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The importance of IT observability in digital transformation initiatives

The continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced almost all modern businesses. As a result, many have initiated or accelerated large-scale transformation projects. These often involve migrating to the cloud, utilising automation, or using organisational data more efficiently in order to better compete in today’s digital era. 

When it comes to transformation, a key component for success is end-to-end IT observability: using metrics, logs and tracing to obtain full visibility into an organisation’s applications, networks and infrastructure. Unified observability enables businesses to reduce IT outages and downtime, optimise the digital customer experience, and deliver transformational business outcomes. 

Recently, LogicMonitor commissioned an independent research study to uncover how IT operations teams and developers have begun working together to reduce downtime and increase IT observability to drive business performance. One of the survey’s major findings is that 93 percent of global enterprises have experienced some level of convergence between traditional IT operations and development teams since the onset of the pandemic. 

Whilst IT convergence is a common occurrence in the technology industry, the pandemic has accelerated it dramatically. The responsibilities of these two teams used to be clearly defined within an enterprise. However, these distinctions seem to be blurring as IT operations and developers increasingly work as one team rather than within their traditional silos. 

Achieving observability 

A significant advantage of the convergence between ITOps and DevOps is that such collaboration makes it increasingly feasible to achieve unified IT observability within an organisation. While end-to-end observability is still a relatively new concept, the study found that 93 percent of IT leaders are already familiar with the concept of observability. What’s more, they believe IT observability is a critical component of completing digital transformation initiatives and running a successful modern enterprise.

This is why achieving full observability has quickly become an executive-level priority—and why IT leaders are being offered a seat at the boardroom table. Indeed, over the last 15 months, 79 percent of global CIOs and CTOs report that their input and importance within the boardroom has increased.

Nevertheless, even though IT leaders have now earned a seat at the table, they must be able to provide valuable, ongoing business insights and efficiencies if they want to keep it. One way to do this is by delivering unified observability.

Unified IT observability allows IT leaders to deliver on insights and efficiencies by enabling full visibility across business processes, applications and infrastructure. IT observability also gives organisations greater visibility into their overall performance. Other benefits of observability include: the ability to troubleshoot faster; the ability to reduce outages and brownouts; and the ability to automate workflows, freeing up time for IT teams to focus more on innovation and business enablement and less on troubleshooting.

Become an observability orchestrator

There are a number of actions that leaders can take to champion observability within their organisations. The first step is embracing IT convergence, since both ITOps and DevOps teams have much to gain from breaking down silos and working together to uncover valuable insights and drive business results. By facilitating this convergence within their organisation, leaders can reap the benefits of teams that work in tandem to achieve their goals. 

Secondly, IT leaders can prioritise identifying and installing a unified observability platform. Siloed data means siloed insights, so it’s imperative to consolidate monitoring, APM and logging products. If possible, that means replacing disparate tools with a unified observability platform. This means a single platform that can collect, correlate and contextualise your application, IT infrastructure and log data all in one place.

Of course, it’s also important to stay abreast of key IT trends. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that the only constant is change. IT teams who are keeping track of the latest developments in technology, while also maintaining an agile mindset, will fare far better in the digital transformation race than slower competitors. 

Finally, leaders must avoid outages at all costs. The one thing that negates every benefit of observability and overshadows every innovative IT trend is downtime. In today’s digital world, businesses simply can’t afford to experience outages and brownouts, as they come with heavy costs to brand reputation that extend far beyond the bottom line.

Observability requires a sophisticated and holistic approach, but it’s worth the investment. Once enterprises achieve end-to-end observability, they will benefit from full visibility into and control over their infrastructure, applications and business systems. IT and business stakeholders can then collaborate in order to advance the important work of digital transformation and drive the business forward.