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VMblog Expert Interview: Tej Redkar of LogicMonitor Talks Cloud-based IT Infrastructure Monitoring for Hybrid Environments

interview logicmonitor redkar

The recent pandemic has caused a huge shift in the way organizations and their workforce have had to quickly change in order to maintain operations.  And there are many challenges that come with such a quick migration to supporting a remote workforce.  To dive into this topic and gain a better understanding of the challenges and benefits with enabling cloud-based IT infrastructure monitoring for hybrid environments, VMblog reached out to one of the industry's experts, Tej Redkar, the Chief Product Officer at LogicMonitor.

VMblog:  What are some of the common requests you are hearing from customers during this massive transition to the cloud?

Tej Redkar:  LogicMonitor received many requests for remote monitoring capabilities after COVID-19 suddenly forced customers to pivot their entire infrastructure to support a remote workforce. This unexpected shift challenged IT teams to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives in order to maintain a seamless digital experience for both employees and customers. Without remote monitoring capabilities, companies may experience issues in key business continuity technologies that could impact availability, employee productivity, and business performance. 

Customers are looking for solutions that  provide deeper visibility into the performance of their business-critical applications and infrastructure as they struggle to effectively manage their distributed workforces. IT infrastructure monitoring that covers both on-premises and cloud technologies can help with this burden. Our customers need to be able to monitor the cloud-based technologies that are keeping their businesses up and running, like video conferencing applications (Zoom, GoToMeeting, Citrix), productivity tools (Microsoft Office 365), cloud applications, engineering services (like GitHub, Gitlab, AWS), VPNs, and ISP connectivity. 

With hybrid monitoring, IT teams can monitor the status of these business-critical applications, collect metrics on active and inactive users, view storage usage for their cloud plans, and keep track of total meeting minutes, size, and count. Our customers come to us for help in maintaining business continuity. This year has certainly helped our customers pressure-test their IT infrastructure amid unexpected challenges and come out stronger on the other side. 

VMblog:  What are some of the biggest challenges that this accelerated transition presents?

Redkar:  In this fast-paced digitized world, today's enterprises need to focus on three main aspects of their business - customer experience, employee productivity, and the digital infrastructure that empowers both. Just as abruptly as the coronavirus pandemic dispersed society, company leaders were forced to make swift adjustments to address the needs of their remote workforce and deliver a digitized experience for customers. Accelerating digital transformation plans is an inevitable imperative for most companies, as long as they're prepared to invest their time and money to transition some or all of their infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud.

However, cloud migration requires not only the financial investment in SaaS tools, but also the IT team's availability and expertise to help make this transition, which is increasingly more difficult when much if not all of the workforce is operating outside of the traditional office setting. Without a clear resolution to our remote working days, failing to expand to the cloud can have further financial implications from lost productivity and downtime to a poorly executed customer experience, which is the last thing any company needs during this pandemic. 

VMblog:  What does this mean for on-premises solutions?

Redkar:  According to a recent study we conducted during the global coronavirus pandemic, 35% of IT decision-makers said that their company workloads were housed on-premises prior to COVID-19. Now that companies need more access to cloud technologies, such as collaboration tools, data sharing, and VPN, the same group of IT leaders anticipate a 13% decline in on-premises workloads by 2025. 

I predict we will see rapid growth in public and hybrid cloud environments, not only because it keeps employees connected while dispersed, but because these cloud technologies help companies save time and money, while providing a better experience and global reach for their customers. Today, more than 90% of your bank transactions are through the bank's mobile app instead of a physical branch. So, cloud enables businesses to reach customers wherever they are in the world, providing a true global experience. COVID-19 hasn't drastically changed the fate of on-premises solutions, as they were already on the way out. However, COVID-19 has drastically changed the timeline for this transition, and the companies who adjust quickly will come out ahead.

VMblog:  Does this mean the decline of the hybrid cloud as well, or are there some things that just have to stay on-prem?

Redkar:  It's a fair assumption to make that the vast majority of organizations will prioritize cloud migration due to the many benefits it can provide. In the same study mentioned earlier, more than three-quarters (78%) of IT leaders said that their company's post-COVID-19 workloads will reside in the hybrid cloud. When asked how long they think it will be before more than 95% of all public, private and hybrid workloads run in the cloud, 74% of respondents said it will happen in the next five years. 

However, not all organizations are able to fully migrate to the cloud, so the hybrid cloud model is a great option. Transitioning to a hybrid cloud environment makes sense for organizations in highly regulated industries like government and finance that need SaaS applications for core services but can't fully move away from on-prem for compliance reasons. Moving an entire enterprise infrastructure into the cloud can also be too complex or costly for organizations that have made significant investments in on-prem or homegrown solutions, in which case the hybrid cloud represents a solid middle ground. Also, private cloud technologies are modernizing through software-defined digitization that will help optimize the overall hybrid-cloud landscape without losing significant business capabilities.

VMblog:  What benefits are customers most excited about when it comes to enabling cloud-based IT infrastructure monitoring for hybrid environments?

Redkar:  The fundamental concept that customers have accepted is that they shouldn't be running monitoring systems on their own, it defeats the purpose of monitoring. On top of that, most IT infrastructure monitoring tools take months to implement and rely on agents installed across all devices, which is increasingly more difficult to accomplish when offices are currently closed. In an era of remote work and digital transformation, modern enterprises can enjoy many benefits from cloud-based IT infrastructure monitoring solutions. They are easy to deploy, work seamlessly in hybrid infrastructure environments, can scale to support growth, and monitor the entire stack to keep businesses up and running.  

In the long-run, companies that implement cloud-based IT infrastructure monitoring save their IT teams time and money, gain comprehensive visibility into their complex IT infrastructure and  reduce the risk of downtime. If companies deploy an intelligent monitoring solution, they can also embrace the benefits of AIOps to prevent problems before they start. At the end of the day, robust, cloud-based IT infrastructure monitoring frees up IT teams to do more innovative, interesting work and help move their businesses forward.

VMblog:  What are some of the biggest challenges you are helping customers address when enabling cloud-based IT infrastructure monitoring?

Redkar:  With cloud-based IT infrastructure monitoring, customers can face and remediate challenges head on including eliminating tool sprawl, maintaining data continuity, and gaining a unified view into all components of their complex infrastructure. With this type of visibility, IT teams can re-allocate their staff for more high-impact projects, like digital transformation initiatives, instead of time-consuming monitoring activities. Once IT teams can visualize their entire infrastructure, they can better understand how to adapt to the changing needs of the business and strategize the best ways to modernize and provide an improved customer experience.

VMblog:  Finally, you mentioned your recent study that your company conducted, how can readers get a copy of this report?

Redkar:  Absolutely, VMblog readers can download a copy of our Evolution of IT Research Report to learn more.  This is our global survey of 500 IT leaders which details the impact COVID has had on their departments.


Published Tuesday, August 04, 2020 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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