Michael Allen, Dynatrace’s VP & CTO, highlights that one of the major effects of the global pandemic and the resulting lockdown is that we have been forced to move many of our daily activities and needs on digital services from practically today to tomorrow.

As we know, Covid-19 has transformed our way of life. One of the major effects of the global pandemic and the resulting lockdown is that we have been forced to shift many of our daily activities and needs to digital services from practically today to tomorrow.

According to an Accenture survey, almost a third of people are making all their online purchases. In addition, the deVere group data show that the use of financial apps in Europe has increased by 72% in a single week since the government lockdowns were first implemented.

As a result, organizations in all sectors had to adapt their operations quickly to support this exponential growth of online users. Although the question could start to decline again, as economies start to restart and business activities to reopen, there will undoubtedly be a long-term effect for which people will work, shop and socialize more online.

As we move towards this future that will put digital first, sudden and unexpected peaks of demand will probably become the new normal, since people will maintain some of the habits recently adopted, but behaviors remain a little less predictable. It is therefore essential that organizations take advantage of what they have learned and experienced during the pandemic and review their way of working continuously, to ensure that IT systems can continue to operate and provide quality user experiences whatever happens, all in a context

Ability to meet demand

According to Allen, the number of people who have used digital services at the height of global lockdown is something we have never seen before, and we probably won’t see it again. In Italy, for example, one month after the implementation of the restrictions for Covid-19, Microsoft has increased by 775% of the Teams platform users.

In some cases, this sudden increase in the use of digital services has led to some problems related to user experience, as crucial services such as online food retailers or portals where to apply for government benefits have been found to The problems that caused these delays, such as overloading infrastructure capacity or misconfigured database requests, are not limited to the current crisis.

Although these problems have undoubtedly been exaggerated by the rise in online traffic due to the pandemic, organizations will never really know when they might experience an increase in demand. Therefore, they must be ready to provide high-quality digital services and experiences for customers and users, no matter what happens. With this in mind, here is a three-stage action plan for applications and infrastructures \” proof of the future ” in a future that sees digital first place.

Understanding traffic trends

Some organisations, such as shops and supermarkets, are relatively well equipped to prepare for increased demand, as they include digital traffic trends and may predict peaks during peak periods of the year based on previous experience.

On the contrary, according to Allen, other industries can be affected by strong increases in online activity at peak demand due to unforeseen events and circumstances. Although we can never really know what we expect around the corner, we can make sure to implement the necessary bases to face the unknown and ensure success.

One way to achieve this is to rethink team structures and align technical and business specialists more closely, a practice known as BizDevOps. This improves collaboration and encourages data sharing among teams, to provide a wider context for the problems that arise. As a result, organisations can better prepare for unforeseen events and ensure that their teams can more effectively support the company’s needs in the event of unusual situations.

Understanding when and why systems are shut down

After aligning the organizational structure to predict the peaks of demand and prepare for the best, BizDevOps teams still face the possibility that systems can sometimes be overloaded. Although they may know that demand is set to increase, they do not know to what extent this will affect user experience.

To be able to proactively optimize user experiences, you need to fully understand the factors that influence the performance of the IT service. The best strategy to achieve this is to do a stress test, to establish the limits of what the system can handle. This implies hitting the infrastructure with an increasing amount of traffic until you feel a negative impact on response times or other errors begin to occur.

Once this point has been identified, BizDevOps teams should then try to understand why the system stops at that level, using automated analysis to identify which component is broken and why.

Once teams have an idea of what the problem is and why it has occurred, they need to find a solution that can be implemented quickly in the environment to optimize the user experience faster and improve the results for the company.

Finding and automating correction

When trying to find a solution for Dynatrace’s VP & CTO it is important to focus on addressing one problem at a time, as fixing something in one place can cause problems elsewhere. Teams should constantly carry out checks to see how the changes they bring impact the overall health of the IT system and must be ready to cancel them if necessary.

Once IT teams have a list of corrections to apply and have set up a repeatable process to implement them, the next step is to automate that process. The assistance of the AI and automation have enabled the company to proactively address problems before it affects the user experience. This autonomous IT operation management method allows IT teams to focus their time on more valuable activities, such as innovation.

A new digital era

The extraordinary circumstances created by Covid-19 such as government lockdowns, new policies on work leave and the closure of physical shops have created an equally surprising increase in the use of digital services. Unexpected surges in web traffic will always be difficult to predict, but as we return to a normal life semblance, organizations should make sure they learn from this crisis and equip themselves to offer the same excellent user experience, no matter what happens.

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