The Case for Full-Stack Observability

Mark Maslach, Vice President, Global Channels and Strategic Alliances, Cisco AppDynamics, examines the rapidly growing full-stack observability solutions market and how regional channel partners can tap into the opportunities it presents.

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It’s safe to say that the pandemic was a major catalyst for driving increased digital transformation across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the AppDynamics report, “Agents of Transformation: The Rise of Full-Stack Observability”, we found that digital transformation is now running three times faster than prior to the pandemic and that technologists expect an even greater pace of innovation in 2022 and beyond.

Much of the focus for technologists will be on moving on from the reactive mode seen over the course of 2020-2021 and embedding the processes and technologies to support accelerated digital transformation as part of everyday business. But this new approach cannot survive without full-stack observability; the ability to monitor the full IT estate, from customer-facing applications through to third-party services and core infrastructure.

Such platforms are not only critical for understanding the technology sprawl caused in large part by the switch to cloud technologies, but are also indispensable in designing new digital customer experiences with incredible performance at the core. Now that businesses are moving towards cloud-native architectures to enhance the efficiency and productivity of their IT Ops teams, they will need new solutions to deliver on customers’ demands for high performance. Innovative businesses will have to move beyond traditional application monitoring to implement full-stack observability and application security across these cloud-native environments.

The market for full-stack observability solutions is rapidly expanding and there is now a huge opportunity for channel partners that understand the benefits and can adapt their practices accordingly.

Businesses are under IT pressure

Mass cloud migration has placed technologists in the UAE under enormous pressure. Across IT functions the challenges of multi-cloud and remote-working ecosystems were keenly felt. AppDynamics research found 79% of UAE technologists are seeing more IT complexity now than they ever did before COVID-19 emerged.

But consumers experienced their own changes. Lockdowns forced them to turn to digital to go on with their lives. Presented with a wide choice of digital experiences, they are drawn to those that are efficient, easy to use, secure, and available around the clock. This adds more pressure to the technologists and application owners responsible for delivering them. Our recent App Attention Index 2021 shows that 75% of UAE consumers will no longer tolerate poor performance, with 68% going as far as to characterise such brands as “disrespectful”. Brands must aim for nothing less than perfection in 2022.

However, our research shows that 85% of UAE technologists are still relying on multiple, disconnected monitoring solutions that are incapable of uniting under a single dashboard, making their day-to-day operations extremely challenging, if not impossible. How can they accelerate transformation under current complexities without the means to understand the entire IT environment? This presents an opportunity for channel partners to play a key role, providing expertise, support, and information to technologists, as they build business cases for full-stack observability.

Performance issues in the modern digital marketplace have a significant impact on the business. Left unchecked, they can escalate into frustrated customers who move to competitors, never to return, and a tarnished reputation from which the brand may never recover. Just as they will not settle for anything less than millisecond latency, neither should the team providing that experience on behalf of an enterprise. And the channel can argue, convincingly, that reaching that level of optimisation requires complete, real-time visibility across the entire IT environment.

Technologists must also tie their projects and investments to real-world business impact, demonstrating how their actions have improved operations. Almost all UAE technologists (99%) believe having the ability to monitor all technical areas across their IT stack and directly link that performance to business outcomes is important. So, channel partners should have no problem in winning them over. But while UAE technologists have identified a need, converting that need to investment may be challenging amid concerns around implementation times, scalability, and integration. They will need to present an ironclad business case to decision makers before embarking on any meaningful change.

Empowering IT operations teams 

Channel partners work on the ground with clients and can quickly formulate a message that resonates with stakeholders. Among technologists, the case for full-stack observability writes itself. A tool that gives insights across AppOps, DevOps, NetOps, InfraOps, and SecOps is welcome and necessary. But the case is just as strong for the business-oriented decision maker. The channel can speak the language of business and inspire C-level executives to act today to fine-tune their ability to win over customers and keep them engaged.

For partners, the opportunity to extend application performance monitoring to full-stack observability represents a major change in market relevance. This year will be all about the digital experience. Move early, and partners will operate in a largely uncontested market space.

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