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One year into the pandemic, IT teams face more complexity, stress | ZDNet

One year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to start rethinking their digital strategies. At the time, IT professionals warned that many of the changes being embraced were just short-term fixes. 

Now, it seems, IT professionals are paying the price. An updated survey from AppDynamics shows that IT teams are facing more complexity and more stress on the job. All the while, the pressure to keep up the fast pace of digital transformation hasn’t let up. 

According to the latest survey, conducted through December and January, 75% of technologists say their response to the pandemic has created more IT complexity than they have ever experienced. As many as 83% say their own job has become more complex over the last year.

The report surveyed 1,050 IT professionals around the globe, in organizations with a turnover of at least $500 million. Respondents worked across a range of industries, including IT, financial services, retail, public sector, manufacturing and automotive and media.

In an AppDynamics survey sponsored last year, 95% of IT professionals said their organizations have changed their technology priorities during the pandemic. As many as 71% could point to digital transformation projects that were implemented within weeks rather than the months or years it would have taken before the pandemic. 

This year’s research shows that, indeed, digital transformation projects in 2020 were implemented 3X faster than in previous years. Meanwhile, 88% of technologists said the biggest challenge they expect to face in 2021 will be the need to drive through transformation at speed. 

“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 AppDynamics report says. 

Meanwhile, the pace of change and the added complexity is taking a toll on IT professionals. As many as 89% of respondents said they feel under immense pressure at work. Additionally, 84% admit to having difficulty switching off from work, while 81% say that they feel increased frustration about work. As many as 63% report increased levels of conflict with colleagues during 2020. 

Most respondents, 79%, said the technology decisions they make directly impact the performance of the business. However, 66% said they lack the strategy and tools to effectively measure how technology decisions impact business outcome.


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