IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Blame culture jeopardising essential business operations
Thu, 21st Mar 2024

Operations deemed essential within businesses are being jeopardised by a damaging culture of blame shifting between IT teams and third-party service providers, according to tech company Dynatrace. Echoing this, new data has revealed that a staggering 91% of organisations are trapped in this destructive cycle, raising questions about the dependence on demanding, high-stress war-room style meetings to address and find resolutions for operational issues.

This fraught work environment is apparently affecting employees' well-being, with almost half (49%) of IT teams saying they feel burnt out. As a consequence, businesses risk losing their most valuable IT personnel, thereby posing a threat to the reliability of their vital operations and digital services due to a potential shortage of expertise.

In addition to this, Dynatrace's research uncovered that 46% of IT staff have given up their personal time during evenings and weekends. Furthermore, the added stress of their roles drove 21% of professionals to consider changing jobs. The continuation of this trend will likely jeopardise businesses' critical functions as they potentially deal with a shortcoming of adept programmers and operations professionals to deliver digital services and drive innovation.

Rob Van Lubek, Vice President, EMEA at Dynatrace, pointed to the negative impact of certain corporate practices. He emphasised, “War rooms are an extremely negative approach to resolving problems, and against the backdrop of continued skills shortages, can significantly deepen resourcing challenges for many organisations.” He added, “What looked like ‘business as usual’ five years ago is no longer acceptable for many IT professionals, who reassessed their work-life balance during the shift to hybrid working."

Van Lubek went on to elaborate on the detrimental effect of such working environments, which "can lead to a disenfranchised and disengaged workforce that is constantly on the lookout for their next employer.”

The study also identified that the reliance on isolated monitoring tools and manual methods used by numerous organisations intensifies the issues connected with war rooms. Interestingly, less than a third (29%) of businesses reported that their teams use a single platform and consistent data to oversee and manage digital services. This inconsistency in data further ignites the cycle of blame, discourages ownership of problems, and heightens the risk of incidents taking longer to get resolved or even being overlooked.

To counteract this, Van Lubek suggested a collaborative approach, stating organisations "need to transform the way their teams work and collaborate, both internally as well as with third parties". He also recommended the adoption of a unified observability strategy, enhanced by advanced AI and automation. Such an approach would remove manual triaging, provide teams with solutions to diagnose and resolve problems before they escalate, reduce stress, save resources, and increase productivity.

Dynatrace gathered the report's data based on responses from 368 participants during a Dynatrace cloud innovation event in Europe. The disconcerting results underscore the urgent need for businesses to reconsider their working cultures and respond to the pressing issue of workforce burnout, particularly within IT teams.