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Enterprise cloud complexity making IT performance 'extremely' difficult to manage 

Digital transformation, migration to the enterprise cloud and increasing customer demands are creating a surge in IT complexity and the associated costs of managing it, according to a new study fringe software intelligence company, Dynatrace.

The Top Challenges for CIOs in a Software-Driven, Hybrid, Multi-Cloud World study found technical leaders around the world are concerned about the effect this has on IT performance and ultimately, their business. 

The research indicates that lost revenue (49%) and reputational damage (52%) are among the biggest concerns as businesses transform into software businesses and move to the cloud. And, as CIOs struggle to prevent these concerns from becoming reality, IT teams now spend 33% of their time dealing with digital performance problems, costing businesses an average of $3.3 million annually, compared to $2.5 million in 2018; an increase of 34%. 

To combat this, 88% of CIOs say AI will be critical to IT's ability to master increasing complexity.  

The report found that software is transforming every business.

"Every company, in every industry, is transforming into a software business. The way enterprises interact with customers, assure quality experiences and optimise revenues is driven by applications and the hybrid, multi-cloud environments underpinning them," says Bernd Greifeneder, founder and CTO, Dynatrace.

"Success or failure comes down to the software supporting these efforts. The pressure of this run-the-business software performing properly has significant ramifications for IT professionals," he says.  

The study found 44% of CIOs fear there could be a threat to the existence of their business if they are unable to manage IT performance.  And, as complexity continues to grow, 74% of CIOs say it could soon become extremely difficult to manage performance efficiently. 

According to the study, enterprise cloud-first strategies increase complexity.

"Underpinning this software revolution is the enterprise cloud, allowing companies to innovate faster and better meet the needs of customers," explains Greifeneder.

"The enterprise cloud is dynamic, hybrid, multi-cloud, and web-scale, containing hundreds of technologies, millions of lines of code and billions of dependencies," he says. 

"However, this transformation isn't simply about lifting and shifting apps to the cloud, it's a fundamental shift in how applications are built, deployed and operated." 

The report found that the majority of CIOs are already using or are planning to deploy microservices (88%), containers (86%), serverless computing (85%), PaaS (89%), SaaS (94%), IaaS (91%) and private cloud (95%) in the next 12 months.  

"The average mobile or web application transaction crosses 37 different technology systems or components. This brings an inherent increase in IT complexity, making it harder for organisations to manage performance," says Greifeneder.

The report also found the age of the customer increases pressure to deliver great experiences. 

"We are squarely in the age of the customer, where high quality service is paramount due to the ease with which customers will try competitive offerings and share their experiences instantly via social media," Greifeneder explains.

The research highlights the extent to which businesses are struggling to combat IT complexity that threatens the customer experience, with CIOs revealing that on average, organisations have suffered six IT outages where user-experiences, business revenues or operations were impacted in the last 12 months. 

"IT teams are feeling the strain," Greifeneder says.

"Digital transformation, migration to the enterprise cloud and increasing customer demands are collectively putting pressure on IT teams, who continue to feel the strain, especially as it relates to performance," he says. 

Revealing the extent of this dilemma, key findings of the research also showed that: 

  • More than three quarters of CIOs (76%) say they don't have complete visibility into application performance in cloud-native architectures. 
  • 78% of CIOs are frustrated that so much time is spent setting up monitoring for different cloud environments when deploying new services.  
  • IT teams now spend around 33% of their time tackling performance problems.  

According to the study, CIOs are looking to AI for the answer.

"Exploring the potential antidote to these challenges, the research further reveals that 88% of CIOs say that they believe AI will be critical to IT's ability to master increasing complexity," explains Greifeneder. 

"As complexity grows beyond IT teams capabilities, the economics of throwing more manpower at the problem no longer works," he says. 

"Organisations need a radically different AI approach. That's why we reinvented from the ground up, creating an all-in-one platform with a deterministic AI at the core, which provides true causation, not just correlation," adds Greifeneder. 

"And, unlike machine learning approaches, Dynatrace does not require a lengthy learning period. The Dynatrace Software Intelligence Platform automatically discovers and captures high fidelity data from applications, containers, services, processes, and infrastructure," he explains. 

"It then automatically maps the billions of dependencies and interconnections in these complex environments. Its AI engine, Davis, analyses this data and its dependencies in real-time to instantly provide precise answers not just more data on glass. 

"It's this level of automation and intelligence that overcomes the challenges presented by the enterprise cloud and enables teams to develop better software faster, automate operations and deliver better business results," he says. 

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