ESG study highlights observability’s role in solving data burden 

on May 5th 2022

This is Part II of a 2-part series on observability based on research by ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) in cooperation with Chronosphere. 

More than seven in ten (71%) organizations recently admitted their observability data is growing at a “concerning” rate. Concurrently, many organizations are accelerating monitoring and observability solutions adoption‚ with businesses on average running 12 such solutions. These and other key findings—including how this serious “tool sprawl” actually makes cloud-native environments more complex, and thus more difficult to observe and troubleshoot—were highlighted in Part I of our summary of observability research from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

Now in Part II, we’ll review the observability goals cited by the businesses surveyed and then examine possible remedies the research suggests.

Observability data growth is out of control

Most businesses seek help from third-party observability tools or services

Businesses that jumpstart observability practices—typically within their IT departments—are ambitious. They say they want to gain visibility throughout their entire application supply and support chains. 

Breaking this down a bit, nearly half (48%) of businesses say they prioritize real-time insights into their apps and infrastructure to ensure service-level agreements (SLAs) and performance commitments are met. After that, they want to accelerate their ability to isolate faults, perform root-cause analyses, and achieve resolution as their most critical observability goals. A little further down on their observability wish lists are improving security postures.

Although many businesses are using home-grown tools to help them reach these goals, the majority (65%) are turning to third-party tools and services.

Cost optimization tools especially in demand

Businesses constantly evaluate their investments in various goods, services, or initiatives that are meant to either cut costs or increase revenues with the goal of understanding, “was it worth it?” 

Cloud is no exception. Understanding whether the money they are spending on cloud results in a positive ROI—say, when pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy, whether it makes sense to run a particular app in the public cloud or in their own on-premises data center—is important. Businesses want to particularly ensure that the economic benefits promised by a cloud-native approach to enterprise computing is paying off for them. 

Given this, it makes sense that 86% of organizations are currently using a third-party tool to optimize cloud costs. Almost half (46%) have been doing so for more than 12 months. Among these, an overwhelming majority (94%) realized “significant” initial savings with these tools, and nearly half (45%) continued to see significant savings in the following months. 

Observability improves security and quality 

Most businesses are seeing benefits from their observability efforts beyond application and infrastructure troubleshooting, root-cause analysis, and remediation. 

Take security. More than half of businesses (53%) say that observability tools have boosted collaboration between security teams and app developers. This has resulted in an improved ability to detect security signals in observability data—a very welcome outcome.

Observability tools are also associated with higher quality—with almost 3 in 10 seeing better software resulting from their use of such solutions. 

Investment in observability tools

As noted in Part I of this series, the average business is using a dozen different observability tools. Today, the most commonly used monitoring and observability tools and services include: 

  • Cloud monitoring (52%)
  • Network performance (45%)
  • Security (44%)
  • Log analytics (42%)
  • Application performance monitoring (40%)

Businesses are also looking into investing in IT automation and AIOps solutions, which claim to do fast root-cause analyses of existing problems as well as predict future ones. In short, AIOps is a catch-all term for using AI technologies such as ML and advanced analytics to automate identifying and resolving IT issues. 

In terms of benefits of AIOps, the most common ones named by observability professionals in the ESG report were: 

  • Hardware infrastructure optimization (39%)
  • Alerting DevOps to potential problems (38%)
  • Application issue resolution (38%)

However, a caution: it’s important to note that the definition of AIOps is still quite fluid, with many organizations having their own highly individual ideas of what it means, and vendors also providing solutions that vary considerably in capabilities and functionality. At this point, it’s fair to say that this slice of the observability market is still under construction. 

What’s certain though is that today, organizations can take back control of observability to achieve business outcomes with Chronosphere. It’s a focused observability solution that tames rampant data growth and cloud-native complexity and replaces it with increased business confidence. 

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