IT workers look for more automation and better reporting tools

IT professionals told BigPanda their work was increasing while their budgets were decreasing.

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IT management company BigPanda released a report detailing the concerns of thousands of IT professionals who complained about increasing workloads and decreasing budgets.

In their report, "The Future of Monitoring and AIOps," BigPanda found that more than half of all respondents think their work will increase over the next two years, but 56% said IT budgets will stay the same.

"IT operations is at a crossroads, as constant changes to infrastructure and code, due to the acceleration in cloud migration, makes incident management and outage prevention an increasingly difficult task," said Assaf Resnick, CEO and co-founder of BigPanda. "This survey shows that most IT organizations predict growing future workloads because of these changes, even as budgets shrink or remain constant."

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BigPanda spoke with more than 1,300 IT professionals at companies across the country to get a snapshot of the current state of operations and potential changes in the future.

One of the biggest problems IT departments faced was constant infrastructure and code changes that cropped up due to an increase in cloud migrations. These changes prompted constant problems, which IT workers expected to continue as more companies move data and services to cloud-based platforms. 

The survey also showed that many IT departments are underfunded and lack the necessary tools for IT professionals to do their jobs appropriately. Nearly one third of IT workers told BigPanda they still used Excel spreadsheets to report their work, while another 40% use generic reporting tools. Almost 20% have no reporting tools at all, while another 40% had to build their own tools. The BigPanda survey said this lack of sophisticated reporting tools will have damaging effects on an IT department's ability to report and provide analytics.

In addition, other issues facing IT departments included alert noise reduction, incident detection, incident investigation, incident resolution and communication with non-IT teams. More than 80% of respondents listed those issues as one's plaguing their business, with incident investigations and resolutions reaching above 90%.

IT workers said automation would help them manage their increased workload, yet 75% said their tools were not capable of facilitating automation.

"Our respondents' vision for IT Ops is clear: More automation and the implementation of AI and ML in their organizations," the study said. "In the future, the majority of respondents envision most incidents being handled automatically. Nearly 50% think that all of their tools will be powered by AI and ML."

IT workers told BigPanda that they also wanted bigger teams, more organizational focus on security, less fire-fighting, more proactive management, and better collaboration between IT and business departments.  

"We hope this survey helps illuminate what IT Ops, NOC and DevOps teams think about the current and future state of their operations, what tools might be able to help and where AIOps fits into their plans," Resnick said.

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