Driving organizational resilience with AppDynamics full-stack observability

January 31 2022
 

Are you ready to raise your organizational resilience bar and enhance agility and collaboration across your IT teams? Full-stack observability can help.


Woman with laptop virtually meeting with coworkers thanks to organizational resilience facilitated by full-stack observability

At its core, organizational resilience enables a business to collaborate, function seamlessly and react swiftly in times of flux. COVID-19 amplified the need for resilience in 2020 and two years later it’s still raging alongside new, unexpected incidents such as Log4j that are disrupting in tandem. Right now, the new normal for IT looks like running obstacle courses to the next challenge — as fast as possible.

Pew Research underscored this overarching feeling of sustained uncertainty across the tech sector by suggesting two wildly diverse but challenging tech-driven scenarios for 2025; one expects “greater inequality, rising authoritarianism and rampant misinformation” to take hold in the wake of COVID-19. The other is a more optimistic view where “life will be better in a ‘tele-everything’ world, assisting workplaces, health care and social activity improve.” Either way, our relationship with technology is expected to deepen. Sounds plausible — but what does it mean for technologists?

Disruption expedites resilience

In an article published a full two years before COVID-19, McKinsey lent insights needed for companies to embrace, assimilate and profit from leading with agility and referred to it as the next inflection point in organizational development. Insights include five agility-boosting mindset shifts that IT teams need to make and we have ideas for how full-stack observability can help.

1. Resilience requires collaboration across IT

CEO complaints reveal a common feeling that IT departments resemble a black hole. This executive-level point of view is backed by examples of delayed projects, budget overages and the difficulty to measure IT productivity. AppDynamics full-stack observability is adept at replacing (or working alongside) siloed IT tools to provide a shared platform that promotes contextualized conversations across roles. For example, when something goes wrong, the ability to login and track issues removes any mystery of the origin or which team can fix it. From there issues can be analyzed, assigned and expedited to the correct role for faster mean time to resolution (MTTR). In this scenario, visibility-aided collaboration reduces time spent on back-and-forth analysis between teams and refocuses efforts on rectifying performance roadblocks before they impact users.

2. Cloud infrastructure — the time to migrate is now!

In late 2021, Gartner stressed the importance of cloud migration, stating that “85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first principle by 2025,” and then taking it a step further adding, companies “will not be able to fully execute on their digital strategies without cloud-native architectures and technologies.” For technologists, this isn’t a surprise given that cloud enables on-demand scalability of compute and storage capacity, and cloud native application development accelerates app delivery. Both of which are building blocks of organizational resilience.

Before migrating, full-stack observability helps right-size cloud infrastructure by identifying baseline application workloads and throughputs based on your environment. During migration, AppDynamics collects data on resource utilization, end-user experience and throughputs to match the cloud provider’s infrastructure requirements. After migration, observability delivers information and insights across the entire application delivery chain, including parts you don’t own to optimize usage, ensure security and mitigate issues in real time.

3. Monolithic environments can’t lift-and-shift fast enough

Achieving agility in a monolithic environment is a challenge for multiple reasons including that it’s more difficult to push monolithic apps through a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline without causing issues. Microservices and cloud native help but come with tradeoffs of their own. Microservices enable multiple developers to code and push different parts of an application into production without impacting another developer’s work-in-progress. However, they facilitate proliferation of security and performance vulnerabilities and increase difficulty in pinpointing root causes of performance degradations.

Cloud native enables continual scaling through containers that spin out their own microservices during peak usage, which protects user experience during high-traffic times. The tradeoff is that these containers spike to accommodate traffic but only for a prescribed time frame. So, issues occurring outside peak times can’t be tracked, making it difficult to fix unseen problems. Full-stack observability allows organizations to backtrack through application timelines and find those “invisible” root causes.

4. Striving for continuous delivery with pre-production visibility

Understanding where vulnerabilities lie before pushing code is key in gaining agility as the clock ticks toward 2025, when nearly two thirds of enterprises are expected to be deploying code daily. In addition, over 90% of apps will be cloud native and 1.6x more developers will have joined the workforce by then. Those stats from IDC pair well with the Gartner cloud migration predictions and allude to what we inherently know: moving to cloud is no longer a suggestion. Deploying code daily might sound aggressive for DevOps teams tasked with moving code from development to production while identifying pre-prod code fixes along the way. Accelerating that double-check process is tricky without full-stack observability to detect and alert the team to issues throughout the CI/CD process — including security threats that can be uncovered before pushing applications to production.

5. But — can AppDynamics help with the IT talent shortage?!

The IT talent shortage challenge is complex but having the right resources is critical to collaboration, agility and organizational resilience. McKinsey sees a need for companies to balance outsourcing with strategic hiring. With typical IT organizations already lacking talent to meet their requirements, the last thing you want to do is add unnecessary, tedious work such as digging through logs to manually discover root causes. With full-stack observability, issues and insights are surfaced in real time to accelerate remediation. This AI-driven process improves productivity across the IT landscape but if automation alone is not enough, many AppDynamics solution provider partners provide IT-Operations-as-a-Service to help companies fill their talent gaps.

>>> We love to chat about full-stack observability! Schedule a demo and learn how AppDynamics can help your organization build more resilience.