Thu | Feb 25, 2021 | 4:45 AM PST

By now, we are all aware of the pressures and stress the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, whether that be in our personal or work lives.

One profession particularly experiencing this strain are those who work within IT and cybersecurity fields.

SecureWorld has reported numerous times on the rising threat of cybercrime and how the pandemic has accelerated that trend with so many people working remotely.

Ultimately, this burden falls upon your organization's IT and security professionals, and the work load is beginning to reach a breaking point.

AppDynamics reports on the state of IT professionals

AppDynamics recently released a report which dives into the pressures that IT professionals are currently facing.

The organization conducted comprehensive global research, including interviews with over 1,000 IT professionals in organizations with revenue of more than $500 million. The interviews were conducted in 11 countries across a range of industries.

What they discovered through these interviews is that the pandemic has tremendously impacted technologists' workload and performance.

  • "89% of technologists report feeling under immense pressure at work."
  • "84% admit to having difficult switching off from work."
  • "81% say that they feel increased frustration about work."
  • "63% report increased levels of conflict with colleagues during 2020."

The report continues on to say that the pandemic has created spiraling complexity in IT departments.

Three-quarters of technologists believe that their organization's response to the pandemic has created more IT complexity than they have ever experienced. 

They say that the added complexity can be attributed to a variety of factors, both within the IT department and externally.

"The biggest contributor is technologists having to manage an entirely new set of priorities and challenges as a result of the pandemic. As businesses have pivoted their entire strategies to serve customers in new ways and enable employees to work effectively during the pandemic, technologists have been asked to deliver innovation projects at breakneck speed.

The research reveals that the timeline for the implementation of major strategic transformation projects accelerated three fold in 2020. Innovation initiatives that would typically have taken 21 months prior to the pandemic were delivered within seven months last year.

In order to facilitate transformation at this speed, businesses have been forced to fast-track their move towards cloud computing, but this in turn has led to yet more complexity, with technologists facing the challenge of controlling systems both within and outside of the core IT estate.

The end result is huge numbers of technologists struggling to manage overwhelming 'data noise', without the resources and support they need."

What's in store for IT professionals in 2021?

Unfortunately, the challenges IT departments are currently facing are not going away any time soon.

The digital transformation that we have all been experiencing is expected to accelerate over the next few years as organizations continue to look for technological innovations.

That transformation is already running three times faster than before the pandemic, which will continue to create more challenges for IT departments.

In the survey, 88% of technologists predicted the biggest challenge 2021 will present will be the need to drive through the transformation at speed.

Technologists will need to address a number of issues to get their organization through the digital transformation as efficiently as possible, including having access to the right skills and resources, being able to prioritize technology performance fixes based on potential business
impact, and having visibility into the entire IT landscape.

5 important areas for IT professionals to monitor

The AppDynamics report claims that in order to get a grip on the spiraling complexity of IT, technologists will need "complete and real-time visibility across the entire IT estate." And that in order to achieve this, they need one single unified observability platform to monitor all of IT.

They also included a list of five important areas for IT professionals to monitor:

  1. "Applications and services health
  2. Network and infrastructure (traditional, cloud or WAN) health
  3. Prioritizing issues and tickets on user and business impacts
  4. A unified end-to-end transactional view (from the front-end to supporting back-end services)
  5. Centralized metrics, logs, event and traces for whole IT ecosystem"