IT leaders need application observability to respond to increased scrutiny of cloud investments and demonstrate the value of innovation
Written in collaboration by Gregg Ostrowski, CTO Advisor, Cisco AppDynamics
The economic slowdown is causing organizations all over the world to evaluate their investments in innovation. In particular, IT leaders are being a lot more surgical in their approach to cloud native technologies, given the rising costs of cloud computing. Whereas organizations were hastily migrating everything they could to the cloud in 2020 and 2021 in response to the pandemic, we’re now seeing a more considered approach and businesses moving at a speed that suits their own changing needs.
That’s not to say that digital transformation won’t continue to be a major priority in all industries – the market is expected to see a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.3%. Organizations will continue to implement cloud native technologies to accelerate innovation in response to changing customer needs and evolving market opportunities.
What has changed, however, is the extent to which business leaders are now scrutinizing the impact that innovation – and cloud technologies in particular – is delivering to their organizations. In fact, in the latest research from Cisco AppDynamics, The Age of Application Observability, as many as 92% of technologists in Singapore report that they are facing increased pressure to validate the impact of cloud investments.
The problem for IT leaders is that it’s becoming ever more difficult to track and measure the impact of innovation on the business effectively or accurately. IT teams are having to manage an increasingly fragmented and dynamic IT estate, and very few have the unified visibility and insights required to link application availability and performance to tangible business outcomes.
This is why it’s now become so critical for organizations to move beyond traditional approaches to application monitoring and to embrace application observability as the foundation for sustainable innovation. Application observability provides technologists with the insights they need to always optimize application performance and, crucially, it allows IT leaders to correlate IT data to business metrics and validate the impact of investments in cloud technologies.
IT leaders are in the dark when it comes to business outcomes
While the adoption of low code and no code platforms has enabled IT teams to dramatically boost release velocity, the downside has been that they now find themselves without the tools to manage an increasingly sprawling hybrid IT estate, with application components running across cloud native and on-premises technologies.
Most technologists are still having to rely on multiple, disconnected monitoring solutions to track performance across their IT estate, and fewer still can correlate IT performance insights with real-time business data to make smart, informed decisions. Technologists are having to operate a split screen mode and are therefore unable to see the complete path up and down the application stack. As a result, it’s becoming ever harder to troubleshoot issues and key metrics such as Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR) are on the rise. In fact, 94% of technologists in Singapore claim that the increased volume of data from multi-cloud and hybrid environments is making manual monitoring impossible.
The traditional approach of monitoring IT availability and performance only shows whether applications or supporting infrastructure are up or down. But this isn’t sufficient in today’s digital economy – IT leaders don’t just need to see whether an application is running, they need to understand how well it is running and what impact improvements will generate for the business.
Application observability is vital to sustain innovation and validate cloud investments
The potential consequences of IT leaders not having the right level of insight into the performance of the whole technology stack are profound: difficulties in prioritizing IT innovation; the creation of technology siloes and wasted investment; and loss of revenue and customers due to technology performance issues.
Across the board, there is a recognition amongst technologists that they need to adopt more robust methods to measure the impact that technology is delivering to the business. New teams, such as Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) and CloudOps, are coming under pressure to demonstrate the business value of cloud native technologies.
More than anything else, technologists point to application observability as critical to achieving this. The ability to generate business transaction insights in real-time, and then to analyze performance in business-level dashboards, enables IT leaders to measure the value that their innovation programs are generating and direct their investments where they can have maximum commercial impact. Indeed, 96% of technologists in Singapore claim that application observability in a business context will enable them to be more strategic and spend more time on innovation.
It’s likely that the pressure on IT leaders to show the value of innovation will intensify over the next 12 months, as cloud costs continue to rise on the one hand, and organizations look to manage spending on the other. By implementing application observability, IT leaders can equip their teams to provide customers with brilliant digital experiences at all times and to deliver rapid innovation on a sustainable basis. And they can access the insights they need to show exactly how application performance is driving the business forward through customer acquisition and revenue growth.
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