Why IT performance & observability will be critical to business growth in 2021

December 15 2020

2021 is the year technologists have the biggest opportunity to elevate their careers and truly change the perception of the IT industry.

2020 was a year that will go down in history as one of the most challenging, tragic and complex of our lives. And yet, amid all of the loss and hardship of this year, we’ve also seen how resilient and strong human beings can be when we work together toward a common goal. This has absolutely been the case in the technology space, where IT leaders faced enormous pressure to support a global workforce that began working remotely in the span of a few short weeks.

In the technology industry, we watched IT leaders become the overnight superheroes of their organizations. They enabled entire workforces to shift to working remotely, supporting the IT needs and their entire businesses to be set up and supported while working from home. They accelerated digital transformation projects, delivering in weeks what would normally have taken months, empowering their organizations to deliver flawless customer experiences as businesses shifted to a digital-first approach. Supporting everything from COVID-19 contact tracing applications to contactless grocery orders, IT teams played an essential role in all aspects of our lives throughout the course of this unprecedented year.

Technologists have never been more critical to the success of the businesses they support, and I see 2021 as being the year they have the biggest opportunity to elevate their careers and truly change the perception of the IT industry and its impact on meaningful business outcomes.

It will be paramount that IT teams are granted the tools, technologies and support needed to deliver on this opportunity. The most important factor, according to 92% of technologists who answered a survey we conducted in May, will be achieving visibility and insight into the performance of the technology stack and its impact on customers and the business.

It’s that elevated potential for technologists that has me excited about 2021 and all of the meaningful change these teams can bring to every industry around the world. As we look to the new year, here are the top IT trends I predict will be most critical to the technologists looking to instigate change.

Top IT Predictions for 2021

Observability Will Take Center Stage

As demand for digital apps and services grows, IT leaders must now be able to connect observability to business outcomes.

The past year has put enormous pressure on teams across industries. 2021 will be the year of observability as companies continue to develop more complex IT systems and expand their technology infrastructures. Using observability solutions will enable IT teams to cut through the noise and focus on the performance issues that have the biggest impact on the business.

User Experience Will Inform Business Decisions

Part of the reason it’s important to keep technology solutions operating at their highest level is to maintain a consistent digital user experience. In 2021, user experience will matter more than ever as workers and consumers expect infallibility from the digital experiences that have become so integral to their everyday lives.

To successfully navigate this need for a seamless digital user experience, businesses will need to view maintaining their applications and technology stack not just as one-off projects, but as business-critical solutions that serve as the backbone to providing the ideal experience for end users.

Another element of this new emphasis on user experience in 2021 will include an elevated focus on observability not just at the application level, but beyond. For businesses that want to thrive in 2021, incorporating network visibility into existing monitoring efforts can ensure that nothing impedes the user experience, whether it’s an anomaly in an application or an issue that stems from the internet. This enables end-users to have the best possible experience as IT teams are able to spot and address issues efficiently.

Technology Will Bring Even Bigger Impact to Business Outcomes

This year has put a spotlight on IT teams and demonstrated just how important technologists are to the success of any business. We call those elite technologists “Agents of Transformation” for their commitment to driving successful digital transformation within a company.

Our Agents of Transformation Report 2020: COVID-19 Special Edition showed that 80% of technologists said the rapid response of their IT team to the pandemic positively changed the perception of IT within their organization, and 74% said digital transformation projects that would’ve taken years to sign off were now being approved in a matter of weeks.

2021 will be the year that technologists will have the opportunity to impact business-critical outcomes more than ever before. The emphasis that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the need for flawless digital experiences will have lasting impacts in 2021. Organizations are already seeing the benefits of enabling their IT teams to take calculated risks and drive a faster, more innovative approach and will continue to invest in those teams and solutions in the new year.

Wishing you a healthy and peaceful 2021.

Ty Amell
Ty Amell is the Chief Technology Officer at AppDynamics. In his current role as CTO, he leads the 600+ person engineering organization, and is responsible for engineering, architecture, data science, engineering operations, SRE, quality and security. Ty holds an B.S. degree from Northeastern University, and is a mentor at First Round Fast Track. He currently resides in California.

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