The shift to a digitally dependent remote workforce across numerous industries was instantaneous for organizations after the COVID-19 pandemic spread, and after months of adapting, this way of life has become “a new normal.” IT professionals are facing unprecedented pressure to meet the increased demands they are experiencing now and preparing for the changes that will continue after the pandemic, such as enabling remote employees and driving the business. This presents an immense opportunity for these professionals to make a change.
In recent months, limits to digital transformation and what organizations are capable of have been tested and surpassed. IT professionals have searched for tools, visibility and insights to help them manage the new challenges so the technology being used by organizations continues to perform well. This means expectations moving forward have been set even higher for the level of performance these professionals provide. If limits can be exceeded and issues solved as they arise, what does this mean post-COVID-19?
Agents of Transformation
We call the professionals who are navigating these digital changes and inspiring innovation Agents of Transformation. As the leaders of the IT industry, these technologists are identifying what tools are needed not only for their efforts, but also for the organizations they support to provide a tighter interlock between IT and business leaders. Our recent special COVID-19 research report showed how the pandemic has changed the industry long-term.
According to the report, 79% of the 1,000 IT professionals we surveyed believe the pandemic will separate the strong from the weak in tech teams worldwide. Even if organizations find themselves surviving the digital transformation changes they’re making during the pandemic, it is crucial they also plan for the future so they do not fall behind with any additional new curveballs. As documented in the chart below, the key areas these Agents of Transformation think will change in business practices are risk and disaster planning, the continued use of remote working tools and flexible resourcing.
Planning for Changes in Business Practices
COVID-19 brought a lot of unexpected challenges that forced organization leaders to adapt. It is crucial organizations determine what their plans are moving forward and how they will be implemented. Once organizations know what their ideal digital journey looks like, they can begin to fill in the missing pieces such as how it could be impacted by outside forces like COVID-19 and how they can navigate these changes. Digital transformation will continue to play a key role in a post-COVID world with potential challenges including:
- Delivering positive experiences at an increased capacity.
- Lack of visibility into the performance of technologies.
- Managing mean time to repair (MTTR).
Continued Use of Remote Working Tools and Technologies
Even as health risks decrease and more employees are allowed to return to work, survey respondents expect tools and technologies for remote working are here to stay. To be successful moving forward in a world now dependent on digital transformation, organizations should figure out what their digital needs are, whether to efficiently manage increased traffic on their applications or support space for storing the influx of data. It is also important that an organization’s plans for a digital journey focus on things such as collaboration, clear goals and objectives and autonomy.
Keeping the above in mind, one way to prepare for shifting digital goals is by embracing risk and experimentation. Applying scalable cloud instances alongside microservices allows IT teams to quickly test agile new features with a small group of users, then scale out as needed. The future is uncertain, but with digital transformation continuing to grow, organizations should use this time to push new features for their applications that can address current and potential future bottlenecks. For example, if an organization noticed COVID-19 led to larger issues in their applications, they could use this time to research and try new tools that can address the smaller challenges, allowing for more time to focus on tackling the prominent challenges.
Jump-starting Your Digital Today
Organizations can jumpstart their digital transformation by adopting tools such as cloud monitoring, microservices and application performance management (APM). By identifying and preventing issues before the end user experience is diminished, organizations can reduce customer support issues and ensure continued brand loyalty.
Tools such as APM can accurately monitor and manage application technology stacks, from the user experience to network performance. These tools can help address surges in demand or shifts in resource allocations, especially as user behaviors change throughout the pandemic. While IT professionals often struggle to manage and scale services, it is possible to do this without sacrificing the user experience.
Cloud monitoring can help organizations prepare for traffic surges during and after the pandemic, through scalable cloud instances that offer additional capacity for IT resources. Many on-premises resources that are bound to offices or other physical locations are currently underutilized due to remote work. As a result, 74% of technologists surveyed said that digital transformation projects which would normally take more than a year to be approved are now moving forward within a matter of weeks. To keep up with this growing adoption, cloud monitoring provides IT professionals with real-time visibility and insights. Implementing microservices can also support organizations to develop, test and deploy new features at an extraordinary rate, resulting in improvements in security, speed and productivity.
Now that these changes are more familiar to end users, expectations will remain high moving forward. The organizations that successfully tackle challenges during the pandemic will be far more resilient. Internal processes have been a longtime barrier for companies to transform. Our current situation has broken down some old barriers and allowed for rapid changes in styles of work, which is likely to continue in some fashion post-pandemic. Businesses will see the value and become less risk-averse, empowering their IT teams to push the envelope for their ongoing transformations.
Whether it is through utilizing tools such as APM, cloud monitoring and microservices, disaster planning or managing the complexity of cloud and on-premises assets, technologists have never had a bigger opportunity to lead their businesses through change or bring closer alignment of IT to the business.