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Monitoring Strategies to Benefit IT During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

By Steve Long, Regional CTO, AppDynamics, part of Cisco

It's no secret that IT professionals are being asked to do more than ever before. Throughout 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to remote work have changed the responsibilities of IT practitioners, CIOs and IT decision makers. In the recent AppDynamics Agents of Transformation Report, 81 percent of technologists said that COVID-19 created the biggest technology pressure for their organization that they have ever experienced, and individually, 61 percent of technologists reported feeling more pressure at work than ever before. 

This pressure being placed on IT teams is further confirmed by a recent IBM survey of C-Suite executives, who identified employee burnout as one of the biggest hurdles to overcome during digital transformation, brought on by the pandemic and posing a challenge not just now, but for at least the next two years.

So, what can CIOs, business leaders and IT decision makers do to mitigate the pressures on technologists? There are several strategies that organizations can implement, however, strategic decisions around automation and holistic monitoring solutions cannot only make technologists' lives easier now, but in the long run and ultimately contribute to the ongoing well-being of their organization.

AIOps is a starting point

Gartner predicted earlier this year that Artificial Intelligence would "remain one of the top workloads driving infrastructure decisions through 2023," sharing that infrastructure for IT services no longer lives just in the datacenter -- it's everywhere. Even before the pandemic, technologists were responsible for maintaining workloads from on-premise to the cloud. Managing all these ecosystems is made easier and more effective through an AIOps strategy, which frees up bandwidth and creates opportunities for IT practitioners to focus their efforts and energy on what's most pressing: enabling the digital transformation that's needed by enterprises, and many are still using legacy systems that need to adapt to our increasingly virtual world.

Internet visibility is needed

While AIOps can free up technologists' time and energy, keeping a pulse on the internet is key for providing these professionals the tools they need to successfully navigate work post-COVID-19. In a recent study on internet performance, ThousandEyes (a part of Cisco) revealed a global rise in internet disruptions by as much as 63 percent, which remained elevated throughout the first half of 2020 compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Interestingly, ThousandEyes found that internet service providers were hit the hardest, while cloud provider networks demonstrated greater overall stability between the months of January and July. The internet is already unpredictable, but the pandemic has elevated that uncertainty. Combine that with rapid cloud service adoption and widespread use of SaaS applications, and there is a whole new host of business continuity risks technologists must address.

Holistic monitoring solutions are key

It may not be easy to fully predict what will happen in 2021, but it's safe to say that hybrid and multi-cloud environments and distributed apps and services are going to continue to grow. Organizations should think holistically about their monitoring approaches as operations move to the cloud. As applications become more distributed, whether they are custom-built or SaaS applications, the network becomes critical to their performance.

Additionally, as applications are increasingly dependent on the network, they can begin to have a visibility gap between the application and the broader network, including the public Internet.

A holistic monitoring solution ultimately affects IT practitioners because it opens up their field of view beyond just applications and takes the Internet into consideration as well. For example, the combination of the AppDynamics platform with ThousandEyes addresses this gap by providing the visibility necessary to pinpoint issues in the network and quickly triage them, determining if anomalies are within a network or an application. Additionally, ThousandEyes will enable AppDynamics users to monitor the performance of their SaaS applications, giving technologists greater control and visibility into the areas that need their attention most.

As we enter the "next normal," investing in addressing the needs of both internet and application monitoring will be key as technologists figure out how to implement business success. Breaking down the silos within monitoring, as well as investing in tools that make technologists' jobs easier, can lead to greater efficiencies, issue remediation and innovation.

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About the Author

Steve Long 

Steve Long serves as Regional CTO at AppDynamics, part of Cisco. He is a technology leader experienced in running large scale internet utility, media and banking technology operations, and has held CIO and executive positions across a broad selection of companies for over 20 years. 

Published Tuesday, October 20, 2020 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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