IT departments across all industries have spent the past 18 months delivering the rapid, holistic digital transformation their organizations needed to weather the pandemic. The skill and dedication of technologists has often been the difference between success and failure.
But the result of this period of sustained innovation, and in particular the acceleration of cloud computing initiatives, has been a skyrocketing complexity within the IT department. Technologists are now trying to manage a sprawling IT estate, across a patchwork of distributed legacy and cloud technologies, but many must rely on disconnected monitoring tools in their IT infrastructure. They lack the knowledge to identify and resolve performance issues before they impact the business. It has become beyond the human scale to see and manage complexity.
The need for complete top-to-bottom visibility of the IT stack, from customer-facing applications to core network and infrastructure, has become mission critical. More than that, technologists also need a way to connect IT performance data from across the IT estate with real-time business metrics. This allows them to identify technology issues that really matter to customers and prioritize actions based on business results.
In fact, in our latest Agents of Transformation study, Agents of Transformation: The Rise of Full-Stack Observability, a whopping 96% of technologists indicated that having the ability to monitor all technical areas of their IT stack and link technical performance directly to commercial results will be important in 2021; and 66% cited this as very important.
But while the need for visibility across the entire IT estate and linking performance data to business metrics is understood in IT, it’s a different story across the enterprise.
Many technologists report difficulties in establishing a business case for full observability. They struggle to convince business leaders of the benefits of visibility across the entire IT estate and linking performance data to business outcomes.
So with that in mind, here are seven tips for technologists to build a solid business case for full stack observability with business context.
- Demonstrate how observability is essential to maximizing the benefits of digital transformation
Currently, many organizations lack the tools, processes, and cultures needed to align digital transformation and technology performance with business and business outcomes.
To a large extent, this issue has been overlooked during the pandemic – it is a “basic needs” situation. But as the speed of innovation accelerates further in the years to come, business leaders know they need to better understand the impact of their investment in digital transformation on the bottom line. They should also keep in mind that end users expect more innovation than ever before. As the 2021 App Attention Index: Who Mistakes Rap for App? shows, 57% say brands have one shot to impress them and if their digital service isn’t working, they won’t. will use more.
Any business case for full observability should start here. This link between IT performance and innovation for business results is at the top of any C-level program.
Make sure your business case shows how comprehensive observability with business context can close the current measurement gap and help business leaders embed a culture of sustainable continuous innovation into their operations to thrive in the future.
- Take a holistic approach
Implementing full observability is not as simple as integrating a new monitoring platform. It is a new operating model in a business context and involves new skills, processes and thinking. And it requires IT teams to come together to collaborate and share ownership of technology performance across the entire IT estate.
It’s a process to start in certain areas of your business where you need it most, and then expand it to higher levels. So you need to consider how the new platform will be embedded from a culture and skills perspective, and what benefits it will deliver by bringing IT teams and wider business stakeholders together around data. unified – a single source of truth for all performances. data and the impact of IT on business results.
- Show how observability supports your organization’s cloud ambitions
Across industries, businesses are turning to cloud computing to deliver the operational speed, agility, and resilience they need to meet dramatic fluctuations in customer needs. Cloud computing will be essential and give you the agility to quickly achieve strategic innovation goals in the years to come. Therefore, your business case should clearly demonstrate how it supports and accelerates this change.
It should be noted that some observability platforms struggle to provide real-time visibility and insights into cloud environments, especially when it comes to managing microservices and monitoring Kubernetes.
Factor this into your planning and make sure your observability platform is truly “full stack” in both traditional and cloud environments, as you will need it to rapidly deploy new applications. And then, in your business case, outline how your strategy fits the purpose in a cloud-centric future. It’s all about observability while being agile with the cloud.
- Create a vision for computing performance and seamless digital experiences in the future
Consider how your comprehensive observability platform can support future growth and changing needs. This will be the basis for continuously offering new digital experiences.
The sheer volume of additional data that enterprises will generate in the coming years will likely push most IT departments to their limits, even those that have full observability in place.
So show how your platform will scale beyond manual interventions and deploy automation and AI to monitor data at any scale and troubleshoot performance issues. Demonstrate how AI will soon be able to deliver real-time insights to deliver efficient, world-class technology performance at all times and have game-changing business impact.
- Show the risks of doing nothing
You have shown the good side of things; now is the time to explain the consequences of the lack of full observability related to business metrics.
This should start with the impact of performance issues and increased MTTR, as well as the ripple effect on customer and employee experience, brand reputation, and revenue. To illustrate this further, 61% of users say their expectations of digital services have changed forever and they will no longer tolerate poor performance. The risk of losing customers is therefore much greater. For your business, they look at the opportunity for lost revenue from the average value of transactions flowing through your app. This value could be critical in helping determine the ROI of implementing full observability licenses.
This should also include the negative impact on productivity and engagement within the IT department, as well as the proportion of time that highly skilled technologists must spend on firefighting, as opposed to achieving innovation goals. strategic. Perhaps refer to the fact that 79% of technologists say organizations need to adopt the latest observability methods in order to attract and retain elite technologists – and show how a shortage of these agents of transformation would impact on the organization’s ability to deliver cutting-edge innovation in the future.
- Lean on a trusted partner
As with any relatively new technology, it can be difficult to find the evidence you need to demonstrate how a comprehensive observability platform has been successfully deployed in an organization similar to yours. And it can be difficult to cover all the bases when it comes to financial and operational forecasting.
This is where you need to work closely with your technology partner and leverage their knowledge and experience to solve the problems of thousands of other businesses facing similar situations. Seek to collaborate as much as you can and present a common investment case.
- Show business KPIs and how IT decision can be made for the business
From reducing the mean time to resolution (MTTR), fixing application errors, identifying the root cause of bugs and potential issues before they affect the end user, performance analytics , infrastructure support…full stack observability is essential for organizations.
But for it to fully kick in, you need to contextualize IT performance insights with real-time business data. You might add that 92% of technologists recognize the ability to link technology performance to business outcomes as crucial to show that ROI is critical to achieving innovation goals.
Only by linking tangible business outcomes like customer experience, sales transactions, and revenue can you make accurate decisions based on what really matters to your business.