Government IT professionals warn against overlooking observability needs

By Sascha Giese, SolarWinds Head Geek
Saturday, 01 April, 2023

Government IT professionals warn against overlooking observability needs

Regarding digital transformation, large projects are the headline grabbers. The recent publication of the Australian government’s Digital Government Strategy (DGS), for example, is an ambitious blueprint that rightly recognizes technology’s role in delivering public services and the increased demand for digitally diverse access to these services.

If there’s any doubt about what the Australian government is looking to achieve, this quote from the DGS paper says it all: “Our vision is to be one of the top 3 digital governments in the world by 2025. We will deliver benefits to all Australians, with sustainable foundations to retain this position going into the future.”

With Increased Hybrid IT Comes Increased Complexity

You can’t fault the ambition or aspiration. But at the same time, you can’t underestimate the task ahead. The practicalities behind these ambitious plans are of increasing concern to the thousands of IT professionals who work across the public sector IT estate.

For instance, one recurring issue all public sector projects face is the mind-boggling complexity of the legacy systems accrued over decades of government investment.

At the heart of the issue is the inescapable fact many public sector systems are built around connected cloud architectures spanning public, private, on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments. Ask anyone who works in these areas, and the answer is the same: it adds a layer of complexity that’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage.

In fact, things are becoming so difficult IT professionals at the sharp end of government digital transformation projects are calling for better tools to help them manage these increasingly complex systems.

Visibility is Essential for Effective IT Management

This is just one of the findings of the SolarWinds® IT Trends Report 2022—Getting IT Right: Managing Hybrid IT Complexity. The ninth annual IT Trends Report examined, among other things, the acceleration of digital transformation efforts and its impact on public sector IT departments.

In particular, public sector tech professionals said they were concerned the lack of visibility across their IT estate meant they were less confident in their organizations’ ability to manage IT.

Though nearly half (45%) of public sector tech professionals said adopting monitoring and management tools would help them overcome this complexity, two-thirds (67%) said they lacked the necessary visibility into the majority of their organisations’ apps and infrastructure.

For anyone involved in these projects, this has to be a worry.

When quizzed further, there’s also a concern this lack of visibility impacts their ability to conduct tasks such as anomaly detection, easy root cause analysis, and other critical processes to ensure the availability, performance, and security of business-critical applications.

ROI is Being Damaged by Project Delays

The report—which surveyed 1,138 IT professionals across the Asia–Pacific, U.S., U.K., Europe, and Middle East—found though IT professionals are doing their best to manage with what they have, they’re increasingly calling for greater observability.

But the report doesn’t just recognize the fact visibility is essential for real oversight of increasingly complex systems. The report also highlights concerns this lack of insight could influence return on investment (ROI) by delaying the completion of projects.

In fact, nine in 10 (88%) respondents said they agreed ROI was impacted during an IT project they oversaw in the past 12–18 months due to increased hybrid IT complexity.

All of this points to one thing: the publication of ambitious digital transformation projects must go hand in hand with an understanding that those responsible for delivering these programs need adequate tools to get the job done. Without these tools, the complexities to overcome can be so great that the project becomes more detrimental than beneficial in the long run. This is where Observability solutions can help by providing a comprehensive framework with the level of visibility required for organizations on a path for transformation, large and ambitious projects like the DGS are better positioned to succeed.

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