Study: Growing IT complexity may make managing online performance impossible

Increasing IT complexity could soon make it impossible to manage digital performance efficiently — and that has CIOs worried.

IT complexity is growing so quickly that 76% of organizations believe that it could soon be impossible to manage digital performance efficiently, according to “Top Challenges Facing CIOs in a Cloud Native World,” a report from Dynatrace.

The complexity is being driven by the rapid adoption of new technol-ogies in recent years. For example, a single web or mobile transaction now crosses an average of 35 different technology systems or compo-nents, compared to 22 just five years ago.

This trend is also set to accelerate, with 53% of CIOs planning to de-ploy even more technologies in the next 12 months, with multi-cloud (95%), microservices (88%) and containers (86%) being the key tech-nologies that CIOs will adopt within the next 12 months.

IT teams spend an average of 29% of their time dealing with digital performance problems; costing their employers $2.5 million annually. As they search for a solution to these challenges, four in five (81%) CIOs said they think artificial intelligence (AI) will be critical to IT's ability to master increasing IT complexity; with 83% either already, or planning to deploy AI in the next 12 months, data revealed.

“Today’s organizations are under huge pressure to keep-up with the always-on, always connected digital economy and its demand for constant innovation,” said Matthias Scharer, VP of business operations, Dynatrace.

“As a consequence, IT ecosystems are undergoing a constant transformation. The transition to virtualized infrastructure was followed by the migration to the cloud, which has since been supplanted by the trend towards multi-cloud,” said Scharer. “CIOs now realize their legacy apps weren’t built for today’s digital ecosystems and are rebuilding them in a cloud-native architecture.”

These rapid changes have given rise to hyper-scale, hyper-dynamic and hyper-complex IT ecosystems, which also make it difficult to monitor performance, and quickly find and fix problems.

For example, 76% of CIOs said multi-cloud architectures make it especially difficult and time-consuming to monitor and understand the impact that cloud services have on the user-experience. Meanwhile, 72% are frustrated that IT has to spend so much time setting-up monitoring for different cloud environments when deploying new services.

When it comes to monitoring the performance of microservices in real-time, 72% said this task is almost impossible, while 84% of CIOs said the dynamic nature of containers makes it difficult to understand their impact on application performance.

CIOs also struggle with maintaining and configuring performance monitoring (56%), and identifying service dependencies and interactions (54%), the study reported.

Meanwhile, 74% of CIOs said that IT is under too much pressure to keep up with unrealistic demands from the business and end users, while 78% said it is getting harder to find time and resources to answer the range of questions the business asks and still deliver everything else that is expected of IT. Eighty percent of CIOs said it is difficult to map the technical metrics of digital performance to the impact they have on the business.

“Today, one environment can have billions of dependencies. While modern ecosystems are critical to fast innovation, the legacy approach to monitoring and managing performance falls short,” said Scharer.

“You can’t rely on humans to synthesize and analyze data anymore, nor a bag of independent tools,” he added. “You need to be able to auto detect and instrument these environments in real time, and most importantly use AI to pinpoint problems with precision and set your environment on a path of auto-remediation to ensure optimal performance and experience from an end users’ perspective.”