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A/NZ firms fail to detect technical issues - until customers report them

By Sara Barker
Fri 13 Mar 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Many technical issues in businesses across Australia and New Zealand are remaining undetected until end customers report them, suggesting that many companies have poor methods of dealing with outages and delays.

PagerDuty releases its State of Unplanned Work report, which analyses some of the business challenges arising from time-critical, unplanned work.

The report surveyed 507 businesses across Asia Pacific and found that 42% only uncover major technology issues from their customers. Issues are often widespread, with 26% of businesses experiencing problems at least once a week.

Furthermore, 67% of technology employees will waste more than 100 hours of productivity due to unplanned work this year. 

Technology issues lead to unplanned work, which is damaging workplace culture and staff retention. According to the report, impacts on employees include more stress and anxiety (59%), a reduction in work-life balance (53%), more mistakes (31%), a loss of interest in the job (27%) and health issues (22%).

Commenting on the figures, PagerDuty’s senior vice president product, Jonathan Rende, says that in an always-on world, businesses are battling complex IT ecosystems and rising customer expectations. When downtime happens, the ripples can even cause customer and revenue loss, as well as the employee impacts listed.

“Customer experience is the new competitive battleground for business. Responding to major
technology issues once customers have already been affected not only impacts revenue, it also
creates unnecessary stress for employees.”

Slightly more than half of the respondents state they have run into an issue that was not covered by their document response plans, and 30% have no automation in place to resolve issues either. Only 2% of respondents say their entire process is automated.

“Having an automated, digital operations management platform that is underpinned by machine learning is critical today. It allows companies to bring the right people together in real-time to enable businesses to quickly orchestrate a response, stop the finger pointing and spend more time innovating and enhancing their customers’ experiences,” says Rende.

He adds that technology problems are business problems. 

“When teams aren’t able to innovate quickly, companies are more exposed to competitive threats.”

Additional A/NZ findings from the report:

  • 68% say that major technology issues result in extra work and 61% reported that major technology issues lead to unhappy customers
  • 55% state that resources are routinely diverted to unplanned work, while 75% say unplanned work is an inhibitor to innovation
  • 38% say that there is increasing customer expectations around convenience and performance, while 43% report increasingly complex IT environments are making it more difficult to provide a great customer experience
  • 25% say that major technology issues result in a damaged brand and 35% reported compliance problems as a result.
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