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Rapid Digital Transformation Leads to High Level of CIO Stress

CIOs felt tremendous pressure as their organizations were forced to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic.


CIOs felt tremendous pressure as their organizations were forced to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in a surge of activity across IT departments. The trend is likely to continue throughout 2021, according to a study.

A global survey published by AppDynamics, a unit of Cisco, suggests the last year took a substantial toll on IT teams at a time when many organizations either launched or accelerated digital business transformation initiatives. In fact the study reveals that Indian CIO/CTOs were among the most badly affected by the pandemic in terms of workload and performance.

The survey, of 1,050 IT professionals in organizations with revenue of more than $500 million, finds organizations, on average, implemented digital business transformation initiatives three times faster in 2020 than they did in 2019 in response to the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. That increased level of activity, however, appears to have come at a significant cost. The survey found 89% of respondents felt they are under immense pressure at work, with 84% admitting to having difficulty switching off after work.

The survey also found stress levels are, not surprisingly, rising as well, with 81% of respondents experiencing increased frustration and 63% conflicting more with colleagues.

The root cause of these issues cited most often include new sets of priorities and challenges (80%), technology sprawl and a patchwork of legacy and cloud technologies (78%), acceleration to cloud computing (77%) and multiple, disconnected monitoring solutions (74%).

A full 85% also identified cutting through noise generated by increasing volumes of data to identify root causes of performance issues will represent a significant challenge in the year ahead. A total of 92% also noted the ability to link technology performance to business outcomes will be what’s really important to delivering on innovation goals over the next year.

Indian CIOs believe that a profound impact may be caused by not having observability across the whole IT infrastructure, as the study said that they point to negative consequences of not having genuine visibility and insight into the performance of the whole technology stack. In other words, most technology executives are wary of misleading claims from vendors who are re-labelling monitoring tools as observability platforms.

They stressed the need to monitor all technical areas across their IT stack (traditional, cloud or WAN) that directly link technical performance to business outcomes and will be important during 2021.

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