Four ways full-stack observability drives organizational success

September 21 2023

Learn how full-stack observability can benefit your organization with real-time visibility into all layers of your IT infrastructure.

With digital environments growing more complex, customer expectations are at an all-time high — and IT teams are being asked to manage more with fewer resources while also being “more strategic.” 

Impossible, right? Well, it can be without full-stack observability. 

Full-stack observability provides a single source of truth for monitoring and managing the entire technology stack, from the application layer to the underlying infrastructure. With it, organizations can correlate business context with application, network and security insights that enable real-time prioritization of fixes across app performance and vulnerabilities — before business-critical objectives are impacted.  

Achieving observability across the tech stack is quickly becoming a top priority for IT leaders: 71% of technologists say their organization needs to invest in this area. But full-stack observability isn’t just an IT matter — it’s now a strategic and imperative business priority. 

From accelerated digital transformation to an improved bottom line, here are four ways organizations can benefit from adopting full-stack observability:

1. Enhance digital transformation effectiveness 

A McKinsey report reveals that 89% of surveyed businesses believe they have not yet reaped the full benefits of digital transformation. So far, their efforts have only generated 31% of the anticipated revenue lift and 25% of the expected cost savings. 

As it turns out, many organizations lack the necessary resources — we’re talking tools, systems and talent — to sustain and align their digital transformation initiatives and overall business goals. In many cases, companies adopted digital transformation in a hurry, only to discover the shortcomings later. 

And according to IDC, many organizations are now turning to observability to move the maturity of their digital transformation initiatives forward. 

Here’s why: Most digital transformation initiatives are complex, making it difficult for technologists to monitor application health and resolve performance issues before they impact the business. Traditional monitoring tools simply can’t provide the end-to-end view of the entire application ecosystem they require. 

By adopting full-stack observability, organizations can tame the pervasive complexity of digital transformation — while also realizing and accelerating the benefits of their digital transformation efforts.

2. Support a cloud-first strategy 

Cloud migration has exploded over the years — so much so that it grew into a $490 billion industry in 2022. It does have a lot of perks: improved agility and scaling options for resources, performance and operational resilience, to name a few. But when you migrate to the cloud, there’s often a diminished view of policies, infrastructure and performance — particularly in multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments. 

While cloud providers such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud have built-in monitoring and reporting tools, they can’t give you a holistic view of your entire cloud infrastructure (including servers, containers and networks). Nor can they relate how performance affects business processes. Without a single source of truth, teams often operate in silos using their own sets of tools. This can lead to disagreements over a critical issue’s root cause — and the best path to resolution — all while the problem threatens your bottom line. 

Full-stack observability solutions can accelerate the detection and resolution of performance issues in cloud environments. For example, Cloud Native Application Observability, powered by the Cisco Full-Stack Observability Platform, is purpose-built to observe distributed and dynamic cloud native applications and infrastructure at scale. And for companies yet to embrace cloud environments, full-stack observability supports every stage of the cloud migration journey — from right-sizing cloud infrastructure to ensuring data security and maximizing usage. 

3. Minimize financial risks of poor app performance

Naturally, most business leaders tend to prioritize business growth and profitability. The idea is sound, but it often doesn’t factor in IT concerns — like how a long mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) could weaken user experience and, by extension, a company’s bottom line and reputation.  

Full-stack observability ensures companies aren’t leaving money on the table. When IT teams are consumed with incident response, firefighting and issue remediation they have less time to deliver strategic innovation that C-Suite executives favor.  

Finally, there could be an internal cost to an organization if full-stack observability is not adopted. One survey found that 21% of tech employees leave their jobs due to outdated tools. Given that most technologists (71%) now regard full-stack observability as essential, your organization may start losing highly skilled and difficult-to-replace technologists without it. The tech talent gap is one of the biggest problems companies face, and a lack of full-stack observability can only exacerbate it. 

4. Align tech decisions with business priorities

Observability tools keep tech teams and business leaders on the same page by providing a shared context of app environment health and security. Full-stack observability enables both parties to view performance issues through a business lens and see how IT performance may impact the business. This helps business leaders make strategic decisions that support innovation and growth. 

By leveraging full-stack observability with business context, all stakeholders can understand how the quality of digital applications and infrastructure affects the end-user experience — and how this experience impacts revenue and even brand reputation. 

Correlating IT performance data with business outcomes allows IT teams to prioritize issues impacting KPIs that the business deems most important — usually, it’s what has the most significant bottom-line impact. For example, in eCommerce, it could be login, shopping cart and check-out issues that matter most. For a bank’s loan application app, it could be document upload, submission and approval notification issues. 

Of course, business goals and KPIs differ from organization to organization. Providing technologists with the capability to view data with a big-picture perspective enhances their understanding of an organization’s desired business outcomes, allowing them to channel efforts into those targets.

Full-stack observability the way forward 

Fullstack observability puts your company in a strategic, proactive mode — rather than a reactive one. With a unified view of performance and availability across the IT stack — enriched with crucial business context — organizations can stay ahead of any user-oriented issues and meet business objectives. And with Cisco AppDynamics and the Cisco Full-Stack Observability Platform, organizations can align on-prem, hybrid and cloud native application insights with strategic objectives.  

Start your journey to full-stack observability: Connect with a cloud native specialist to explore how Cisco AppDynamics can help you achieve end-to-end visibility and insights across your entire stack. 

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