IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Partner content
Story image

Interview: PagerDuty explains how a single transformation can eliminate burnout in IT teams

By Sara Barker
Tue 14 Sep 2021

There has been an unprecedented change within businesses over the last 18 months - technological, structural and cultural changes have ushered in a blend of office and remote working, dubbed hybrid working.

It's worth considering the human element behind all of this change. IT and DevOps teams have been under extreme pressure to ensure that current systems work anywhere and anytime in line with the hybrid working ethos. Furthermore, they are now developing new applications that cater to more environments and needs than ever before.

It can be tough on these teams, and it’s causing burnout. A recent State of Digital Operations study from PagerDuty found that 19% growth in critical incidents YoY from 2019-2020
Critical incidents are defined as those from high urgency services, not auto-resolved within five minutes, but were acknowledged within four hours and resolved within 24 hours.

We spoke to PagerDuty’s director of customer solutions, Abhijit Pendyal, to discuss how businesses can implement the right technologies and methodologies to keep their organisations operational and their teams mentally healthy and engaged.

In PagerDuty’s Future of Workplace 2021 survey, 69% of IT and DevOps professionals say hybrid work is here to stay - 33% of respondents work entirely from home and will continue to do so, while 29% work from home and will work from a hybrid workplace, and 24% already work in a hybrid workplace.

In the office, swivel chair interactions are easy, but in a remote situation, that’s not possible. Team empowerment must come from cultural and process changes, Pendyal says.

“At the heart of the hybrid working challenge is one question: how do you empower employees to perform their best? The work experience must be frictionless and in order to do that, you need to support a distributed workflow. This means hardware, services and applications need to be always available and free of disruption.”

As the business imperative changes to support these demands, it also changes user support policies, adding more pressure for developers. 

Developers have always been entrusted with maintaining and creating new services to make them reliable and resilient from development to production. Pendyal says that full-service ownership is key to ensuring developers and engineers remain closer to the customer and ensure collaboration between teams.

“It's about integrating different toolkits to ensure that people use the tools that they want to use, but also to ensure that information is being shared across the different technical and business functions effectively within an organisation.

“Organisations need to talk about how to mitigate the three risks of revenue loss, more customer support tickets, or reputation damage from poor customer experience. Full service wnership enables engineers to create their own microservices  so they own it for the entire operations journey.”

It’s when developers are creating platforms without the right support that full-service ownership becomes ineffective. When digital initiatives become part of an organisation's corporate strategy, these introduce more changes, and thus the rate of incidents also rises - contributing to the 19% incident rate mentioned earlier. When the incident rate is higher than the change rate, developers can experience burnout.

"This happens more often in cases where organisations don't have defined incident response practices and they're not making improvements. There may be legacy processes that take a lot of time to solve, which leads to some developers going above the call of duty. This can lead to burnout, which leads to attrition and an organisation's best staff leave. It's costly and damaging, especially during the skills shortage."

Constant crisis interruptions also increase stress levels for those involved, including stakeholders.

"Developers are the new buyers. They decide what tools, processes, and culture should be.These help to build resilient,  scalable and reliable services. Organisations need to be able to provide developers that trust, and encourage a culture of failing fast."

Pendyal says at the end of the day, organisations need to focus on innovation and iterative improvements that improve processes, thus reducing burnout.

"If you empower people to work where they can, if you ensure that tools are talking to each other, and if you ensure people get the relevant information that they need, it builds continuous improvement and continuous feedback loop over time. This loop will improve developers' roles."

He says organisations are striving for operational maturity, which is where PagerDuty focuses its core capabilities.

"We've built an operational model that takes organisations from mature to reactive to responsive and preventative. The biggest difference with this approach is that incidents that could have impacted customers no longer do so. Developers are able to resolve the issues quickly, and avoid them in future."

This starts with PagerDuty's observations of an organisation's entire technology stack. PagerDuty connects with monitoring tools, chat tools, service management and security tools, and more.

"As we detect those issues we ensure that the right people are getting are messages at the right time. This helps bridge the communication gap between technical and business teams, and it means that the company as a whole is working on an issue - not just a specific silo.  As you deal with issues, you reduce your median time to response (MTTR) and you are able to ascertain technical and business service relationships within your infrastructure very easily."

At the heart of it all, people are at the core of managing the increasing noise and complexity in applications and infrastructure, so they need to feel empowered.

He adds, "You're able to track productivity and team help to identify burnout quickly. All of this is within the PagerDuty platform, but at the core of it. We are helping organisations deal with issues in real time, and raise their operational maturity."

"There's a lot of different use cases can be solved, not just in terms of incident escalations and response, but also in areas such as customer service and security. Automation isn't just about incident response." concludes Pendyal.

