A new study released by research firm Gartner shows that employees are nearly two times more likely to pretend to be working when their employers use tracking systems to monitor their output. Gartner surveyed more than 2,400 professionals in January 2021.
Across the world, IT professionals are in charge of an increasing number of servers and data coming in from disparate sources, and they’re using way too many monitoring tools to make sense of it all. The Reducing Complexity in IT Infrastructure Monitoring: A Study of Global Organizations report by the Ponemon Institute sheds light on the challenges of troubleshooting and monitoring cloud and on-premises environments.
- 24% said the handling of scale and complexity of IT infrastructure has improved
- 29% said the ability to easily deploy and maintain server monitoring technologies has improved
The survey also found that while a significant percentage of IT practitioners are in charge of monitoring over 50 servers, only 33% felt that they could ensure performance and system availability with their current toolset. So how can IT effectively manage increasingly complex, hybrid environments, and what are the major missteps IT organizations can correct to build a more efficient approach to infrastructure monitoring and troubleshooting?
Here are some of the biggest IT mistakes companies of all sizes make — and how to avoid them.
Problem #1: Too Many Tools
Seventy percent of IT professionals in the survey said that using data to determine root cause slows them down — ingesting and normalizing data of differing formats and types is tedious and unmanageable, and it’s difficult to make real-time decisions. This is often because companies use too many monitoring tools for single layers of their IT stack, such as networks or applications, which creates silos and inefficiencies. When data lives inside one tool but can’t access or communicate with data confined to other tools, IT practitioners lose context on what’s happening in their environment because they’re seeing only a part of the picture.
The Solution: The solution to too many tools and disparate data is a single, scalable monitoring tool that provides end-to-end operational visibility into hybrid environments.
Problem #2: IT and Business Friction
As digital business infrastructure increases in complexity, IT teams feel more pressure than ever to reduce business-impacting incidents. When IT systems fail, the ramifications go beyond the immediate financial loss of downtime — a business could lose customers and jeopardize its reputation, a harsh reality that keeps IT teams up day and night. According to Ponemon’s research, 61 percent of IT professionals say that lack of system availability and poor performance creates friction between IT and lines of business.
In addition to a solution that allows IT to find the root cause to identify service interruptions, IT and business need to work together to design business and technical requirements in tandem.
Problem #3: No Way to Easily Identify Root Cause
Across the globe, IT professionals spend their days identifying and fixing server environment problems. Indeed, the Ponemon survey found that the top two challenges of troubleshooting, monitoring and cloud migration are:
- Lack of insights to quickly pinpoint issues and identify the root cause
- Complexity and diversity of IT systems and technology
When IT can’t find and fix issues quickly, it has a direct effect on the business.
The Solution: For IT to quickly fix problems, they need a monitoring tool that can surface an issue’s root cause with an alert about where and why something is wrong. Issue resolution time can be cut in half with a monitoring solution that correlates metrics and logs, and provides visualizations of alerts, trends and logs in one place. Making sure your monitoring tool can enable those types of actions and resolution planning is critical for success.
Problem #4: The Wrong Skills to Manage Application Complexity
When Ponemon asked IT professionals about the biggest risks to their ability to troubleshoot, monitor and migrate to the cloud:
- 55% said the increasing complexity of applications running on infrastructure
- 44% said a lack of skills and expertise to deal with application complexity
As infrastructure grows and evolves, it becomes increasingly difficult for IT teams to successfully manage, monitor and troubleshoot systems. Couple that with an IT skills gap that makes it difficult for organizations to attract and retain qualified talent, and it becomes clear why IT teams feel nonstop pressure.
The Solution: To effectively troubleshoot, monitor and migrate to the cloud, you need a solid plan that takes future growth into account is necessary for smooth IT operations. Business and IT need to work together to create an IT environment roadmap, followed by a talent strategy that aligns to that plan. Be sure to:
- Identify skills gaps and adjust hiring
- Identify and train qualified employees for advancement
- Include succession planning for inevitable changes
Problem #5: Lack of Visibility Throughout Cloud Migration
Sixty-eight percent of IT practitioners said that ensuring application performance and availability throughout cloud migration caused the most stress. Over half said both cost and the inability to monitor and troubleshoot applications were their biggest pain points.
As infrastructure increases in complexity, the core responsibilities of IT to monitor and measure remain the same. So how can IT achieve infrastructure visibility and workload insights when performance data spans diverse environments?
The Solution: It’s critical to monitor performance across hybrid architectures with a monitoring solution that collects and correlates data from every location. Full visibility is needed throughout the migration process, so choose an end-to-end monitoring tool that allows you to establish a pre-migration baseline, mid-migration insights and post-migration success.
Before cloud migration, measure the baseline user experience and performance, and define acceptable post-migration levels. To accurately validate a migration’s success, use the same monitoring tool throughout the migration process. A unified tool can analyze centralized data and provide better insights from dashboards and reports.
For more of the biggest IT mistakes and solutions — and examples of companies that have solved the problem — check out: 8 Biggest Mistakes IT Practitioners Make and How to Avoid Them.
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