Dynatrace’s Ken Clayton on the new frontier of cloud modernisation

Dynatrace’s Ken Clayton on the new frontier of cloud modernisation

Senior vice president of channels highlights how Dynatrace’s AI-powered observability platform helps enterprises to maximise the value of their Microsoft Azure cloud modernisation projects   

Alice Chambers |

Migrating to the cloud offers businesses multiple benefits, such as accelerating the speed of software development and increasing organisations’ operational efficiencies. However, the scale and dynamic nature of modern cloud ecosystems introduce complexities that require organisations to take a new approach to managing legacy systems by using a combination of dashboards, alerts and manual troubleshooting. 

“The proliferation of new cloud services and technologies is leading to fragmentation, which causes frustration for users, negative digital experiences and siloed data that results in limited analytics and intelligence,” says Ken Clayton, senior vice president of channels at Dynatrace. “To overcome these challenges, organisations must invest in observability and application security as essential components of their cloud strategies. They enable businesses to measure a system’s current status based on the data it generates. To achieve this, organisations need to deploy a fully unified solution that operates across the breadth and depth of application and infrastructure technologies deployed, rather than a collection of disparate tools.” 

Dynatrace has developed a unified observability and security platform to help the world’s largest and most complex organisations better manage their dynamic, hybrid and multi-cloud environments.  

“The platform is designed enhance the automation of workflows for speed and efficiency, secure cloud applications, and monitor complex and hybrid cloud environments to provide insightful analytics that inform teams and improve productivity,” says Clayton. “Our customers are buying Dynatrace to enable more effective control of their IT ecosystems at enormous scale and accelerate adoption, modernisation, innovation and transformation.” 

To enhance its efforts to assist businesses with cloud migration and modernisation, Dynatrace has partnered with Microsoft. 

“We recognise Microsoft Azure’s global customer adoption and reach, and the value it provides to customers in enabling their digital transformation initiatives,” says Clayton. “Our platform is purpose-built for cloud environments like Azure and is foundationally rooted in AI and intelligent automation. Dynatrace and Microsoft have a strong ‘build with’ approach and we work closely with the team to ensure that our deep technical integrations are fully aligned and functional in Azure so that our customers receive immediate value.”  

Clayton explains that by partnering with Dynatrace and Microsoft, enterprises can migrate more workloads to the cloud and optimise existing cloud deployments while enhancing operational efficiencies and delivering a better digital experience.  

“Together, we deliver a seamless user experience, integrated natively into the Azure marketplace for faster time to value,” he says. “We’re deeply committed to building with Microsoft and ensuring that we’re delivering exceptional user experiences built on deep technical integrations on the backend to ensure customer success today and for tomorrow. We also want to deliver innovative solutions that evolve to a state of sustainable readiness and our Azure Native Dynatrace Service offering showcases this commitment.” 

Azure Native Dynatrace Service enables Dynatrace customers to maximise their Azure investments by drawing down against 100 per cent of their Azure Consumption Commitment and providing technical integrations with fully automated deployment. “This is a huge value as our customers strive to optimise, modernise and migrate workloads on Azure,” says Clayton.  

Dynatrace is also exploring how artificial intelligence can improve cloud observability.  

“Our focus on AI and AI for IT operations (known as AIOPs) for new and existing use cases helps customers to maximise the value of automation from this intelligence, which will only become more pronounced as digital businesses continue to evolve,” says Clayton. “In addition, our platform is constantly evolving to meet the unique challenges our cloud-native customers face. One such example is our Carbon App, which helps customers migrating from data centres to continuously optimise their carbon footprint in the cloud.” 

In early 2023, Dynatrace shared plans to expand its Davis AI engine to create the industry’s first hypermodal AI solution. It is designed to increase productivity across business, development, security and operations teams by delivering generative AI-based recommendations with precise context.  

“Generative AI has the potential to boost productivity across all functions,” says Clayton. “As it is probabilistic by nature, its value depends on the quality of its training data and user prompts. The power of generative AI can be greatly amplified by converging it with predictive and causal intelligence to create a single, hypermodal AI that delivers a range of capabilities.”  

For instance, the predictive AI models can be used to recommend future actions based on data from the past. This could include information related to sales and customer experience trends, seasonality, cloud application health, or other historical behaviours. Meanwhile, causal AI can be used to deliver fact-based answers from large sets of observability, security and business data, and generative AI can deliver recommendations for solving specific tasks in the context of the customer’s environment and situation. 

“Just as AI has transformed business, it has also changed the way we think about observability,” says Clayton. “Automation and AI are critical to achieving deep cloud observability and fundamental for keeping up with the changing landscape. Our innovative solutions further position us to help support organisations that are migrating to Azure to develop and deliver a sustainable readiness model that’s designed to scale with our customers’ increasing business demands.” 

One example showcasing how Dynatrace’s observability solutions can help organisations to maximise the value of their Microsoft cloud investment is a project it worked on with one of the largest providers of employer-sponsored childcare in the USA. Working in collaboration with Microsoft and a global systems integrator (GSI) partner, Dynatrace rapidly resolved the critical systems performance issues that were making it difficult for the business to handle the increasing volume of conversations handled by its call centre.   

“Together we reconfigured the customer’s application performance monitoring tool, which enabled us to identify and resolve issue hot spots,” says Clayton. “We also helped the customer to push users to its mobile platform to better distribute traffic. In less than two weeks, we built a containerised application with various functionalities in Azure to redirect heavy-weight, crisis-care registration transactions for new and large customers from the site.”  

In addition, Dynatrace’s observability capabilities, combined with Microsoft cloud technology, enabled it to scale the childcare provider’s legacy system by up to 12 times its baseline capacity, while also helping to significantly deflect call rates. “In addition, resolutions that previously took the customer five to six hours can now be done in just 15 minutes,” says Clayton. “The organisation is now in a better position to support some of the largest employers in the USA, rapidly grow its customer base and operate more effectively.”  

As more enterprises migrate workloads to cloud platforms like Azure it is imperative they evaluate whether they are running these workloads in an efficient manner that will enable them to optimise and minimise costs so they can prioritise the next mission-critical goal for their business.  

“To ensure they are achieving goals around this investment, making the right business decisions around their cloud strategy, and improving security, reliability and operational efficiencies, it’s paramount for them to have an observability strategy from day one,” says Clayton. “Dynatrace is the proven, leading observability and security platform that accelerates that cloud journey and adoption – helping to protect businesses from things that could go wrong, but also telling them where gains can be made for greater efficiencies, lower total cost of ownership, and a flawless customer experience.” 

Clayton adds: “Our strategic partnership with Microsoft is paramount in delivering innovative, cloud-native observability solutions. Our customers can accelerate their Azure modernisation and adoption to realise transformative business value across their cloud journey. And they can take these actions with confidence, knowing Dynatrace and Microsoft will be there to support them. It is inspiring to know that we’re building something meaningful together. This partnership delivers the future our customers deserve.” 

This article was originally published in the Autumn 2023 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription

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