The COVID-19 pandemic has required enterprise organizations to shift overnight to an almost completely digital world, leading to unparalleled demand on their IT organizations as they strive to deliver high-performing digital experiences to their customers and employees through digital services including websites, applications, IoT devices, and wearables.
Our research shows that before the pandemic, 71% of consumers admitted digital services were so intrinsic to their daily lives that they didn’t even realize how much they relied on them. Imagine what that stat must be now. Today, digital services are essential in keeping workforces productive at home, allowing people to shop for groceries online, helping patients connect to telehealth professionals to report symptoms, access testing, and so much more.
Applications have quickly become the gateway to critical digital services we now rely on to function day-to-day, both for personal and professional needs. This means application owners are getting hit with record usage, while under intense pressure to get products, services, and information to their customers quickly — all while maintaining a great digital experience.
Knowing that IT teams are now navigating an increase in demand and expectations, we wanted to better understand key areas where we could help.
To do this, we analyzed the online behaviors of IT decision-makers to determine changes from before the pandemic to now. Our data analysts examined organic surges in traffic to our company website (www.appdynamics.com), reviewed trending web search terms related to application performance and our most frequently attended training courses, and compiled the most commonly asked questions from our customers between March 1 and April 4, 2020, a peak period of intensity in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aggregate of these findings identified three core trends outlining where IT professionals are looking for help right now:
Demand for application performance management is on the rise
As IT professionals struggle to respond to surges in application use and new pressures on the user experience, many have recognized the need for application performance management solutions.
When analyzing the trending organic web search terms relating to application performance, “APM,” “Application Performance Monitoring,” and “Digital Experience Monitoring” ranked in the top 5 most frequently searched and viewed terms globally. Additionally, we found that resources on our website about implementing a comprehensive end-to-end APM strategy saw a 35% increase in web traffic, and information about application performance testing saw a 24% increase in traffic during that same time frame.
Another place we are seeing an increase in demand for APM related information is through our Premium University program. Our Core APM class through AppDynamics’ Premium University education program has seen a 233% increase in attendance.
IT and business leaders are recognizing that they must actively evaluate the performance of their digital experiences in response to increased demands and added pressure from users. Their business success depends on having the tools to accurately monitor and manage their application technology stack, from the user experience to the network.
Cloud support is now critical
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for businesses to predict demand or rely on capacity models built without accounting for the sudden behavior changes prompted by the pandemic. This means that IT teams need the flexibility to quickly scale resources up and down, and are increasingly looking to the cloud to help them.
Validating this need for agility, we found that search terms related to cloud services like “cloud operations,” “Azure,” and “AWS monitoring” are trending. Additionally, AppDynamics reported a more than 40% increase in traffic to cloud monitoring related pages on its website.
Some organizations that previously used on-premise software deployment are now in a position where they need to enable a remote workforce and provide access to business-critical data in real-time to team members in numerous working locations. Under the current climate, the path to the cloud is no longer a luxury for businesses — it’s a critical necessity.
Developers are turning to microservices to scale new demand
As businesses become completely reliant on the quality of their digital experiences to stay competitive, developers are under intense pressure to write new code faster, update features, and fix bugs quickly. To do this at scale, the developer community is turning to microservices to develop, test, and deploy code at an extraordinary rate.
We saw a 21% increase in traffic to resources on our website related to addressing challenges with microservices adoption and how to use microservices.
Likewise, IT teams are turning to container orchestration technologies like Kubernetes to manage and prioritize workloads. Traffic to resources on our website related to Kubernetes monitoring increased by 20% and demand for resources about best practices for instrumenting containers increased by over 30%.
It’s clear that our newfound reliance on digital is sending IT departments around the world scrambling to manage and scale services without falling short of experience expectations for users. IT professionals need additional support and tools in order to combat these new challenges, because they know the quality of the digital experiences they deliver today will impact their success both now, and after the pandemic subsides.