Observability Survey 2023: Centralization Saves Time and Money
March 13, 2023
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Organizations are challenged by tool sprawl and data source overload, according to the Grafana Labs Observability Survey 2023, with 52% of respondents reporting that their companies use 6 or more observability tools, including 11% that use 16 or more.

To combat this, 70% of respondents say their companies have centralized observability, and of those, 83% have saved time or money as a result.

Other key takeaways from the report include:

Tool and data overload varies across industry and company size

Larger organizations tend to use more data sources: 41% of companies with more than 1,000 employees pull in 10+ data sources, compared to just 7% for companies with 100 employees or fewer.

Industries leading in observability tool usage were financial services (31% use 10 or more tools) and government (27% use 10 or more tools).

Organizations are at different stages in their observability journey

Nearly one-third of respondents have not centralized observability yet, and some industries are further along than others.

For example, 70% of financial sector companies have adopted centralized observability and saved time and money as a result, compared to 58% across all sectors.

Not all ROI is the same

Different organizations have different objectives with their observability strategies. Yes, saving money is the overarching goal, but there are multiple paths to get there, including MTTx improvements, less toil and infrastructure maintenance, better adoption, increased developer productivity, less complexity, service level objectives (SLOs), better capacity planning, and better alerting and visibility.

Among all respondents, 37% say they prioritize capacity planning when correlating data, 25% prioritize cost control, and 9% prioritize profitability and margin calculation.

Accountability, market maturity comes to observability

The proper execution of SLOs is a good sign of a mature observability strategy. Most respondents say they are using them or moving in that direction, but they're not all at the same stage. Moreover, only slightly more are actively using SLIs/SLOs (28%) than those that don't have them on their radar (21%).

Methodology: Grafana Labs developed the survey — which included questions about the tools, strategies, benefits, and challenges around observability — and solicited responses through newsletters, live events, social media, and its own website. The company also conducted interviews with observability practitioners about how their companies are addressing some of the benefits and challenges presented in our key findings.

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