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As they lead their organisations’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, and as the rate of digital transformation accelerates, technology departments and their leaders are making significant changes to their priorities, says research from AppDynamics.
The agents of transformation report highlights the fact that since the Covid-19 outbreak, technologists have experienced pressure from every angle as they mobilise workforces to operate from home, manage increasing pressure on their networks and applications, and maintain the security of the technology stack, while also taking on new roles and responsibilities.
Also, technology departments across the globe are grappling with surging demand and mounting pressures to accelerate digital transformation strategies. They are being tasked with delivering high-performing digital experiences to customers and all-remote workforces at a time when the very survival of their organisation rests on their shoulders.
In the study, 81% of technologists said Covid-19 had created the biggest technological pressure for their organisations that they had ever experienced and 61% said they felt under more pressure at work than ever before. Almost two-thirds (64%) of technologists said they were being asked to perform tasks and activities they had never done before.
Worryingly, two-thirds of the technologists conceded that the pandemic had exposed weaknesses in their digital strategies, creating an urgent need to accelerate initiatives that were once part of multi-year digital transformation programmes.
Three-quarters of the technologists reported that digital transformation projects, which would typically take more than a year to be approved, were now being signed off in a matter of weeks. More than 70% of the survey respondents pointed to digital transformation projects that had been implemented within weeks, rather than the months or years it would have taken before the pandemic.
As a result, some 95% of organisations have changed their tech priorities during the pandemic and 88% of technologists said the digital customer experience was now the priority. Yet the technologists as a whole stressed that they did not possess the resources and support they needed to make this priority shift.
Indeed, four-fifths said they felt held back from delivering the optimal customer experience because of a lack of visibility and insight into the performance of their technology stack.
Managing spikes in website traffic is now the technologists’ biggest challenge in delivering seamless customer experiences during the pandemic, indicated by 81% of those surveyed. This was followed by lack of unified visibility and insight into performance of the technology stack and its impact on customers (80%). Managing mean time to resolution (MTTR) with a remote IT department – now a reality for virtually every firm – was noted by 70%.
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Yet despite the enormous pressure on technologists, 87% said they regarded this period of time as an opportunity for tech professionals to show their value to the business. The survey showed that, already, four-fifths of technologists reported that the response of their IT teams to the pandemic had positively changed the perception of IT within their organisations.
With 83% of respondents stating that agents of transformation – elite technologists who possess the skills and attributes needed to drive innovation – are critical for businesses to recover quickly from the pandemic, AppDynamics said there was an urgent need for technologists to operate at the highest level of their profession.
“Technologists are stepping up in their organisations’ hour of need, and it is now the responsibility of business leaders to do everything possible to provide these women and men with the tools, leadership and support they require to deliver first-class digital customer and employee experiences,” said AppDynamics general manager Danny Winokur.
“It will be the skill, vision and leadership of these agents of transformation that will determine how businesses are able to navigate this turbulent period and emerge stronger on the other side.”