Times are changing rapidly in the world of IT monitoring. A once stable landscape consisting of just a few monolithic solutions has exploded and fragmented as a new wave of tools better-suited to the scale, complexity and agility of modern infrastructure and applications has emerged.
Which is why the team at alert correlation platform vendor BigPanda decided to launch the first-ever “State of Monitoring 2016” survey. The goal was to shine a light on what today’s monitoring landscape looks like and, more importantly, delve into the challenges facing IT ops teams and how these issues affect performance.
In just one week, the survey gathered more than 1,700 responses, indicating that monitoring is clearly a critical, hot-button issue in the IT community. Respondents primarily identified as IT, engineering or operations professionals and represented a wide range of industries. While company size generally skewed larger (1,000+ employees), team size demonstrated the opposite trend (“less than 10” or “10-20” being the most common responses), indicating that organizations are either migrating away from a centralized IT structure or that companies are being forced to do more with less.
Key findings from the survey include:
- Almost two-thirds of respondents, including those at large enterprises, reported having production environments in the cloud, indicating that organizations increasingly are taking advantage of the scale and efficiency of cloud computing. Also, 75 percent indicated that cloud migration was currently a challenge for their team.
- The modern monitoring stack is increasingly diverse and complex. Among the top 10 most popular tools are solutions for a wide range of monitoring specialties, including systems monitoring, APM, web and user monitoring and log management. Furthermore, outside of the 23 tools included in the survey, about a quarter of respondents reported using at least one tool that wasn’t listed or an in-house solution.
- More tools equates to more noise, and IT teams are feeling the repercussions of alert pain more than ever before. Almost half of those surveyed receive more than 50 alerts per day from their tools, and about a quarter receive more than 100.
- Alert floods also have a clear and substantial effect on remediation. Of those who receive 100+ alerts per day, only 17 percent are able to investigate and remediate the majority (75 percent to 100 percent) within 24 hours.
- Eighty percent of respondents agree that a strategic monitoring process is important to their organization, but only 12 percent are very satisfied with their current approach.
- A good monitoring strategy goes a long way. Respondents who are satisfied with their organization’s monitoring strategy find critical IT issues much easier to handle and report the best rates of remediation.
- IT performance is increasingly tied to business performance. Customer satisfaction and service level agreement (SLA) compliance take the lead as the most common key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure IT performance, outranking mean time to response (MTTR) and incident volume.
- Good news for budgets, but not for ROI. Only 16 percent anticipate a decrease to their overall IT budget in 2016, but a dismal 9 percent reported that they were very satisfied with their organization’s monitoring strategy, based on overall investment.
The findings of the report confirm that while the IT stack of 2016 is one that is incredibly advanced, its complexity introduces a whole new range of challenges for IT teams. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution anymore for monitoring. To manage systems in a smart and effective way, organizations need to not only ensure they have the right tools in their kit, but also that each tool works in harmony to support an effective overall monitoring strategy.
The benefits of an effective monitoring strategy speak volumes: Alerts are easier to handle, service disruptions easier to manage and teams are better equipped to identify root cause and handle future occurrences. Organizations failing in this regard need to take a crucial look at their overall approach: How are alerts being managed? Are your tools automated with your service assurance and ticketing systems? Is anything being done to reduce noise or improve root cause identification?
Remember: Your monitoring strategy affects not only IT health, but the health of the overall business. The complete “State of Monitoring 2016” report is available to download here.