How IT Deals With the Fatigue of On-Call Teams

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 2016-02-02 Email

IT professionals who are part of an on-call team can expect to spend a week at a time working that shift, and an increasing number of those employees are experiencing fatigue as a result, according to a survey from VictorOps. The resulting "State of On-Call" report indicates that far too many tech issues turn out to be false alarms. And when there is a real problem, it often requires more than one person to resolve it. Organizations are providing some relief by adding non-operations professionals to the on-call team, including developers and DevOps staffers. "The clear signal over the last year has been the death of operations as the lone protectors of highly technical infrastructures and systems," according to the report. "More and more organizations are placing developers on the front line of rapid response and resolution of technical problems. Alerting 'someone' to a problem is no longer acceptable, and we are seeing this in many companies as they dismantle their Network Operations Centers (NOCs) in favor of routing specific system problems to the engineers [who] built the part of the system having issues. … Technology is changing fast and progressive companies are changing faster." In addition to incorporating more diverse skill sets into the on-call team, IT departments are trying to improve their post-mortem processes, and we've included some findings about that here. More than 500 IT professionals took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

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