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IT departments spend millions tackling performance issues in complex IT

A study has found that CIOs are concerned that a modern software-driven, hybrid, multi-cloud architecture will be costly and difficult to manage

IT departments are spending more than $3.3m a year dealing with performance problems, a survey from Vanson Bourne for Dynatrace has found. 

The Top challenges for CIOs in a software-driven, hybrid, multi-cloud world study reported that among the 800 CIO who participated in the global survey, the average organisational overhead in dealing with IT performance issues increased by 34% over the $2.5m overhead cost in 2018.

The study reported that IT teams now spend 33% of their time dealing with digital performance problems. Among the biggest challenges facing IT is the fact that the IT environment is getting more complex.

The vast majority of CIOs expect to deploy new technology stacks in the next 12 months. Most CIOs said they 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 survey also reported that the average mobile or web application transaction crosses 37 different technology systems or components. According to Dynatrace, this brings an inherent increase in IT complexity, making it harder for organisations to manage performance.

As the software landscape evolves, enterprise applications and the hybrid cloud environments they run in are increasingly dynamic and complex, with thousands of connected services, millions of lines of code, trillions of dependencies. CIO responses captured in the 2019 research indicate that lost revenue (49%) and reputational damage (52%) are among the biggest concerns as businesses transform into software businesses and move to the cloud.

The CIOs who took part in the survey also expressed concerns about the effect a modern, highly interconnected, complex IT architecture has on IT performance and, ultimately, the business. As this complexity continues to rise, the survey reported that 74% of CIOs believe it could soon become extremely difficult to manage performance efficiently.

“As complexity grows beyond IT teams’ capabilities, the economics of throwing more manpower at the problem no longer works,” said Bernd Greifeneder, founder and CTO, Dynatrace.

During the Gartner Catalyst conference in London, Gartner analysts discussed how IT architectures needed to evolve into adaptable, connected infrastructure.

In his keynote presentation opening the conference, Elias Khnaser, vice-president and analyst at Gartner, said: “We need the platforms to be programmable, modular and intelligent. Infrastructure needs to be API-driven.”

Such an approach would make it possible to automate the management of complex IT systems and infrastructure, according to Khnaser.

As organisations build out increasingly complex, inter-connected architectures that use microservices public clouds and on-premise IT, manual systems management becomes near impossible. Some experts believe the systems will become self-managing.

Gartner describes this as “intent-based management”, where the system automatically provisions and deploys whatever IT it deems necessary to complete a business process. Dynatrace is among a number of software tools providers looking at exploiting machine learning to help IT departments support an increasingly complex, heterogeneous system architecture.

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