SLOs Drive Operational Efficiencies, Visibility and Improved Business Benefits
May 24, 2023
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As SLOs (service level objectives) grow in popularity their usage is becoming more mature. For example, 82% of respondents intend to increase their use of SLOs, and 96% have mapped SLOs directly to their business operations or already have a plan to, according to The State of Service Level Objectives 2023 from Nobl9, based on a survey of more than 300 IT professionals and executives conducted with Dimensional Research.

In addition, 95% of respondents say SLOs help them make better business decisions with 27% of companies stating that SLOs have saved them $500,000 or more.

SLOs are becoming an essential way to increase operational efficiency and improve business processes

"It was incredibly impressive to see the year over year growth in the market and the consistency of responses from our survey last year," said Marcin Kurc, co-founder and CEO, Nobl9. "The responses align with what we are seeing in the market. Enterprises across all industries are increasing their focus on system reliability to ensure customer experience, and doing this by finding new ways to leverage their new and legacy monitoring and observability tools. SLOs are becoming an essential way to increase operational efficiency and improve business processes."

Companies use observability tools to provide visibility and enable key functions such as security, operational efficiency, capacity planning, customer support, and increase development velocity. With fragmented tools — 72% use more than six observability tools — companies need to gain visibility not by consolidation that would hurt productivity, but by creating consistent definitions of reliability and expectations for various services.

"The survey responses are indicative of the broader trends we are seeing in the market around companies focusing on operational efficiency and business agility," said Stephen Elliott, Group VP, I&O, Cloud Operations and DevOps, IDC. "The pandemic drove more companies to the cloud, and with that, we have identified observability and monitoring to be key areas of focus. SLOs are one way for companies to manage their resources and get the most out of them."

Other key findings include:

■ 80% have an increased focus on system reliability due to the pandemic driving cloud adoption, remote workers and supply chain issues.

■ 94% are pursuing system reliability engineering, with most tasks being assigned to IT operations.

■ The ways companies are using monitoring and observability tools is increasing. More than 13 initiatives rely on monitoring and reliability with the most common being security, operations performance (uptime, performance, efficiency) and capacity planning.

■ Respondents identified 10 areas that require monitoring beyond networks, applications and databases, but most lack visibility, and the number is expected to grow.

■ 72% of companies use six or more monitoring and observability tools.

■ 76% prevented business interruptions using SLOs — but 9% have not implemented thresholds yet.

Methodology: All respondents had observability and monitoring responsibilities, and were IT professionals and executives at medium to large enterprise companies representing all seniority levels. Participants represented dozens of countries from five continents providing a global market perspective.

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