Survey Says: IT Ops and DevOps Leaders Plan To Spend More During Lockdown

The majority of enterprise IT leaders (58 percent) asked during a recent survey about how much they plan to spend on technology in the coming year said they expected to increase their spending significantly or moderately, while 38 percent said they plan to significantly or moderately reduce their tech spending.

And 73 percent of the IT operations and DevOps team leaders said they expect to accelerate or maintain digital transformation initiatives and projects throughout the global pandemic, suggesting that the value of digital products and services in an era of social distancing is only growing.

The third-party survey was commissioned by OpsRamp, a provider of IT operations management provided via service-centric artificial intelligence for operations (AIOps), and conducted on April 1. The metrics were derived from the responses of 137 IT operations leaders at U.S. companies with at least 500 employees and $5 million in annual IT budgets. Participants were asked how their enterprises will align technology priorities, budgets and hiring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey results were published this week in a new report, "Thriving in the New Normal: How IT Operations Leaders Can Deliver Business Value in an Economic Slowdown."

The survey also found that IT leaders are "prioritizing on technologies to keep business services secure, optimized, and always available." This includes investing heavily in information security and compliance (62 percent) to help protect remote workers from sophisticated cyberattacks, big data and analytics (46 percent) that deliver rapid customer insights and feedback for fact-based decision making, and public and multicloud infrastructure (45 percent) that can help their teams quickly tap into on-demand computing power from hyperscale providers.

They're also making performance monitoring a top priority, with an emphasis on proactively identifying performance issues and boosting the quality of the customer experience. Toward that end, the report's authors conclude, technology leaders are investing in AIOps tools (69 percent) that can detect, diagnose and resolve incidents at scale; cloud native observability tools (51 percent) that maintain visibility into the health of distributed microservices applications, and network performance monitoring and diagnostics tools (51 percent) that help IT teams cope with traffic spikes and high levels of network utilization.

Cost-cutting was also on the minds of the survey respondents. IT teams are investing in self-service technologies (60 percent) to free their staff from reactive work, driving technology vendor consolidation (59 percent) to eliminate waste and work with strategic technology suppliers, and partnering with managed service providers (58 percent) to reduce the cost of internal operations and gain access to skilled technologists.

On the question of hiring priorities, the respondents said they are planning to hire more IT financial analysts (68 percent) than cloud architects (53 percent), DevOps engineers (50 percent) and data scientists (47 percent).

Among the insights offered by the report's authors was this:

During a downturn, IT leaders will need to build a watertight business case so that critical technology investments are not shortchanged. While funding constraints, hiring delays, and project cancellations are inevitable during an economic contraction, technology executives that demonstrate how IT priorities align with new business realities will receive faster budget approvals and greater organizational support. Our survey shows that enterprises are prioritizing technology investments such as cybersecurity, analytics, and public cloud that can deliver tangible business value as well as deploying performance monitoring tools and partnering with managed service providers to deliver optimal user experiences and maintain service resilience.

"Enterprises and their IT organizations are dealing with unpredictable change every day," said Varma Kunaparaju, CEO of OpsRamp, in a statement, "and how they make decisions now and for the future will play a critical role in their recovery after this pandemic has slowed down. IT operations and DevOps teams should work with technology vendors and service providers that can help them quickly navigate this landscape with secure, high-performing and cost-efficient capabilities across business applications and infrastructure to weather this economic storm."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].