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Legacy monitoring tools hamper digital progress

Older monitoring tools lack support for microservices, containerisation and serverless computing, Forrester Consulting warns

A study by Forrester Consulting for artificial intelligence (AI) operations (AIOps) supplier Sciencelogic has found that digital transformation initiatives in many organisations are hampered by outdated and disconnected monitoring tools.

The online survey questioned 207 decision-makers in IT operations about their legacy infrastructure and application monitoring tools.

Forrester Consulting found that many companies which are looking to improve and increase their use of transformative tools such as data analytics and cloud still rely on legacy IT monitoring tools.

While 68% of the companies which took part in the study said they were evolving their IT operations to support business agility, only 12% were solely using modern tools.

According to Forrester Consulting, those IT departments with legacy tools are focused more on survival than transformation. Companies without a framework for modern toolsets are already behind, stifling future growth, it said.

The study report warned that companies depending exclusively on legacy tools were at risk of falling behind on the agility curve.

“These companies are under-invested in digital experience technologies and automation. This lack of digital maturity underscores the prohibitive nature of legacy tools. Some companies simply can’t invest in advanced digital technologies because their current legacy toolset doesn’t support them,” Forrester Consulting noted.

IT departments with legacy tools are focused more on survival than transformation
Forrester Consulting

The complexity of the IT monitoring environment challenges most IT organisations, regardless of whether they have adopted modern tools or remained loyal to legacy systems. While complexity increases with the use of 10 or more infrastructure and application monitoring tools, 33% of companies were found to be using more than 20, hindering agility and visibility.

The challenges that enterprises face vary depending on the type of toolset they have and the level of commitment to innovation from incumbent tool providers. Those using only legacy tools struggle with the basics. The report noted that IT staff may be too busy to learn new technologies and the monitoring environment unable to support next-generation architectures and hybrid IT. According to Forrester Consulting, such IT departments “are in survival mode” rather than transformation mode.

The study found that using legacy tools for monitoring core IT systems could lead to lengthened service disruptions, difficulties in finding faults in the system and poor customer experience. It also warned that such legacy tools are not able to support the shift to hybrid cloud environments or new application architectures such as containerised workloads, microservices and serverless applications.

Forrester Consulting noted that forward-thinking enterprises look to drive extensive automation with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to support complex IT environments. Companies must adopt a modern platform that brings order to chaos and future-proofs them as the adoption of newer technologies continues to rise, the report stated.

Read more about AIOps

  • To successfully reap the benefits of an AIOps implementation, IT teams first have to navigate some crucial cultural and technical shifts.
  • Conventional monitoring gives operations teams critical visibility into the health of their IT systems, but with limited scope. Through an AIOps tool, they can significantly broaden their view.

Read more on Managing servers and operating systems

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