Why full-stack observability is critical for 2022

May 20, 2022
IT Strategy Networking

New research from Cisco AppDynamics shows the journey to full-stack observability is well underway.

Credit: Getty

Technologists in every industry recognise the critical need to deliver exceptional digital experiences to meet ever-rising customer expectations. Increasingly complex and fragmented IT estates – accentuated by the dramatic growth of cloud computing – mean IT teams can’t afford any slip-ups. They must be able to monitor and optimise online performances at all times. That’s why many technologists say they are now looking at full-stack observability to help.

Full-stack observability gives IT operations, development, and networking teams an overview of the entire IT environment. It enables IT teams to quickly and easily identify anomalies, understand root causes of problems through dependency analysis, and resolve issues before they affect the end-users. When this IT performance data is connected to business outcomes, technologists can assess issues based on their potential impact on the business and prioritise actions accordingly.

The pressure is on for technologists, as they battle to take control of their innovation strategies and implement the technology solutions that will give them a competitive edge.

The journey to observability so far

Twelve months ago, full-stack observability was still mainly seen as a future ambition for most organisations, with few making meaningful progress. However, the latest Cisco AppDynamics report, The Journey to Observability, reveals that more than half of businesses (54%) have started the transition to full-stack observability, and a further 36% plan to do so during 2022.

You only need to go back 18 months to see that many technologists had to fight for the resources to implement tools to monitor performance in new cloud environments. Research from AppDynamics in 2021, Agents of Transformation: The Rise of Full-Stack Observability, found that although 96% of technologists recognised the benefits of monitoring all technical areas across their IT stack, 66% said they lacked the strategy and tools to do this.

Evidently this changed throughout 2021, with business stakeholders recognising that full-stack observability is critical to delivering the seamless digital experiences customers demand. A massive 88% of technologists report the appetite for full-stack observability increased within their organisations last year. And 90% now say their organisations view the transition to full-stack observability as a priority.

Overcoming obstacles on the full-stack observability journey

For businesses looking to reap the benefits of full-stack observability, particularly those at the start of the journey, it’s important to be aware of the common obstacles and know how to address them. While many are moving in the right direction, technologists also reported some obstacles to overcome in the early stages. These include implementation challenges (39%), integration issues (37%) and concerns about increasing complexity as they scale (34%). Despite these challenges, many remain optimistic, as they understand the deployment of full-stack observability is a multi-stage journey that will evolve as IT complexity continues to increase within their organisations.

Respondents named five top critical success factors in reaching full-stack observability goals in 2022. These include: having a clearly defined strategy and execution plan (43%); a fully skilled team (41%); a clear implementation and integration roadmap (39%); identifying the right technology vendor (36%); and senior leadership commitment (34%). To get ahead in such a rapidly evolving technology area, IT teams should first seek out the necessary support from a trusted partner to grant confidence and address these critical success factors.

2022: a vital year ahead

The vast majority of organisations (85%) agree that 2022 will be a pivotal year on the journey to full-stack observability. Some 80% believe enterprises that fail to make significant strides in this journey over the next 12 months will face a competitive disadvantage.

To get ahead this year, IT teams need to ensure they have buy-in from senior leadership and the wider business, and then use this as an opportunity to break down silos. AppDynamics teams work with customers to navigate the journey to full-stack observability, providing them with the tools, insights, and expertise they need to build on their existing monitoring capabilities and generate real-time visibility across their entire IT stack. This enables technologists to accelerate their full-stack observability initiatives and deliver the exceptional digital experiences customers and employees now expect.

To read the comprehensive research and learn more about how global technologists are accelerating their transition to full-stack observability, download The Journey to Observability report here.