The challenges of controlling IT complexity

IT teams overwhelmingly feel that today’s IT environments are very complex – and that growing complexity is making it more difficult for them to do their jobs successfully, according to Ipswitch.

The research pointed to IT teams feeling that they are at risk of losing control of their company’s IT environment in the face of new technologies, devices and performance requirements.

IT complexity

Top findings

  • 66 percent of IT professionals feel that increasing IT complexity makes it more difficult for them to do their jobs successfully
  • 88 percent of respondents want IT management software that offers more monitoring flexibility, with fewer restrictions
  • More than half of respondents (54 percent) reported that they have found current software licensing models to be either too expensive, inflexible or complicated
  • The IT management challenges that IT teams were most worried about included: mobile devices and wireless networks (55 percent), cloud applications (50 percent), virtualization (49 percent), BYOD (43 percent) and high-bandwidth applications (41 percent), such as video or streaming.

According to the research, some 44 percent of IT teams are either not monitoring everything they want to on their networks – or don’t know if they are. Further highlighting the trouble that IT teams are having monitoring and managing the systems used in their organizations, the research showed that the vast majority are using multiple different tools to monitor their networks.

Concern about losing control of business transactions, applications and infrastructure

Managing the complexity of today’s IT environments was a recurring theme throughout the responses, as 66 percent of respondents said that increasing IT complexity simply made it more difficult for them to do their jobs successfully.

Respondents were asked what IT management challenges they were most worried about. The biggest worries were:

  • More than half (55 percent) indicated mobile devices and wireless networks
  • Cloud applications were a big worry for 50 percent of respondents, while virtualization was next with 49 percent
  • BYOD, or bringing your own devices to work, was the next highest response with 43 percent citing it as a major worry
  • Monitoring applications that eat up a great deal of bandwidth, such as video or streaming, were a worry for 41 percent.

IT complexity

IT teams need better IT management software

88 percent of respondents said that they’d like to find IT management software that offers more monitoring flexibility, with fewer restrictions, at no additional cost. This makes sense given the complexity they have to deal with and the lack of effectiveness of current solutions.

To cope with the need to manage the increasingly complex technology stack, organizations are using a combination of non-integrated tools. 44 percent of IT teams are either using more than 3 tools to monitor their networks or are not sure about how many tools they use to do so, with many organizations using 10 to 20 tools. This results in IT professionals spending too much time switching from tool to tool to try to get an accurate view into their application and infrastructure performance. This is time and effort that could be used elsewhere if they had a solution that would make it easier to have a holistic view of their operations.

Even with all these tools, IT teams reported that they were not monitoring everything that they would like to in order to ensure control. Top reasons for this include: budget (28 percent), lack of staff (18 percent) and the complexity of the IT environment they have to deal with (15 percent). Finally, 54 percent said IT management software licensing models are too expensive, inflexible and complicated to deal with.