The State of Service Level Objectives 2022
August 25, 2022

Quan To
Nobl9

Share this

Businesses need happy customers in order to survive, and infrastructure teams need to meet reliability goals efficiently. Large cloud-native companies pioneered the service level objective (SLO) method to create a scalable relationship between operational staff and software services while maintaining customer loyalty and cost controls.

A recent survey of more than 300 IT managers and executives conducted by Dimensional Research and sponsored by Nobl9 titled The State of Service Level Objectives highlights how enterprises are currently using SLOs with their current monitoring and observability tools, and how many are looking to expand their use to achieve even further reliability goals and efficiencies.


The evidence is clear. It's not a question of if enterprises will adopt SLOs, but rather how they will do it. As SLOs grow in popularity, more than 8 out of 10 companies are planning to increase their use. In fact, SLOs are being used to provide visibility into their use of new technologies.

For example, 87% stated using SLOs for microservices would increase their performance. While many would expect SLOs to be used purely for IT operations, the research also shows that increasingly business teams (executives, manufacturing, product teams, R&D, marketing, finance, etc.) are using SLOs.

Most companies have a wide array of observability and monitoring tools

They commonly provide visibility into IT operations, but that data now also provides information directly into the business needs for security, compliance, AI/ML, and other uses. However, even with the large number of monitoring and observability solutions deployed, less than half of the companies surveyed have visibility into all their IT environments, and hybrid-cloud use is compounding the issue. Given the swift adoption of containers and microservices, it was staggering to see just 45% and 35% have visibility into those systems respectively.

SLO adoption has grown

More than 8 out of 10 companies are increasing SLO use. Typically, SLOs are created around user journeys, but now there is an emerging trend of creating SLOs to provide visibility into and to measure new technologies. This trend is supported by the overwhelming 94% that intend to map SLOs directly to business operations, and a significant 91% that indicate SLOs are improving decision making.

SLOs aligned to business operations prevent business impact and disruptions

In fact, more than 6 out of 10 companies indicated that SLOs aligned to business operations have already prevented business impact and disruptions. Given the tremendous value of SLOs, it is of little surprise that 71% of companies not using SLOs today plan to adopt them. In a world where technology quite literally enables and facilitates most businesses, visibility is key, to know what is going on, optimize business operations and decision making, and provide early warning indicators to stave off potential business losses.

One of the biggest sectors in a business that's indicating how SLOs will shape their future is in the security industry. Security is supported by 71% of a company's observability and monitoring tools as reported from the rising pressures to put security as a focal point for the overall well-being of a business, external influences in cybersecurity attacks and reducing liabilities in performance and efficiency are possibilities that cannot be ignored. Over 71% of businesses are monitoring observability tools that support and integrate SLOs for this purpose to counteract these types of plausible scenarios.

Future of SLOs

The 71% of businesses that aren't using SLOs today but plan on adopting them in the future for optimizing business operations are already missing out on minimizing potential business losses through early warning indicators. The outcomes that companies can gain from the use of SLOs may not seem to have much of an impact in the short term, but the importance that SLOs bring to businesses across many industries is increasing.

Quan To is Sr. Director Product Management at Nobl9
Share this

The Latest

October 03, 2022

IT engineers and executives are responsible for system reliability and availability. The volume of data can make it hard to be proactive and fix issues quickly. With over a decade of experience in the field, I know the importance of IT operations analytics and how it can help identify incidents and enable agile responses ...

September 30, 2022

For businesses with vast and distributed computing infrastructures, one of the main objectives of IT and network operations is to locate the cause of a service condition that is having an impact. The more human resources are put into the task of gathering, processing, and finally visual monitoring the massive volumes of event and log data that serve as the main source of symptomatic indications for emerging crises, the closer the service is to the company's source of revenue ...

September 29, 2022

Our digital economy is intolerant of downtime. But consumers haven't just come to expect always-on digital apps and services. They also expect continuous innovation, new functionality and lightening fast response times. Organizations have taken note, investing heavily in teams and tools that supposedly increase uptime and free resources for innovation. But leaders have not realized this "throw money at the problem" approach to monitoring is burning through resources without much improvement in availability outcomes ...

September 28, 2022

Although 83% of businesses are concerned about a recession in 2023, B2B tech marketers can look forward to growth — 51% of organizations plan to increase IT budgets in 2023 vs. a narrow 6% that plan to reduce their spend, according to the 2023 State of IT report from Spiceworks Ziff Davis ...

September 27, 2022

Users have high expectations around applications — quick loading times, look and feel visually advanced, with feature-rich content, video streaming, and multimedia capabilities — all of these devour network bandwidth. With millions of users accessing applications and mobile apps from multiple devices, most companies today generate seemingly unmanageable volumes of data and traffic on their networks ...

September 26, 2022

In Italy, it is customary to treat wine as part of the meal ... Too often, testing is treated with the same reverence as the post-meal task of loading the dishwasher, when it should be treated like an elegant wine pairing ...

September 23, 2022

In order to properly sort through all monitoring noise and identify true problems, their causes, and to prioritize them for response by the IT team, they have created and built a revolutionary new system using a meta-cognitive model ...

September 22, 2022

As we shift further into a digital-first world, where having a reliable online experience becomes more essential, Site Reliability Engineers remain in-demand among organizations of all sizes ... This diverse set of skills and values can be difficult to interview for. In this blog, we'll get you started with some example questions and processes to find your ideal SRE ...

September 21, 2022

US government agencies are bringing more of their employees back into the office and implementing hybrid work schedules, but federal workers are worried that their agencies' IT architectures aren't built to handle the "new normal." They fear that the reactive, manual methods used by the current systems in dealing with user, IT architecture and application problems will degrade the user experience and negatively affect productivity. In fact, according to a recent survey, many federal employees are concerned that they won't work as effectively back in the office as they did at home ...

September 20, 2022

Users today expect a seamless, uninterrupted experience when interacting with their web and mobile apps. Their expectations have continued to grow in tandem with their appetite for new features and consistent updates. Mobile apps have responded by increasing their release cadence by up to 40%, releasing a new full version of their app every 4-5 days, as determined in this year's SmartBear State of Software Quality | Application Stability Index report ...