To find out how PagerDuty can empower your organisation, click here.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Mendix
Mendix is a low-code platform used by businesses to develop mobile and web apps at scale, and Jornt joins us today to discuss how these offerings work, and what benefit they have in the development process.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Appier achieves historically high growth rate of 56% YoY
"Our strong momentum over the past two quarters underscores Appier's significant growth alongside our customers."
Story image
Lucid Software
Lucid Software expands enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps
Lucid Software has expanded its enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps for its Lucidspark and Lucidchart technology.
Story image
Kaspersky uncovers new attacks by advanced persistent threat group
The attacks involved modifications of the well-known malware, DTrack, as well as the use of a brand-new Maui ransomware.
Story image
Can biometrics help? 123% increase in Gen Zs scammed online
In the three years leading up to 2022, the number of Gen Zs who fell victim to online scams rose by 123%, according to Ping Identity.
Story image
How well do rangatahi understand cyber safety in Aotearoa?
Do rangatahi in Aotearoa understand the importance of being safe online, or has lifelong exposure to the internet resulted in widespread complacency?
Story image
Data analytics
Pressure on orgs to up their data analytics game - study
A recent report from Sisense highlights data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns for data professionals in APAC.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner unveils key emerging tech to watch in 2022
"Such technologies present greater risks for deployment, but potentially greater benefits for early adopters," says Gartner.
Story image
IBM expands Power10 server line for business modernisation
IBM has recently announced a significant expansion of its Power10 server line with the introduction of mid-range and scale-out systems.
Story image
Cloud Security
Tenable makes additions to Cloud Security portfolio
Tenable has announced additions to Tenable Cloud Security that represent the next step in assessing threats related to cloud vulnerabilities.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Is your chatbot bringing down the customer satisfaction score?
The top 10 reasons why chatbots are failing to meet customer expectations and what you must do to avoid that.
Story image
Dynatrace extends application security capabilities for runtime environments
Dynatrace has announced that it has extended its Application Security Module to detect and protect against vulnerabilities in runtime environments.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Fastly, INX, Kinly, SmartBear & Vectra AI
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Garmin expands NZ footprint with new Auckland distribution centre
The facility at Goodman’s Highbrook Business Park will be fully operational from October 2022 and features 3,586sqm of warehouse space.
Story image
Ingram Micro
Ingram Micro NZ sees $74 million revenue growth in 2021
Ingram Micro New Zealand's latest financial report reveals that its revenue from contracts with customers increased by almost $74 million in 2021.
Story image
Cloud and data protection big challenges for NZ businesses
"This surge towards a cloud-first approach meant security and safety became afterthoughts - there's no point being the fastest car on the racetrack if you crash.”
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
The importance of stopping identity sprawl for cybersecurity
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that 61% of all breaches involve malicious actors gaining unauthorised, privileged access to data by using a compromised credential. Unfortunately, it is often too late when the misuse of a credential is detected.
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner names Lookout a Visionary in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has recognised Lookout as a Visionary in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE) and one of the top three offerings in the 2022 Gartner Critical Capabilities for SSE report.
Story image
New Zealand cloud provider challenges Google's claims on data control for region
A Wellington cloud services provider says Google's claim it will offer New Zealanders complete control over their own data is not true.
Story image
Why printing security plays a vital part in keeping Aotearoa safe
While internet printing, mobile printing and other similar technologies have no doubt made things easier to manage, it has also brought a whole new set of problems to the table.
Story image
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?
Story image
Education sector seeing highest volumes of cyber attacks
When breaking down the numbers to education attacks by region in July 2022, A/NZ was the most heavily attacked.
Story image
Exclusive: The Access Group shares the benefits of embracing SaaS
In today's rapidly changing working environments, efficiency and productivity are surefire ways to create business growth and success.
Story image
Ministry will no longer accept equipment from Chinese firm Hikvision
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says it will no longer accept equipment from a major Chinese surveillance camera maker.
Story image
High level of Customer Identity & Access Management adoption
The study from Okta revealed that the pandemic has either accelerated or highlighted the need for digital-first strategies.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Why the right ERP (and partner) is crucial to an innovative and successful business
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a foundational step to ensuring a robust business model; here's why choosing the right one could be vital to ensuring long-term success and innovative results.
Story image
Datacom research explores reality of zero trust in A/NZ
Zero trust is fast emerging as global best practice in cybersecurity and local leaders are on board, with 83% considering it essential to security.
Story image
Data Protection
Advancing genomic sequencing and public health with digital infrastructures
Right before our eyes, we've witnessed the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. An enormous achievement in an otherwise lengthy task that previously took, on average, 10-15 years.
Story image
Investment in APAC cold storage to reach $5 in next decade
Investment in Asia Pacific’s cold storage market is expected to grow fivefold in the next decade, according to JLL.
Story image
Latest VMware threat report reveals truth about deepfakes
"Cyber criminals have evolved. Their new goal is to use deepfake technology to compromise organisations and gain access to their environment."
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Augmented Reality
TeamViewer remote access software integrated into RealWear Cloud
TeamViewer has announced a major expansion of its partnership with RealWear, a leading provider of assisted reality wearable solutions for frontline industrial workers. 
Story image
Why enhancing bot protection for web and API endpoints matters
The trouble with bots is that they aren’t all bad. Unfortunately, this can make it challenging to detect malicious bots that find their way into your system and threaten your business.
Story image
Avast reveals zero-day exploits targeting Chrome and Microsoft
Avast, released its Q2/2022 Threat Report today, revealing a significant increase in global ransomware attacks, up 24% from Q1/2022.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Top tips for making your finance transformation program a resounding success
Planning to make 2023 the year you embark on a wholesale finance transformation program? It’s a move that will stand your enterprise in excellent stead as you navigate the complexities of the post-Covid business landscape.
Story image
Dicker Data
Dicker Data brought on as Acronis partner for A/NZ
The news about the partnership comes in as cyber criminals continue to exploit gaps in traditional solutions and strategies in NZ and across the APAC region.
Story image
Application Performance Monitoring / APM
New Relic integrates offering with Atlassian’s Jira Software
New Relic has integrated errors inbox with Jira Software to allow developers to easily access and set up complete stack error tracking and software performance monitoring from within the tool.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Dramatic uptick in threat activity with exploits growing nearly 150%
"While it’s not a surprise given increased attack opportunities like remote work, it’s still a worrying development and one we cannot ignore."
Story image
Organisations exposing highly sensitive protocols to public internet
More than 60% of organisations expose remote control protocol SSH to the public internet, while 36% of organisations expose the insecure FTP protocol.
Story image
Snyk announces plans to expand partner network in APJ
Recognising that partnerships are critical for growth, Snyk is building an entire partner ecosystem that will drive its expansion across APJ.