Answering the Executive “Why” and “What” for Full-Stack Observability

IDC is often asked why observability matters and how it benefits an organization.  A recent worldwide IDC survey (sponsored by Cisco) on full-stack observability (FSO) offers some answers.  Around 75% of the 2,062 global technology executives surveyed agree that their CEO and business leadership understand that complete visibility and control over infrastructure, network, applications, security, and digital experience is critical to digital business success. And with so much riding on the digital infrastructure, 47% of the respondents cited their average cost of an hour of downtime at $250,000 or more.  As the adoption of multiple clouds, application architectures, and digital transformation leads complexity to soar, executives realize that the need to deliver secure, high-performing digital experiences for employees, partners, and customers has never been more acute. As such, comprehensive full-stack observability is fast developing into a core tenet when building out a resilient and responsive digital infrastructure.

Full-stack observability is an opportunity for leadership teams to boost technology teamwork, productivity, and effectiveness across operations, DevOps, site reliability engineering, and security teams.  FSO empowers these teams through real-time visibility, data access, and AI-powered insights from vast amounts of data (metrics, logs, traces, and events) enabling a single source of truth. But it goes a step further by providing recommended actions enriched with business context to enable teams to proactively identify, prioritize, and resolve performance issues to deliver always-on, secure, and exceptional digital experiences. The ability to scale is crucial for customers and partners as new and custom FSO use cases emerge, expanding the value of the data for teams with unique requirements. Executives understand that their business architectures are now technology architectures and delivering great experiences is a major factor in generating sustainable revenue growth, customer adoption, and innovation.

Full-stack observability is also a customer journey. It often starts with a platform approach that uses application performance management capabilities as a core set of data.  A common second step is collecting data sources using open integrations from multiple clouds, infrastructures, security, and cloud-native applications to establish a foundation for observability use cases.  Customers and partners then typically identify new ways to use the data and analytics to solve performance problems, increasing adoption across technology teams. This approach allows those teams to enhance their monitoring, business risk observability, cost and workload optimization, AIOps, and DevSecOps capabilities to deliver always-on, secure digital experiences.

Defining Full-stack observability (FSO) benefits

Many FSO customers define their business benefits and outcomes; the IDC research highlights many of the critical themes that IT and business leadership teams should consider as drivers for investments in a platform approach for observability across the full stack. These are:

  • Focus on what matters most, in real time. Collaboration and improved proactive control points across security, IT operations, and SRE teams offer a pathway to improving and accelerating an organization’s security posture and service performance at the same time.
  • Accelerate mean time to identification and resolution. Observability platform adoption offers technology capabilities that unify traditionally fragmented data onto a single platform and apply analytic/AI models to improve team and process efficiencies that reduce business and customer risks.
  • Increase data TCO and expand use cases. The importance of solution extensibility empowers customers with the ability to ask and solve questions from a unified observability data model, unlocking data value and new use cases that are unique to every organization.
  • Improve security and IT operations processes and team collaboration. The rising influence and collaboration of security operations teams with IT operations teams can be accelerated using observability platforms.
  • Drive business outcomes, early and often. Observability provides IT leadership teams with a direct path for business leadership collaboration through conversations about the customer journey and experience and related value streams.
  • Expand partner opportunities. Service partners have opportunities with observability platforms through new use-case development and high interest in SaaS-delivered services.

About Cisco FSO solutions

Cisco helps customers to reimagine their applications, power hybrid work, secure their enterprise, transform their infrastructure and meet their sustainability goals. For full-stack observability, Cisco provides real-time visibility, insights, and recommended actions enriched with business context, enabling ops teams to proactively identify, prioritize, and resolve issues to deliver exceptional digital experiences. The Cisco Observability Platform correlates telemetry from data across multiple operations domains—including applications, multicloud infrastructure and cloud services, network, security, end users, the business, and more—to help teams understand risks and dependencies across environments, strengthen security, and optimize resources across the full stack before it impacts the business.


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