, but can also result in high turnover of critical employees and low productivity in the workplace.

Organizations will need to develop a framework for evaluating and preserving employee health, which can include everything from reassessing the way teams are structured and staffed to balance the amount of time employees spend on-call, to the implications of alert fatigue and the best way to coordinate triage and workflows. A concept once reserved for more traditional industries like healthcare, in 2018 employee health management will become as critical a part of the IT equation as the tools and technologies themselves.

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About the Author

Eric Sigler 

Eric Sigler is the Head of DevOps for PagerDuty, evangelizing culture, automation, measurement, and sharing. Prior to his current role, he lead PagerDuty's Developer Tools team, implementing Continuous Deployment across the company's infrastructure. During his 16 year career in infrastructure engineering, he's been the Technical Operations Manager at Minted and Manager of Computing Systems at Missouri S&T.
Published Friday, January 19, 2018 7:51 AM by David Marshall
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