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A global survey published today in advance of a FutureStack event in London hosted by New Relic, provider of a platform for monitoring applications and infrastructure, suggests the rise of digital business transformation is likely to be a boon to managed service providers (MSPs).

Conducted by the market research firm Vanson Bourne, the survey of 750 global senior IT decision makers at enterprises with 500 to 5,000-plus employees in Australia, France, Germany, U.K., and the U.S. reveals more than half are finding their new software and infrastructure hard to manage and monitor for performance issues. An almost equal number admit that end users or customers tell them about a problem with digital applications before they know about it. Further, 46 percent are told about these issues before they know how to fix them.

Reliance on microservices

Most new digital business applications are relying (to some degree) on microservices to make developers more agile. However, from an IT operations perspective, it turns out most IT teams need new tools to continuously monitor and update these applications as part of a DevOps process.

A full 79 percent of respondents said the business has higher expectations relative to how digital systems perform and 72 percent reported the business now expects the technology team to deliver more innovations and updates.

Nearly half (46 percent) of their C-suite executives want daily updates about how software systems are performing for staff and customers. A further 40 percent of CEOs also want more answers when outages or performance problems happen. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) say that the pressure to respond to business needs means they have to work longer hours to observe and manage software performance.

Challenges arise for internal IT teams

A major reason IT teams are struggling to manage modern software might be because the amount of machine generated data is rising rapidly. More than half (56 percent) of respondents acknowledged that it is humanly impossible to properly assess this data. A third of respondents find it challenging to deliver IT metrics and correlate any of the data generated by IT tools against business metrics for digital transformation projects.

Finally, the survey also notes there is a high correlation between digital transformation initiatives and cloud adoption, but 46 percent also noted they don’t have a clear way of knowing what their cloud bill is going to be every month. More than half (54 percent) said that while cloud computing promises more efficient usage of resources, the promise of greater control has not been achieved.

Internal IT operations teams are struggling with everything from simple monitoring, to embracing best DevOps practices, to accelerating development and deployment of new modern applications. For MSPs that have the right set of skills, digital business transformation initiatives should create a raft of new services opportunities well into the next decade.

The challenge MSPs will face in the months ahead, is assembling the tools and platforms required to deliver those services. They can either stitch them together themselves or opt to rely on various DevOps platforms that are starting to emerge. Whatever the path chosen to achieve that goal, MSPs that fail to act now on this opportunity will one day regret it.

Photo: Dirk Ercken / Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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