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Post-pandemic tech leaders now tackling ‘experience economy’, according to study

Cisco AppDynamics’ fourth annual Agents of Transformation report has found that the pandemic has encouraged the emergence of a “new class of technology experts” who have stepped up to meet critical challenges that have blurred the lines between business strategy and IT operations.

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Wed, 13 Jul 2022
Post-pandemic tech leaders now tackling ‘experience economy’, according to study
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The findings of the report reveal a demand to make all products and services digitally available in the "experience economy" amid heightened security threats, which increases complexity and accelerates the shift to hybrid work and the cloud.

The bar continues to rise, according to Liz Centoni, EVP, chief strategy officer, GM of applications at Cisco, explaining that over the last year, there has been a redefinition of what it means to be an agent of transformation.

"These leaders are looking to better understand how issues in their respective domains impact the total experience of users and applications, adapting to change with solutions that positively affect the overall business," Centoni said.


According to the Cisco AppDynamics report, 74 per cent of respondents believe that their experiences in recent years, particularly during the pandemic, have accelerated their careers, and 88 per cent now consider themselves to be business leaders.

A small group representing 10 per cent of technology experts, however, have reached the elite status of "agents of transformation". These individuals represent top-flight leaders who are reimagining and delivering high-value applications and services that create the always-on, secure, exceptional user experiences now demanded by end users and customers.

Respondents have disclosed that they now contend with soaring complexity and volumes of data from across the technology stack and must integrate a massively expanding set of cloud-native services with existing on-premises systems and tools. This is a fundamental change in the role of technologists, including the skills and resources required to operate effectively and proficiently.

  • Eighty-eight per cent believe that what it means to be a technologist has changed.
  • Eight-four per cent say the skills and qualities that define an agent of transformation have evolved.
  • Sixty-six per cent indicate that it is now more difficult to be an agent of transformation.
  • One in four say their organisation remains stuck in reactive, "fire-fighting mode".

While consumers have the ability to pivot quickly to another brand's app or service, companies cannot instantly improve digital experiences as it risks having loyal customers walk away.

Digital transformation means interacting with consumers via web and mobile applications, and the transition to hybrid work means more interaction with SaaS tools and web interfaces.

The new agents of transformation recognise a need to reimagine applications not just in response to post-pandemic challenges, Centoni added, emphasising that it is also aimed at creating "flawless, reliable digital experiences that address some of the world's greatest problems, from meeting critical human needs to giving people the skills and resources to succeed in the digital economy".

Respondents in the Cisco AppDynamics report note that they need help navigating the technical and operational ambiguities of digital transformation, acknowledging the far-reaching consequences of this change.

  • Seventy-seven per cent believe it will be important to invest in application security over the next 12 months to meet customer and employee needs.
  • Seventy-one per cent think their organisation will need to invest in observing cloud-native applications and infrastructure.
  • Eight-four per cent say that the need to maintain the performance of business applications is now more important than ever.
  • Eight-five per cent state that full stack observability is core to sustainable transformation and innovation in their organisation.

Specifically, respondents have revealed they are looking for unified visibility into their IT environments to better manage and optimise application availability and performance.

This requires focusing investments on application security, observability over cloud-native applications and infrastructure, and linking IT performance to business decision-making.

[Related: Bitdefender launches new 24/7 MDR security service for MSPs]

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