Second annual Observability Forecast — the only study of its kind to open-source its raw data — reveals current and future trends surrounding adoption, implementation, and maturity of observability approaches
New Relic (NYSE: NEWR), the observability company, published the 2022 Observability Forecast report, which captures insights into the current state of observability and its growth potential. As IT and application environments increasingly move toward complex, cloud-based microservices, the research found technology professionals have bold plans to ramp up observability capabilities to get ahead of issues that could impact customer experience and application security. About three-quarters of respondents surveyed in India said C-suite executives in their organisations are advocates of observability, and 86% of Indian respondents saw observability as a key enabler for achieving core business goals, which implies that observability has become a board-level imperative.
The largest study of its kind, the second annual Observability Forecast from New Relic and technology market research firm ETR had 1,614 respondents globally, including 65% practitioners — day-to-day users of observability tools — and 35% IT decision-makers across 14 countries to understand their current use of observability tools and approaches, as well as their perspectives on the future of observability. The report reveals the technologies they believed will drive further need for observability and the benefits of adopting an observability practice. The report also highlights that more than half (56%) of respondents surveyed in India said an increased focus on security, governance, risk, and compliance represents a key strategy driving the need for observability.
According to the research, Indian organisations today monitor their technology stacks with a patchwork of tools. At the same time, respondents surveyed in India indicated they longed for simplicity, integration, seamlessness, and more efficient ways to complete high-value projects. Moreover, as Indian organisations race to embrace technologies like blockchain, edge computing, and 5G to deliver optimal customer experiences, observability supports more manageable deployment to help drive innovation, uptime, and reliability. The 2022 Observability Forecast found:
Only 47% had achieved full-stack observability by the report’s definition (the ability to see everything in the tech stack that could affect the customer experience). Just 8% had a mature observability practice by the report’s definition.
31% said they still primarily detect outages manually or from complaints, and most (88%) used four or more tools to monitor the health of their systems.
More than half (59%) said they experience high-business-impact outages once per week or more, and 49% said they take more than an hour to resolve those outages.
Notably, none had their telemetry data entirely unified (in one place), and only 8% of Indian respondents said the visualisation or dashboarding of that data is entirely unified.
Over half (60%) said they prefer a single, consolidated observability platform.
Respondents surveyed in India predicted their organisations will most need observability for artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain in the next three years.
“Observability is high on the priority list for Indian enterprises, however many businesses are still learning about outages through multiple monitoring tools and discovering system interruptions through manual tests or incident tickets and complaints,” said Vidhur Bhagat, General Manager, Enterprise Business India at New Relic. “The 2022 Observability Forecast shows that while teams are striving to achieve full-stack observability, there’s still room for improvement to optimise digital experiences, and New Relic is able to support these goals.”
Achieving Full-Stack Observability
Among the report’s key takeaways, the data supports a strong correlation between achieving or prioritising full-stack observability and experiencing fewer outages, improved outage detection rates, and improved resolution. For example, 71% of respondents surveyed in India who said they had already prioritised/achieved full-stack observability said it takes less than 30 minutes to detect high-business-impact outages, compared with the 34% who had not.
The research implies that the ideal state of observability is one where engineering teams monitor the entire tech stack in all stages of the software development lifecycle, employ mature observability practice characteristics, and have unified telemetry data and a unified dashboard or visualisation of that data — ideally in a single, consolidated platform. Over half of respondents surveyed in India said they prefer a single, consolidated observability platform, yet none were using one tool for observability.
Some of the main challenges preventing them from prioritising/achieving full-stack observability were a lack of budget and understanding of the benefits, un-instrumented systems, and too many monitoring tools.
Benefits of Observability
According to the 2022 Observability Forecast, developers and engineers seek solutions that will make their lives better and easier. When New Relic and ETR asked practitioners surveyed in India themselves how observability helps developers and engineers the most, they found:
Nearly half (42%) believe observability increases their productivity and enables them to find and resolve issues faster.
Almost five in 10 (44%) said observability enables cross-team collaboration, and 39% said it improves their skillset or hireability.
Over a third (36%) felt that it increases their ability to innovate.
More than a third (35%) felt that it enables less guesswork when managing complicated and distributed tech stacks.
Ambitious Deployment Plans
When asked about the top trends driving observability needs at their organisations, respondents surveyed in India said cloud-native application architectures, risk mitigation, customer experience, and migration to multi-cloud were among the highest drivers. Challenges aside, respondents saw observability’s bottom-line benefits and expected to deploy additional observability capabilities — including AIOps, alerts, and serverless monitoring — in the next three years (the report focuses on 17 capabilities in all).
Just 6% indicated that their organisations have all 17 observability capabilities deployed.
By 2025, the majority expected to deploy capabilities like MLOps, distributed tracing, AIOps, synthetic monitoring, mobile monitoring, as well as less common capabilities like Kubernetes monitoring, with the majority indicating they would have 83–97% of the 17 observability capabilities deployed. This finding suggests that most Indian organisations will have robust observability practices in place by 2025.
“Observability by its very nature must look at the full stack of data available. Looking at a single layer provides only a silo view. To deliver the digital experience necessary to remain competitive, enterprises must go beyond infrastructure and make their digital business observable,” Gartner®, Innovation Insight for Observability, By Padraig Byrne and Josh Chessman, Refreshed 9 March 2022.*
As they pursue aggressive observability capability deployment plans, 84% of respondents surveyed in India expected to maintain or increase their observability budgets next year. Almost three-quarters (70%), including 78% of C-suite executives, expected observability budgets to increase over the next year. This includes 25% of all respondents and 45% of C-suite executives surveyed in India who expected to increase budgets significantly or extensively — and the market opportunity is sizable.
Looking ahead, they foresaw their organisations needing observability for a variety of trending technologies, including AI, 5G, and Web3. Indian C-suite executives anticipate needing observability most for IoT (78%), AI (56%), blockchain (56%), and cloud gaming (50%) in the next three years.
The New Relic 2022 Observability Forecast is available today. For more information:
New Relic and ETR surveyed 1,614 technology professionals in 14 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America. Of the respondents, 65% were practitioners (developers and engineers) and 35% were information technology decision-makers (C-suite executives and non-executive managers). The survey was conducted in March and April 2022 by the research firm ETR. New Relic is the first in the observability industry to make its raw survey data open and available to the public for download.
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