Senior IT execs blame digital transformation for outages

LogicMonitor study finds global leaders cited AI, cloud, mobile and other initiatives; practitioners are not as quick to point fingers.

Digital transformation: Business modernization requires a new mindset Digital transformation is more important now than ever, but some organizations are more difficult to change than others.

A new study by the infrastructure monitoring company LogicMonitor suggests that global IT leaders blame AI, cloud, mobile, and other digital transformation initiatives for taking their organizations offline. 

LogicMonitor's "IT Downtime Detection and Mitigation Report," looked at digital transformation and the impact those initiatives were having on availability for organizations in North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

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What researchers found was transformation initiatives, including cloud and artificial intelligence, were responsible for outages and brownouts.
 
LogicMonitor defines an outage as the unavailability of the "services or systems that a business provides."

A brownout is when those services or systems "slow down significantly." Ninety-five percent of respondents reported at least one outage or brownout. 

"The pressure is mounting for IT leaders to prepare their organizations for the future, but the impact and cost of these transformation initiatives are far greater than anyone realized," said Tej Redkar, LogicMonitor's chief product officer, said in a statement. 

"Our research finds that the very initiatives that are supposed to be helping modernize global organizations are in fact contributing to an initial spike in outages and brownouts, costing organizations time and money," Redkar said.

Of the 300 IT leaders surveyed, 59% believe mobile computing is making brownouts and outages more common; 57% say cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and edge computing are causing availability issues. 

Interestingly, perceptions of digital transformation vary according to seniority within the IT teams. Practitioners see IT transformation in a more positive light than senior executives. 

Nearly 65% of executives, those with a vice president titles and above, say the digital initiatives are making brownouts and outages more common. This contrasts with just 49% of IT practitioners who share the same view.

Perceptions of the impact of digital transformation also vary according to organization size, with larger organizations viewing  it more positively than smaller
ones. 

And a "minority" of respondents see digital transformation playing a "mission-critical role" in reducing brownouts and outages. These respondents tend to be from larger organizations that have access to resources smaller organizations do not.

These perceptions aside, IT leaders are moving forward with transformation initiatives. This may be because, despite the best efforts of their IT teams, the report also found that 50% of outages and 47% of brownouts were unavoidable.

To prevent downtime, 75% of global IT leaders said performing preventative maintenance is the most important tactic, while reviewing system logs was a close second. 

"[T]he advantages gained by moving to the cloud or pursuing digitization come at a price," the report states. "The costs of shifting to and operating within the cloud often wildly exceed initial estimates. And a shortage of IT professionals with cloud and hybrid experience means modernization initiatives can initially cause more outages and headaches than time-savings. … Yet there are long-term advantages and benefits to be gained from these initiatives."

Here are the IT transformation trends contributing to a reduction in brownouts and outages:

1. Hybrid environments (20%)
2. Digital Transformation (19%)
3. Cloud (17%)
4. Edge computing (16%)
5. IoT (16%)
6. Artificial Intelligence (15%)
7. Mobile computing (13%)

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