Picture the scene. A mission-critical application has gone down. The various technology teams gather to figure out what the problem is. The cast includes:
- The application team, focused on app topologies and responsible for middleware, databases, and logs
- The infrastructure team, focused on technology stacks, hybrid cloud environments, and workloads (code and resources)
- The security team, focused on combating breaches and mitigating risk
- The network team, focused on connectivity
- The digital experience team, focused on revenue and conversions
Keep in mind that these teams are managing systems of increasing complexity with more interdependencies. However, their view is typically limited to their own focus area. What follows is something affectionately known as “mean time to innocence” (MTTI).
Each team is trying to prove that the problem is not in their domain:
“It’s not the network.”
“It’s not a security issue.”
“It has nothing to do with the cloud infrastructure.”
Without visibility into the full stack of available data across the digital experience, no one knows for sure.
They’re guessing. Flying blind.
Meanwhile, consumers can’t use the app. They don’t care whose fault it is. They’re just frustrated and ready to churn. According to the App Attention Index, 49% of consumers switch suppliers because of a poor digital experience.
Worse still, the business is losing both revenue and future customers: 63% of consumers actively try to discourage others from using a service or brand if they have a poor digital experience.
Shifting blame won’t fix the problem, and it leaves customers hanging. But thankfully, there’s a better way. It’s called “observability”, the evolution of monitoring into a process that offers insight into your digital business applications and experiences.
See more, draw better insights
Observability eliminates the guesswork when it comes to ensuring exceptional digital experiences. It gives technologists complete and real-time visibility and actionable insights across the entire IT estate, including:
- The health of applications, network, and services
- Infrastructure health (traditional, cloud, or WAN)
Observability takes a unified end-to-end transactional view (from the front end to supporting back-end services), using metrics, logs, events, and traces for the whole IT ecosystem. Right now, 85% of technologists say they struggle to quickly cut through the noise to identify root causes of performance issues. Observability addresses that struggle and ends the blame game by helping people work together as an observability team, to more quickly trace a problem to its root cause and fix it.
But what if you have seven problems? Or seven hundred? IT teams have massive lists of technical debt and alerts that pop up constantly. How does anyone know where to start?
Take the right actions
Here’s where business observability comes in, when business context becomes an integral part of observability. Each problem is costing the business something. And now it’s possible to know exactly how much. When you know the relative business impact of each problem, your team can make better decisions about what to fix first.
The business impact could be how much money you’re losing or how many consumers are affected. It could be any business KPI that your organization cares about. And when you can connect what you see to how it’s affecting the business, the priorities become clear.
Let’s revisit our technology teams. A mission-critical application has gone down. This time, your teams have another tool at their disposal: a business lens.
“The problem is being caused by this database SQL change,” someone reports. “It’s a top-priority fix, because we’re losing $10,000 for every minute of downtime.”
Everyone goes to work, the application is back up fast, and end users hardly notice there was a problem.
An observability team can operate as a neutral party, focused on increasing visibility, collecting and analyzing data across the digital experience, turning that analysis into actionable insights, and prioritizing across the entire IT landscape. An observability team has no reason to shift blame. Instead, their goal is to work together to see things in real time and fix them. So, your team can worry a lot less about who’s innocent and a lot more about delivering a fantastic experience.
Our customers report that they can proactively identify and fix business-critical issues 10 times faster with business observability. And we’re here to help your organization get that same benefit.