Research from Cisco AppDynamics, The Age of Application Observability, tells us that teams have reached a tipping point as they look to tackle complexity and deal with fractured IT domains, tool sprawl, and ever-growing demands from customers and end users for flawless, performant, and secure digital experiences.

There is also an emerging consensus that observability is a mandatory component of the solution. The report reveals that 85% of IT leaders now see observability as a strategic priority. Observability allows teams to ask questions about the state of IT systems and to get insights into the applications and supporting systems that keep a business running, derived from the telemetry data they collectively produce.

As we look to a new era of insight, one in which teams are evolving from reactive to proactive by correlating that telemetry with business outcomes, Cisco Full-Stack Observability offers a transformative model. It helps teams identify the root cause of digital-experience disrupting scenarios even before they happen – with or without human intervention – and prioritize prescriptive actions in response.

The age of observability

Observability is the path to a more federated view among teams and processes. But do teams see it as worth the necessary investment in time and resources? The Cisco AppDynamics report tells us that they believe it is.

While almost half (44%) of report participants say new innovation initiatives are being delivered with cloud native technologies – and they expect this figure to climb to 58% over the next five years – the vast majority (83%) acknowledge that this is leading to increased complexity.

There is agreement among respondents that observability can help resolve this complexity. And there is almost universal consensus that the journey to observability is rooted in common challenges.

  • According to the report, 92% agree that hybrid environments are here to stay.
  • Nearly three-quarters (78%) say the volume of data makes manual
  • Cloud cost is creeping with 81% indicating heightened scrutiny on cloud investments

The recognition of these and other matters outlined in the report has brought with it an important shift in perspective. Business leaders strongly support observability plans and recognize that the journey to observability is well underway.

This is confirmed by the report, with 89% saying their organization’s expectations around observability are increasing. Even for organizations that are early in the observability journey, steps are being taken toward accelerating full stack observability as a foundation for future success.

Invest in the right tools (not more tools)

Monitoring is not observability, yet 64% of those surveyed admit they find it difficult to differentiate between observability and monitoring solutions. They say it is common to adopt more monitoring tools as more hybrid infrastructure is brought online and in support of expanded services and reach.

Many IT departments are deploying separate tools, for example, to monitor on-premises and cloud native applications, which means they don’t have a clear view of the entire application path.

The solution is not another tool, adding additional latency, complexity, and cost. The way forward is to invest in an observability solution that has the power to help consolidate, simplify, transform, and automate.

Essentially, by bridging the gap between business and technology worlds, this changes the conversation.

According to the report, 88% of respondents say observability with business context will enable them to become more strategic and spend more time on innovation. They understand that it’s a revenue-generating, organization-optimizing investment.

Adjust processes accordingly

While success requires the right tools, it also requires a change to the processes that underpin them. How departments are structured, staffed, and resourced. How teams communicate, and when. The fact is that processes and behaviors have always lagged the pace of technology.

According to the report, 36% of respondents believe this is contributing to the loss of IT talent. Nearly half say this trend will continue if leaders don’t find new ways to break down silos between IT and business domains.

Eight out of ten surveyed point to an increase in silos due to managing multi-cloud and hybrid environments, and less than one-third (31%) report ongoing collaboration between their IT operations and security teams. The majority agree that the biggest barrier to collaboration between IT teams is the use of technology and tools which reinforce these silos.

Cisco Full-Stack Observability provides a foundation for digital transformation – which respondents agree will continue to accelerate as the driving force behind every enterprise – in part by streamlining IT operations so teams can collaborate to optimize digital experiences.

The new strategic priority

Observability is now understood as a new way to foster cross-domain collaboration, supporting new ways of working together, and incentivizing better business outcomes. This means, for example, that teams can align digital experiences with profit, compliance, growth, and delivery time.

The Cisco report brings into focus the fast pace of hybrid adoption in the enterprise, and the technical challenges that follow. This is where Cisco Observability Platform really shines. It brings together the rich telemetry data generated by normal business operations, offering solutions that make it understandable and correlating it with business objectives in a usable way.

Teams are acutely aware that the road to digital transformation is paved with new challenges, but they also recognize that managing and mitigating these issues means getting on that path sooner. Cisco Full-Stack Observability is the answer.



Joe Byrne

CTO Advisor

Cisco AppDynamics