Application Observability: A critical priority to optimize application performance and accelerate innovation

July 26 2023

Research published by Cisco AppDynamics highlights the challenges that IT teams are facing in managing application availability and performance within hybrid IT environments.

The new report, The Age of Application Observability, reveals the levels of complexity that technologists are encountering as they implement cloud native technologies alongside existing on-premises applications and infrastructure. And with widespread recognition that hybrid environments are here to stay, technologists point to an urgent need for application observability to deliver the seamless digital experiences that customers now demand.

Crippling complexity is impacting end-user experience

Rapid adoption of cloud native technologies is bringing overwhelming volumes of metrics, events, logs and traces (MELT) data into the IT department, which traditional monitoring tools just aren’t designed to handle. In fact, 78% of technologists state that the increased volume of data from hybrid environments is making manual monitoring impossible.

The shift to hybrid environments is also leading to an expansion of attack surfaces and heightened vulnerability to cybersecurity threats. Most IT departments are still deploying separate tools to monitor on-premises and cloud native applications, and this means they have no clear line of sight of the entire application path across hybrid environments.

For IT teams, it’s becoming extremely difficult to troubleshoot issues before they impact end-user experience. And the potential consequences of this are profound – an increased likelihood of disruption and downtime to applications, which in turn can lead to a loss of customers, reputation and revenue.

Organizations risk an IT talent exodus

The increased complexity caused by hybrid environments is also being felt more personally by technologists who find themselves operating under relentless pressure. Silos are emerging between IT teams and morale is worsening. 36% of technologists claim that silos and ineffective collaboration are already leading to team members leaving their organization, and 46% believe that churn within their IT department will increase if silos persist.

Evidently, IT leaders need to act quickly to avoid a talent exodus within their IT departments, something that no organization can afford when IT skills are in such high demand.

Observability is critical to optimize application performance and validate cloud investments

As organizations continue to operate with hybrid environments, they need to move beyond traditional monitoring approaches and implement application observability. Crucially, they need to implement a solution that provides flexibility to span across both cloud native and on-premises environments – with telemetry data from cloud native environments and agent-based entities within on-premises applications being ingested into the same platform.

Technologists believe that this level of unified observability – providing a single source of truth for all IT teams – will bring a wide range of benefits. These include deeper insight to detect and solve the root cause of issues, and the ability to bring together dispersed IT infrastructure and applications. They also feel that application observability will help to improve productivity in the IT department, forging closer collaboration between teams and uniting all technologists around a shared vision and common goals.

Crucially, given that 81% of technologists report heightened scrutiny on cloud investments within their organization, application observability allows IT leaders to correlate IT performance data with business transactions so they can track the impact of their innovation initiatives in real time. Organizations can approach innovation in a more controlled and sustainable manner, directing their time and investment where it will have the biggest impact.

Application observability is now an urgent, strategic priority for organizations

Momentum around application observability is building, with 85% of technologists stating that this is now a strategic priority for their organization, and more than half reporting that their organization is already exploring solutions.

This is hugely encouraging and reflects a strong desire amongst technologists to finally get to grips with the complexity that has become such a drain on IT teams over the last few years.

Application observability is now critical for organizations to deliver always-on, seamless digital experiences and to achieve their ambitions for rapid and sustainable innovation. IT leaders must act quickly and decisively to implement the right observability solution for their organization.

Managing application availability and performance in hybrid environments with Cisco AppDynamics

Cisco AppDynamics is a leading provider of Application Observability and Application Performance Monitoring technology. AppDynamics helps customers observe what matters inside and beyond their IT environments. Combined with the power of Cisco, AppDynamics enables organizations to deliver exceptional user experiences by centralizing and correlating data into contextualized insights of key business metrics – providing them with the power to prioritize actions based on business needs.

To read the full research, download the report, The Age of Application Observability, here.


Ronak Desai is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco AppDynamics and Full-Stack Observability and is responsible for leading the overall AppDynamics strategy and operations and driving operational efficiency and delivery, as well as helping Cisco in achieving its vision for Full-Stack Observability.

Prior to joining AppDynamics, Ronak was SVP of Cisco’s Cloud Networking Engineering organization, where he spearheaded major strategy and technical shifts across Cisco’s networking portfolio of products and services, including ACI to ACI Anywhere, 400G offerings, Cloud APIC, Nexus Dashboard and more. Ronak has held additional engineering leadership roles at Insieme Networks — which was acquired by Cisco in December of 2013 — where he was responsible for the development and architecture for the ACI controller and Nexus 9000, Hybrid cloud solutions. He helped drive the development of NX-OS, Nexus 7000, MDS9000 and SAN-OS (the pre-cursor to NX-OS).

Ronak lives in Oakland, California, and enjoys hiking and mountain biking. He holds 50 patents, many of which are currently embedded in the solutions Cisco provides to address the dynamic needs of worldwide customers and technology partners every day.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form