Responding to IT crisis management during the COVID-19 pandemic

IT Crisis Management

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting unprecedented stress on digital services and websites, with technical incidents doubling since the start of March. New data from PagerDuty, Inc. (NYSE:PD), a global leader in digital operations management, indicates IT teams are rising to the challenge, resolving incidents up to 63% faster than before the crisis.

According to Gartner, the pandemic has created the “largest working from home experiment” but despite digital services being under significant pressure due to the volume of people working from home, high-stress verticals are reacting well when they are taking the right approach and automation. 

Companies in online learning saw incidents grow 11x but they are resolving incidents 39% faster than before the crisis, PagerDuty data shows. Collaboration services have seen an 8.5x jump in incidents but are posting 21% faster response times. The entertainment vertical is resolving incidents 63% faster despite a 3x bump in need.

What COVID-19 has done is put a spotlight on the acceleration of digital transformation from a multi-year journey to an immediate necessity. There is an increased demand for products that connect and automate collaboration and work with easy to use interfaces like Zoom, Slack, MS Teams, SmartSheet and PagerDuty. 

How are IT personnel handling surging usage?

Many retailers’ IT teams are triaging systems in real time to maintain service and stop servers becoming swamped. IT teams have been learning the hard way the limits of infrastructure through real time performance, capacity, back-up and recovery. 

Companies have shifted into hyper-care mode, knowing that there are more people online than ever before and expectations on digital services are higher than ever. Playing a key role in this hypercare strategy is a unique and proactive approach to incident response, which allows IT teams to identify, contextualize and resolve the most critical incidents in minutes — despite the surge in digital stress presented by COVID-19.

These IT teams were already under pressure before COVID-19 struck. As more organisations embraced digitalisation, they relied increasingly on technology to deliver services. A recent PagerDuty report found that two in five ANZ companies are alerted to major technology issues from their customers most companies are unprepared and have little or no automation in place to solve outages and disruptions. 

Commissioned before the pandemic, the report called State of Unplanned Work Report 2020 surveyed over 500 IT and business professionals in Asia Pacific and found nearly one in three (29%) businesses experiencing major technology issues at least weekly. 

When delays, downtimes or outages occur, it not only diverts resources away from critical projects but it often has far-reaching consequences such as lost customers and revenue, reputational damage and employee impact. Customer experience is the new competitive battleground for business.

Real-time monitoring and a new proactive incident response are the answer: building an infrastructure and a culture founded on the ability to orient teams in hyper moments, detect problems before they detect problems before they blow up and respond proportionality – activating only the IT team members you need, when they are required.

At the heart of this lies real-time monitoring and a proactive and new approach to incident response.

Jonathan Rende is the Senior Vice President of Products and Marketing at PagerDuty.

Responding to IT crisis management during the COVID-19 pandemic
Jonathan Rende, Senior VP, Product and Marketing at PagerDuty