3 Reasons Why Full-Stack Observability Is Key to Business Growth
April 07, 2022

Gregg Ostrowski

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The past couple years fostered an unprecedented expansion of digital transformation initiatives and projects across nearly every industry. In order to maintain "business as usual" during the world's transition to being fully remote or hybrid, companies had to implement new digital services, or update existing ones, to allow transactions to take place online versus in person. As a result, companies' digital strategies quickly grew in significance, playing a larger role in the ultimate success of the business.

In a study of 1,200 global IT leaders, Cisco AppDynamics found that as applications have become a critical part of daily life, 98% of technologists believe it is increasingly important to connect visibility across the entire IT stack. With a higher dependency on applications, consumer expectations around the performance, reliability and innovative features of digital experiences have skyrocketed and without tools like full-stack observability in place, companies risk facing competitive disadvantages like spiraling complexity and productivity issues.

This evolution has increased the pressure on brands to make certain their digital services are performing well, and to recognize that downtime is not an option. Meanwhile, through the increased adoption of cloud services, the application topology has grown in complexity. This makes the need to identify and quickly fix anomalies that could lead to poor performance more important than ever. As a consequence, many enterprises are finding that traditional monitoring doesn't go far enough. Full-stack observability is growing in prominence as IT teams seek to easily manage application performance, solve complexity across their entire IT stack, and review each of these functions through a business lens. This article explores three key areas to consider when implementing a full-stack observability solution.

1. Make IT Performance Monitoring Easy

Companies' adoption and expansion of digital services has led to larger, more complex IT stacks, which must be monitored round-the-clock for any changes to performance that could impact customers. While most IT teams have some form of monitoring tools in place to automate this task, increased complexity has created more inefficient procedures and challenges for technologists, making it more difficult to grow the business. In fact, 70 percent of technologists are concerned that their organization is now behind industry peers in implementing observability solutions. It can be difficult to find time to innovate and grow as maintaining the performance of digital services is a full-time job itself.

With full-stack observability, companies don't have to choose between growing or maintaining app performance. Instead, they can take advantage of its sophisticated monitoring to both manage even the most complex stacks and enable room for growth. Full-stack observability automatically centralizes and correlates application performance analytics across the entire IT stack, ultimately providing companies with in-depth visibility into the behavior, performance and health of their digital services. Therefore, companies are not only alleviated of having to strictly manage the monitoring process, but they're also presented with advanced performance data that can inform future innovation and growth plans.  

2. Tackle Discrepancies in the IT Stack

In addition to in-depth insights, full-stack observability provides real-time visibility across the entire IT stack and helps technologists quickly identify and solve any discrepancies in performance, as well as pinpoint the location and cause of any incidents so companies can efficiently address the issue.

93% of technologists recognize that there is more work to be done to deploy full-stack observability within their organization in order to address complexity by easily identifying and fixing root causes of performance issues, such as lags, outages or crashes. With digital services continuing to play a significant role in daily life activities, users are more likely to notice a performance lag or outage. Consumers expect a seamless digital experience and when a company misses the mark, they risk adverse effects on brand loyalty and reputation, with the chance of never getting it back.

By deploying a full-stack observability approach, companies can avoid these strikes against their business and get ahead of performance outages before they directly impact consumers.

3. Put a Business Lens on IT Performance

When looking to maximize business growth and success during this period of heightened digital transformation, companies should implement a digital strategy that can work with, and support business goals. This is why an approach that aligns full-stack observability with business context is key. Having a business lens enables technologists to understand what the desired business outcome is and where to effectively prioritize their efforts to what impacts the bottom line.

The ever-increasing amount of data that can be collected when using full-stack observability might seem daunting to make sense of. However, full-stack observability can be combined with real-time business metrics to translate what was once an overwhelming amount of data into comprehensible KPIs. In other words, full-stack observability with business context enables companies to digest the IT performance through a business lens so they can easily prioritize performance areas that are directly impacting their bottom line.

Today, the role digital services play in navigating daily life continues to be on an upward trajectory. In order for companies to drive growth and success across their business, their tech and business strategies need to be tightly aligned and focused on a common goal. As companies continue to be tasked with maintaining the performance of digital services, while also being expected to come up with new, innovative ways to grow the business, there is an eminent need for a holistic approach. Full-stack observability with business context is a clear solution that is key for overall business growth and success, as it enables companies to monitor performance across the IT stack and easily identify and address any performance anomalies, all while tying back to and encouraging growth for a company's bottom line.

Gregg Ostrowski is Executive CTO at Cisco AppDynamics
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