James Harvey, executive CTO, EMEAR at Cisco AppDynamics explores why 2022 is the tipping point in the transition to full-stack observability
Across all industries, technologists know that they simply can't afford any slip-ups when it comes to delivering exceptional digital experiences to customers and employees, and that means they need to ensure they're able to monitor and optimise IT performance at all times.
In order to do this, technologists are urgently looking to build on their current application monitoring tools and techniques to get a unified view on availability and performance up and down the IT stack for compute, storage, network and public internet, from the customer-facing application all the way into the back-end. In particular, they're seeking out solutions that provide full visibility into legacy on-premise architecture alongside cloud native environments, including the increasing deployment of microservices and container solutions.
This is why full-stack observability has now become a major priority for businesses all over the world. Full-stack observability enables IT operations, development and networking teams to quickly and easily identify anomalies, understand root causes through dependency analysis and resolve issues before they impact customers and employees. And when this IT performance data is connected to business outcomes, technologists can assess issues based on their potential impact to the business and prioritise their actions accordingly.
A year of rapid progress
But whereas 12 months ago, full-stack observability was still largely being spoken about as a future vision or ambition for most organisations, the picture is very different at the beginning of 2022. Talk turned to action during 2021 and the transition to full-stack observability is very much underway.
Indeed, the latest AppDynamics report, The Journey to Observability, reveals that more than half of all businesses have already started their transition to full-stack observability and a further 36 per cent plan to do so in the next 12 months. That means that 90 per cent of organisations will be somewhere along the journey to full-stack observability during 2022.
Technologists (and business leaders) see early benefits of improved visibility
Encouragingly, many businesses are already reaping the benefits of their full-stack observability initiatives over the past 12 months. Technologists report improved productivity and reduced operational costs in the IT department, due to teams having to spend less time trying to identify issues and understand root causes and interdependencies.
Finally, after two years of intense pressure to deliver seamless digital experiences throughout the pandemic, technologists are starting to escape the relentless firefighting that has been such a drain on IT teams. They're addressing IT availability and performance issues earlier and more quickly, and that means they're able to focus on more strategic activities.
On the back of such significant progress, technologists are rightly feeling optimistic about their plans for full-stack observability. Not only are they already seeing the benefits that greater visibility and a unified view on IT availability and performance bring, but they're also getting strong backing from senior leaders within their organisations. In fact, 93 per cent of technologists report that the wider business has been supportive of their efforts to implement full-stack observability during 2021, in terms of providing the necessary budget and resources.
Clear areas of focus for a pivotal year ahead
Technologists realise, however, that the journey to full-stack observability is a multi-stage venture that takes time and requires perseverance. They know they need to continue to expand their monitoring capabilities over the next 12 months to generate greater visibility across their IT estate, particularly within microservices, container and serverless environments.
Of course, there are challenges that technologists need to overcome in order to achieve their goals for full-stack observability in 2022. But, the research suggests they are clear on exactly where they need to focus their efforts to maximise their progress. Across the board, there is a recognition that having access to the right skills is crucial to driving through their plans, and in particular the skills required to monitor performance in the cloud.
Alongside this, technologists will be looking to effect the cultural and structural changes needed to ensure a seamless transition to full-stack observability, educating and motivating teams to trust in a single source of truth for all availability and performance data. The majority of technologists also report that they will be focusing on finding the right technology vendor to support their ambitions.
Unstoppable momentum and genuine excitement heading into 2022
We've reached a tipping point in the transition to full-stack observability. After a year in which much progress has been made and foundations laid, there is now a widespread determination to double down and take full advantage of the momentum that has been built up. Indeed, 85 per cent of technologists believe that 2022 will be a pivotal year on their journey towards full-stack observability.
Across all sectors, technologists have established the perfect platform to surge ahead with their plans over the next 12 months. Through their hard work and vision, they've had a glimpse of the benefits that full-stack observability will deliver to their organisations, and they've secured strong support from the wider business.
Technologists now find themselves with a unique opportunity to have a game-changing impact on their organisations, and they're rightly feeling excited and confident about doing just that.