Survey: How IT is Adapting to the New Normal

4 Min Read | April 21, 2020

The results of a new report, “How IT Operations Leaders Can Deliver Business Value in an Economic Slowdown,” highlights new tech initiatives and priorities during Covid-19.

By all fiscal measures, the U.S. and global economy has taken a bitter downward spiral in the last six weeks. With ever-growing jobless claims and stock market losses, many IT execs are quickly re-shifting all priorities and strategies to cope with great uncertainty over the next 12 months.

On April 1, we conducted a survey to take the pulse of how IT leaders will align technology priorities, budgets, and hiring in the volatile economic environment brought on by Covid-19.

Participants were optimistic about budgets and plans, despite the economic slowdown:

  • Most (58%) IT directors and other leaders reported that they are maintaining or increasing technology budgets.
  • A large majority (73%) also reported that they’d stay on track or accelerate with digital transformation plans
Impact on Digital Transformation Spending

 “Thriving in the New Normal: How IT Operations Leaders Can Deliver Business Value in an Economic Slowdown,” OpsRamp, April 2020.

Clearly, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have heightened the need for and value of technology in our society. Online activity has exploded, yet the Internet and the major cloud providers have held up remarkably well in the face of this sudden, long-lasting spike in demand. Companies making online collaboration and self-service tools are in superb positions for growth, as are makers of the core infrastructure technologies that run the critical applications and web sites that people are depending upon so much right now. 

The survey identified the following technology priorities for 2020:

  • Cybersecurity. Given the sudden spike in telecommuting, technology leaders must balance workforce productivity goals with cybersecurity risks. Technologies such as identity management, network connectivity, and endpoint security tools will be in demand. 
  • Big Data and analytics. Business and IT executives need to embrace data-driven decision making so that their organizations can react quickly to unexpected opportunities and marketplace shifts.
  • Cloud infrastructure. Enterprises are turning to scalable cloud services to meet sudden demand spikes and minimize onsite staff at their datacenter facilities.
    Technology Investment Focus Areas
    “Thriving in the New Normal: How IT Operations Leaders Can Deliver Business Value in an Economic Slowdown,” OpsRamp, April 2020.

New performance monitoring capabilities are also critical, as customer usage and expectations grow:

  • Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps). Nearly 70% of IT leaders are looking to invest in AIOps tools that combine machine learning and data science techniques for faster incident diagnosis, rapid response, and service restoration. 
  • Cloud Native Observability. More than half (51%) are interested in cloud native observability tools which combine metrics, logs, and traces for managing the health and performance of distributed microservices built on containerized infrastructure.
  • Network Performance. Network performance monitoring and diagnostics tools are also high on the list, helping IT operations teams closely track historical and real-time network traffic patterns across hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure.
    Leading Tools for Performance Monitoring
    “Thriving in the New Normal: How IT Operations Leaders Can Deliver Business Value in an Economic Slowdown,” OpsRamp, April 2020.

The report also uncovered new priorities for cost management: More than two-thirds (68%) of IT directors are hiring IT finance professionals, investing in self-service technologies (60%), consolidating vendors (59%) and relying more heavily on MSPs (58%). Beyond cost optimization, MSPs are valuable for their technical and security expertise, respondents report.

IT leaders have challenges today which they’ve never faced before, and an unknown end date to “the new normal” of digital-only, remote work. Yet the greatest hurdle they report is nothing new: alignment with the business. To remain viable, IT leaders will need to make watertight connections with business counterparts and demonstrate how their work has a transformative impact on top-level goals.

Download the full report here.

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