The shift from traditional application monitoring approaches to application observability is gathering pace within IT departments, as technologists look for new ways to cut through the soaring levels of complexity they’re encountering from across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

The latest research from Cisco AppDynamics, The Age of Application Observability, reveals that 53% of organizations are already analyzing observability solutions, and 44% are likely to do so in the next 12 months. Overall, as many as 85% of global technologists state that observability is now a strategic priority for their organization.

Across all industries, IT teams are embracing application observability as a way to deliver ever-faster speeds of innovation, while also maintaining seamless digital experiences for customers and employees.

In particular, technologists point to five major benefits of application observability over traditional application monitoring:

1. Ability to link IT performance to business outcomes

IT teams are coming under increased pressure to validate the impact of investments in cloud technologies and digital transformation, yet 84% of technologists admit that they struggle to align cloud costs with business performance. This pressure is only going to intensify as organizations look to streamline costs and budgets come under closer scrutiny due to the economic slowdown.

Application observability enables IT leaders to generate business transaction insights in real-time, and then to view them in business-level dashboards. This means they can measure and demonstrate the value that their innovation programs are generating. Application observability allows technologists to make insight-driven decisions on how to prioritize investments based on potential impact to customers and the business.

2. Ability to detect and solve the root cause of problems

With rapid adoption of cloud native technologies, technologists are having to manage microservices and containers that spawn a massive volume of metrics, events, logs and traces (MELT) data every second.

78% of technologists report that this increased volume of data is making manual monitoring impossible. Traditional application monitoring tools can’t handle this level of data, meaning that technologists can’t detect issues and pinpoint root causes in a timely manner.

Application observability allows IT teams to properly understand how their applications are performing in real-time, enabling them to cut through data noise and prioritize those issues which could do most damage to end user experience.

3. Improved logging and early warnings of anomalies or unauthorized access

With increased adoption of cloud native technologies, technologists are having to get to grips with a dramatic expansion of attack surfaces. With application components running across a mix of cloud native platforms and on-premises databases, visibility gaps are being exposed and the risk of a security event is rising. 

Crucially, application observability integrates application availability and performance data with security throughout the application lifecycle, leading to more robust products. IT teams can leverage the power of AI and automation to always optimize performance and automatically identify and resolve security vulnerabilities. Automation can be deployed to manage areas such as security response, cost optimization and workload optimization, alleviating the burden of complexity and data noise that IT teams are encountering across their hybrid environments. Application observability can be plugged into the CI/CD application development pipeline and provide detailed and accurate log analytics at all times.

4. Works across dispersed applications

Most organizations are still using separate application monitoring tools for cloud native and on-premises technologies, meaning that technologists don’t have a clear line of sight of the entire application path across hybrid environments. This makes effective troubleshooting extremely difficult, impacting metrics such as Mean time To Resolution (MTTR).

By implementing an application observability solution which has the flexibility to span across both cloud native and on-premises technologies, IT teams can access unified visibility across their hybrid environments. Technologists are able to work with real-time insights into application availability and performance even where application components are running across both cloud native and on premises technologies.

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5. Improved productivity and efficiency in the IT department

Without the tools and insights required to do their jobs properly, IT teams are facing unyielding levels of pressure. They’re having to scramble to detect and resolve issues, stuck in a never ending cycle of firefighting. The consequences of this are profound - technologists are becoming increasingly frustrated and burnt out, and many organizations are seeing levels of churn increase as a result.

Application observability enables technologists to regain control and take a more proactive approach to managing application availability, performance and security. Indeed, 88% believe that the shift to observability will enable them to operate in a more strategic way and focus more time on innovation. With unified visibility across their hybrid application landscapes, IT leaders can break down silos between people, processes and data, and unite and engage all technologists around a shared vision.

Ultimately, application observability provides IT teams with the real-time insights they need to ensure that their applications are performing at an optimal level at all times. With digital experience firmly established as the key battleground for commercial success, technologists recognize that application observability is now mission-critical for their organizations.