Research Reveals Hidden Cost of Innovation and its Impact on the Customer Experience

xMatters ‘Incident Management in the Age of Customer-Centricity’ report finds enterprises challenged with balance between driving innovation and maintaining uptime

SAN RAMON, CA — November 18, 2019 — xMatters (, a digital service availability platform that prevents IT issues from becoming business problems, today announced findings from its inaugural Incident Management in the Age of Customer-Centricity research, which highlighted challenges technology organizations face as a result of the rise in delivering new digital services and the need for an intelligent, automated approach to addressing incidents. The research also found a gap between an organization’s ability to innovate and maintain uptime: more than half of organizations have experienced a dramatic increase in the pace of innovation, impacting their ability to deliver uninterrupted customer experiences. The report findings are based on the results of a survey that examined the opinions of over 300 DevOps, ITOps and business leaders from organizations of varying sizes delivering digital services, including midsize and enterprise-level businesses.

“The success of any business depends on the quality of their customers’ experiences. Just a short interruption in service could not only greatly impact the customer experience, but also a company’s bottom line,” said xMatters CEO Troy McAlpin. “However, at the same time, digital services organizations are delivering software releases significantly faster than just a few years ago. This presents a growing challenge for technology organizations as teams work to balance the rapid resolution of incidents with the demand for faster innovation.”

As customer experience has become a crucial measure of business success, nearly everyone across an enterprise IT organization shares responsibility for delivering exceptional customer experiences. The vast majority of respondents (91.7%) reported that delivering a superior customer experience is a priority in their role. The shift in responsibility for the delivery of uninterrupted customer experiences means that developers, who ideally should be focused on delivering innovation, now share in the burden.

Accelerated Pace of Innovation Impacts the Customer Experience
Digital services organizations are delivering more software releases at a significantly faster rate than a few years ago, with more than half of respondents (54%) who reported that they introduce at least one new software release each week. Nearly half of other respondents (40%) reported that a new release is rolled out monthly or every few months. For companies issuing software releases at this pace, findings show that their ability to innovate is hindered by the rise in customer impacting issues.

  • The number of software releases within these organizations has increased dramatically over the past three years with 77% of respondents stating that the amount of releases increased by at least 25%.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 respondents (74.4%) say that their ability to build out services is sometimes or always affected by customer-impacting issues.
  • More than half (57%) of organizations are still experiencing regular degradations—on a weekly and daily basis—in their digital experiences.

The Toil of Managing Incidents and a New Era of Operational Challenges
Most organizations believe they are fully equipped to support digital service offerings effectively, but still face operational challenges. Nearly half (44.8%) of development team leads indicate their developers spend more than 50% of their time manually addressing incidents (i.e., any negative impact to the customer digital experience ranging from core service outages to degradations in performance due to servers, databases, load balancing or configuration issues). Additionally, as a result of the rise in new digital services, roles have shifted.

  • Top challenges technology organizations face as a result of the rise in new digital services include increased difficulty in capacity planning (e.g., predict growth, needs of business, migration to the cloud, etc.) reported by 57.4% of respondents, increased complexity resulting in more cognitive load reported by 48.4% of respondents and increased number of tools, reported by 37.5% of respondents.
  • The top ways roles have shifted include the need to learn new technologies, reported by 63.1% respondents; gain a better understanding of incident management and issue resolution best practices, reported by 51.9% of respondents; as well as the need to manage more data, reported by 49.7% of respondents.

Modern Approach to Incident Management Is Critical for Delivering Uninterrupted Customer Experiences
Findings indicate that modernization of incident management practices (including IT tools and services) will aid in resolving issues at a faster pace while simultaneously equipping employees across the enterprise with information and resources they need in order to support digital transformation and deliver uninterrupted customer experiences. The majority of DevOps/SRE (83.9%), IT Operations (72.9%) and Developers (64.9%) surveyed believe emerging technologies such as AI and ML will help them do their jobs better.

“The gap between a company’s ability to maintain uptime and innovate has never been more apparent,” said McAlpin. “New advancements in incident management will enable companies to expand its reach via workflow automation while equipping employees across the enterprise with the critical insights for delivering uninterrupted customer experiences.”

The complete Incident Management in the Age of Customer-Centricity report can be downloaded here:

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About xMatters
xMatters is a digital service availability platform that helps enterprises prevent, manage, and resolve IT incidents. From the Global 2000 to small workgroups and innovative DevOps teams, organizations around the world rely on xMatters to maintain operational visibility and control in highly complex IT environments. By providing toolchain integrations with hundreds of IT management, security, and DevOps applications, xMatters allows organizations to automate key processes and streamline workflows. xMatters is trusted by leading global companies including BMC Software, Credit Suisse, Danske Bank, DXC technology, Experian, NVIDIA, ViaSat, and Vodafone. xMatters is headquartered in San Ramon, California and has offices worldwide. For more information, please visit

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Jocelynn Stidham
Bhava Communications for xMatters
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