Even in the best of times, IT teams struggle with myriad issues related to managing their application environments
A survey of 1,000 C-level executives at software-as-a-service (SaaS) application providers finds that while the bulk of respondents are “highly confident” or “confident” that their cloud applications were running efficiently (91%), many also are still concerned about staying within budget (65%), maximizing resources (62%) and maintaining uptime.
Results of the survey conducted by Opsani, a provider of tools for optimizing cloud applications based on machine learning algorithms, suggest that even the most advanced IT organizations are finding it challenging to optimize application performance within the constraints of their IT budgets.
Amir Sharif, vice president of marketing for Opsani, said most SaaS providers have already optimized complex application environments to the greatest extent possible by a team of humans no matter how mature their DevOps processes. The next level of optimization requires artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that can discover, correlate and analyze real-time events and dependencies at levels of scale no human can match, he said.
Within the most advanced IT teams, all the tasks that can be automated easily have already been completed, added Sharif. As IT environments become more complex, optimizing the IT environment requires platforms capable of instantly implementing policies and procedures defined by the IT team. That shift doesn’t eliminate the need for a DevOps team, but rather a shift in their role to define the policies that need to be automated, he said.
The Opsani survey finds 43% of respondents update software daily and 37% release new software weekly. Only 15% said they conduct hourly sprints. The top concerns among respondents are employees wasting time on mundane tasks (54%), followed by finding talent (47%) and legacy processes that don’t reflect today’s technology landscape (43%).
When asked how often their organizations optimized their application stack, 82% said they do so regularly, with 81% reporting their organizations already make use of AI tools for faster decision-making.
When asked about service level objectives and performance goals, respondents cited transactions per second as their top metric (63%), followed by latency (47%), dollar per transaction (43%). IOPS and throughput tied for fourth (34%).
Sharif said resistance to AI in general is declining in most IT organizations given the level of complexity faced. A 10-tier microservices application and a backend database developed by Google has more than 75 quintillion configuration permutations that must be adjusted. The average IT team might never attempt to deploy something that complex, but even comparatively simple microservices-based applications can have millions of configuration permutations that can adversely impact performance and security.
Of course, most C-level executives are likely to think highly of their organization’s IT capabilities. The rank and file, however, make assessments that are a little less rosy. The challenge is, not many IT teams have a lot of insight into how well anyone else is doing. It may be cold comfort to see that even advanced IT teams are struggling with issues.
However, most teams that are driving revenue-generating applications for an organization will have access to more advanced IT tools a lot sooner than the average enterprise.