Great Expectations might be the 13th novel from legendary writer Charles Dickens, but great expectations also play a major role for consumers and their view of a seamless digital customer experience.

The digital transformation of businesses significantly impacts customer loyalty, according to Stellar Loyalty CEO Kevin Nix.

But a new survey from PagerDuty reveals that, although IT professionals (e.g. developers, DevOps and IT operations teams) feel confident in their IT organization’s ability to deliver seamless digital experiences, many organizations still experience frequent operational hurdles that lead to customer-impacting IT incidents and unmet customer expectations.

PagerDuty’s inaugural State of Digital Operations Report was based on a two-part survey of more than 300 IT personnel in development and operations as well as more than 300 consumers.

The survey defines digital services as those offered through digital interfaces, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, spanning both professional services, as well as those used for personal reasons. Consumers’ everyday lives are surrounded by digital services—from the way they order groceries to the way they pay bills or coordinate transportation. These services provide a convenient way to complete everyday tasks, and as a result, customers’ expectations for always-on, user-friendly digital experiences have reached new heights. Consequently, IT teams that manage these digital offerings are faced with a variety of new operational and technological challenges to deliver on the promise of a seamless digital experience.

Consider that, according to the survey, resolving consumer-impacting incidents takes IT teams approximately double the amount of time consumers are willing to wait for a service that isn’t performing properly:

Nearly 70 percent of consumer respondents stated that they will leave a digital app or service in under 15 minutes or less if it is unresponsive or slow.

Meanwhile, more than one-third of IT respondents reported that it takes an average of 30 minutes or longer to resolve these issues.

This expectation gap can not only cost organizations millions of dollars in revenue but can also seriously impact customer loyalty.

“Consumers’ increasing reliance on digitally-dependent services has caused the roles of development and ITOps to shift, bringing them closer to the front lines of customer experience and more directly tied to the value businesses can deliver their customers,” said Jennifer Tejada, CEO, PagerDuty. “Just a few minutes of downtime can mean millions lost in revenue, making it more critical than ever to ensure IT teams are well-equipped to handle the complexities of digital businesses with modern development and operations tactics. It’s time to support developers in driving better business outcomes through insights, investment in toolchains and context to empower optimal real-time decisions.” 

What’s more, the survey revealed that IT professionals’ perception of their organizations’ readiness to deploy, manage, and maintain digital services does not align with the high frequency of consumer-facing IT incidents they currently face:

Of the nearly 84 percent of IT personnel who claimed to be confident their organization is well prepared to support digital services, more than half experienced customer-impacting incidents (slowness or downtime) at least one or more times a week.

Many respondents noted that their top digital operations challenges are tied to increased complexity, which results in more cognitive load and the proliferation of IT tools used to manage digital services.

Meanwhile, many IT professionals are adopting modern development methods and tools to address the challenges of digital operations and consumer expectations:

According to IT organizations, DevOps practices reign supreme among those who feel prepared to effectively support digital offerings, with incident management, continuous delivery and agile identified as other common practices.

The State of Digital Operations Report also indicated that monitoring tools play a critical role in helping organizations support digital service offerings effectively.

The complete 2017 State of Digital Operations Report is available for download at: https://www.pagerduty.com/digital-ops

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