Study: the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the it priorities of 95% of companies

AppDynamics, a part of Cisco Corporation focused on products for monitoring and controlling the health of services and applications, has published the release of its global study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the it industry. The study was conducted between April 22 and may 6, 2020 and contains responses from it professionals from 10 countries.

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AppDynamics is a part of CISCO Corporation and offers solutions focused on interaction with the corporate infrastructure for effective management of data flows and the entire chain of user transactions. The company's solutions help ensure the smooth operation of business-critical and customer-oriented applications, effectively managing their performance and allowing business and IT to speak the same language.

The information collected allows us to track the changing priorities of companies in the process of digital transformation, the impact COVID-19 load on it departments and the speed of implementation of technological projects and identify the key challenges in digital services incurred during a pandemic.

Load on it professionals

The study showed that it professionals are under constant pressure and high workload due to a growing range of tasks. They organize corporate remote access systems, provide technical support to employees, manage overloaded it infrastructure and applications, and ensure cybersecurity, while taking on new responsibilities and areas of responsibility. According to the results of the study:

  • overall, 81% of it professionals claim that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the highest technical load on their companies than ever before
  • 61% of it professionals are under more pressure than ever before
  • 64% of it professionals perform tasks that they have never encountered before
The current situation has revealed weaknesses in the strategies of 66% of organizations, while causing an urgent need to accelerate the implementation of a number of initiatives that were envisaged as part of the long-term digital transformation program.

According to the AppDynamics survey:

  • 74% of it professionals say that some digital transformation projects were approved within a few weeks, although the approval process usually takes more than a year
  • 71% of it professionals say their technology projects were completed within weeks, rather than the months or years it would have taken before the pandemic.

Digital service quality as a top priority

According to the survey, the vast majority of organizations – 95% – revised their technology priorities during the pandemic, and 88% of it professionals believe that the quality of digital customer service is now the main value.

However, 80% of it professionals are not ready to provide optimal quality of service due to a lack of understanding of the processes in the technology stack. Among the main problems that hinder the smooth operation of digital services during the pandemic, experts highlight:
  • Uncontrolled peak traffic spikes on the site or in the app (total - 81%);
  • Lack of a unified picture and accurate understanding of the processes and relationships in the technology stack that affect the quality of customer service (overall indicator-80%);
  • Increase in the average time to restore system health (MTTR) when the it Department is working remotely (total - 70%);

Additional resources for transformation

To accelerate the implementation of digital transformation and ensure a high level of customer service, it professionals need additional resources and support from the company's management. According to the respondents, the key factors that now need to be paid attention to include:

  • Visual visualization of processes in the technology stack (the overall indicator is 92%),
  • Clear statement of goals and objectives (overall score-90%),
  • Real - time data availability (89% overall),
  • Autonomous management and accountability (88% overall%),
  • Willingness to experiment and take risks (87% overall).

Despite the difficulties and increased workload, almost 80% of respondents noted that the increased role of it departments during the pandemic had a positive impact on the attitude towards them within the company.

New class of employees-transformation agents

A global AppDynamics survey back in 2018 identified the need for qualified it professionals who are ready to provide digital business transformation. In the report, this class of employees is called "transformation agents", their distinctive qualities are innovative thinking, willingness to experiment and possession of professional skills that are necessary for the rapid and effective implementation of new technologies.

83% of respondents say that transformation agents will help businesses cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and get out of the crisis faster due to the high level of competence of this class of it specialists.

"In these difficult times for business, it professionals work on the front lines, and company leaders have a responsibility to provide these employees with all the tools and support they need. This is the only way to provide first — class digital service to customers and employees, " says AppDynamics CEO Danny Winokur. — It is the professional vision, qualifications, and leadership qualities of transformation agents that determine how companies will adapt to the new conditions of the COVID-19 period, and whether they will become stronger after emerging from this situation."

Research methodology

To better understand the challenges and changes in priorities faced by it professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, AppDynamics conducted a comprehensive global study involving top it managers and senior and mid-level it resource managers. The work was carried out with the support of an expert in B2B market research "Insight Avenue" in the period from April 22 to may 6, 2020, and included several important aspects:

  • interviews were conducted with 1,000 it specialists working in companies with a turnover of at least $ 500 million;
  • data collection spanned 10 countries, including: Russia, USA, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, UAE, Japan and Singapore;
  • the sample of respondents was made up of specialists from companies in such industries as: information technology, financial services, retail, public sector, industry and automotive, as well as media and communications.


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