CXO Bytes

Why full-stack observability matters and how it can help organisations improve customer digital experience

digital ethics
  •  According to Cisco AppDynamics, 76% of Indian consumers believe it is the brand’s responsibility to ensure that applications and digital services work perfectly.
  • Full-stack observability helps enterprises quickly identify anomalies and fix issues before they impact the end users and the business.
  • 96% of organisations will be somewhere along their journey to full-stack observability during 2022.


Within a couple of years, the Covid-19 crisis has pushed businesses over the tipping point, pressuring them to move forward with their digital transformation initiatives at an unprecedented speed, and changing the way they do business. Consumer behaviour also massively changed, as they have had to rely on digital services to go on with their lives, and are continuing to do so today.

A Cisco AppDynamics report -The App Attention Index 2021 – found that overall, the number of applications that people are using regularly has soared by 30%. And India was no exception. Recent Indian Government data showed that the volume of digital payments increased to 7,422 Cr in FY22 from 5,554 Cr in FY21 – recording an impressive 33% YoY growth.

But as people increased their use of digital services and apps, so have their expectations of those services. Unsurprisingly, 69% of Indian consumers now say that brands have only one shot to impress them and that if their digital service doesn’t perform, they won’t use them again.

They are now looking for the ‘total app experience’ – a high-performing, reliable, digital service which is simple, secure, helpful, and fun to use. They expect apps to be personalised to their preferences and needs, and to add real value to their lives.

So, without a doubt, the key to unlocking meaningful and sustainable relationships with customers now lies in the tech hands (IT, SRE, DevOps, AppOps, SecOps etc.), dependent on the ability of technology leaders to provide seamless digital experiences at all times. Technologists know they can’t afford any slip-ups. Being able to monitor and optimise app performance and user experience, real-time, at all times has always been important, now it has become mission-critical to the very existence of many businesses.

But, as the pandemic forced a rapid acceleration of digital transformation programs and cloud computing initiatives, it also left many technologists struggling to get unified visibility across their application and technology\landscape and they were unable to prioritise actions and investments based on what really matters most to the end users.  As a result, IT/App Ops teams are constantly firefighting, having to rely on multiple, siloed monitoring tools to manage an increasingly sprawling and complex IT estate.

This situation is preventing technologists from properly identifying what is the root cause of any occurring performance or end-user problem. So, in order to overcome this visibility issue, they need to build and transform their current application monitoring tools and techniques to get a unified view on availability and performance up and down the IT stack for compute, storage, network and public internet, from the customer-facing application into the back-end.

This is why full-stack observability has now become a major priority for businesses all over the world. Full-stack observability enables IT and app operations, development, and networking teams to break down the silos and quickly and easily identify anomalies, understand root causes through dependency analysis and resolve issues before its impact customers and employees.


And when IT Ops teams achieve this level of visibility, they can start to be more strategic in the decisions they make and the value they can add to their organisation. Full-stack observability allows technology teams to collaborate using a single source of truth for all availability, performance and experience data. And when performance and experience data are connected to real-world business metrics, technologists can assess issues based on their potential impact on the bottom line and prioritise their actions accordingly. Put simply, they can observe what matters most to the business.”

The journey to full-stack observability

Fortunately, a new report from Cisco AppDynamics, The Journey to Observability, shows that 98% of Indian technologists are excited about the potential of full-stack observability and the business benefits it can bring, and 90% believe it could be transformational for their enterprise. Moreover, the study reveals that more than half of all organisations have already started their transition to full-stack observability, and a further 40% plan to do so in the next 12 months. That means that 96% of organisations will be somewhere along their journey to full-stack observability during 2022.

The report shows the majority of organisations are still at the very earliest stages of their transition. However, those that are on the journey are already reporting a very positive impact, both within the IT department and across the wider organisation. 88% of Indian technologists, that started implementing observability technology, are reporting greater visibility across their whole IT stack over the last 12 months. Technologists are seeing a return on investment straight away. And this will be hugely important as they look to build momentum and deploy solutions across their IT environment.

But this is not an overnight journey, given the fact that this is still a recent and fast-developing technology with open source tracing techniques like OpenTelemetry. Gathering more momentum in the last 18 months or so, it’s not surprising that a majority are still at a nascent stage of their journey. They know that it’s a multi-stage venture that takes time, and they will be looking out to find the right vendor to support their ambitions and affect the cultural and structural changes needed to ensure a seamless transition.

Technologists have a fantastic opportunity to deliver a game-changing impact on their businesses over the next months. And, luckily, they know exactly what they’re going to do to make it happen.

(The author is Mr. Abhilash Purushothaman, Regional Vice President & General Manager (Asia), Cisco AppDynamics and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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