Five Success Factors for Delivering Full-Stack Observability in 2022

Joe Byrne, Executive CTO, Cisco AppDynamics, says, the journey to full-stack observability calls for careful navigation and phased delivery.

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For the past months, across all industries, technologists have prioritised the enhancement of their existing monitoring capabilities as they need a unified view on availability and performance of their applications up and down the IT stack. And they must get to it now more than ever, given the ever-more complex and fragmented IT ecosystem they’re left with. They realise that consolidation of their current monitoring tools is necessary if they are to cut through the ever-growing data noise associated with their new environments and deliver the seamless digital experiences that customers and employees now expect. For many IT departments, this improved visibility is even more important when it comes to new, cloud-native environments to manage the increasing trend in deployment of microservices and container solutions.

Joe Byrne, AppDynamics
Joe Byrne, AppDynamics

A new report from Cisco AppDynamics, The Journey to Observability shows the overwhelming success of such efforts, revealing that 94% of UAE-based technologists have managed to deliver some degree of improvement in their IT stack visibility in the past year. Those organisations that have seen improvement report a range of technical and commercial benefits, from productivity boosts and cost reductions within the IT function to greater collaboration across the business and greater focus on strategy and innovation.

It should be noted, however, that the journey to full-stack observability calls for careful navigation and phased delivery. The technologists that report success acknowledge the need for more work if they are to progress in their journeys. Most enterprises still rely on multiple disconnected monitoring tools that do not share data. Such solutions perform an important function, and IT teams use them to identify issues and act within specific domains. But the interoperability gap means that technologists have difficulty understanding dependencies within the IT stack.

Despite this, there is a strong sense of optimism and excitement about full-stack observability in 2022. Technologists are keen to build on 2021’s momentum and believe they can deliver even greater visibility across their IT estate. To do so requires consolidation of existing monitoring capabilities to develop a unified view of availability and performance. And they know that they must introduce new solutions that grant greater visibility into cloud-native environments. In pursuit of these goals, they have identified five key success factors for full-stack observability in 2022.

Get the right skills

Monitoring performance in the cloud calls for its own set of skills, especially because of the shift to OpenTelemetry (a specific telemetry framework for modern IT environments). Technologists are aware of the need for cloud skills and now they must formulate a strategy to do so. But while vying for high-quality talent from today’s competitive labour market, organisations should also look at their own inhouse resources and upskill employees so they can optimise performance in microservices, container and serverless environments.

Reshape the mindsets

The full-stack observability journey requires a roadmap that includes changes in culture and structure above and beyond the implementation of new technical solutions. Of course, the right tools will be important, but technologists cannot forget that full-stack observability has a process level. The right processes and frameworks will ensure efficient rollouts of solutions and maximise the subsequent benefits.

Find the right vendor

The report shows that 92% of UAE technologists believe that, with the right technology vendor, they can take meaningful strides towards full-stack observability in 2022. Vendors and their partners will be integral in supporting IT leaders as they define the right observability strategy and guiding and supporting them throughout their journey to full-stack observability. Decision-makers should seek out a vendor that can deliver a comprehensive solution that includes application monitoring, security, workload optimisation and financial cloud cost optimisation. Such a set of deliverables represents the truest form of full-stack observability — capable of optimising technology availability and performance today and every day thereafter.

A common purpose for all teams

One of the central tenets of full-stack observability is that all IT operations teams commit to a single source of truth for all performance data. But historically, even within IT, teams have been siloed, reliant on their own monitoring solutions. The transition to a holistic approach may be unwelcome for some, but a shared goal for full-stack observability may help to align all stakeholders. A future vision for the IT department that is founded on full-stack observability will allow technologists to deliver leading-edge and seamless digital experiences for customers and employees. They will deploy advanced AI and automation tools to optimise availability and performance. And they will have more time to dedicate to strategic, innovation-focussed work.

Keep the plan fluid

The AppDynamics research found that 98% of UAE enterprises already have a formal full-stack observability strategy in place (although some have yet to make progress on it). But technologists often review and refine their plan to adapt to new IT and business needs. From a technical perspective, this may occur when organisations double down on their deployment of microservices, containers, and serverless environments, or increase their use of open-source systems such as Kubernetes. And from a business perspective, the speed of innovation and the rate at which new digital services are launched, calls for technologists to continually update their full-stack observability strategies to include new applications and their supporting infrastructure.

 UAE technologists believe 2022 will be the year their organisations make significant progress on the journey to full-stack observability, with some 94% expressing excitement about the technology and business benefits it can bring. 92% say the shift to full-stack observability will be transformational for their organisation.

Regardless of industry or sector in which they operate, technologists have a great opportunity to deliver a game-changing impact to their organisations in the coming year. And most importantly, it appears they know precisely what is required to make it happen.

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