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The not-so-secret link of observability to earnings

In many companies, observability Where surveillance are words that only technical groups understand. Maybe the legal team is involved because there are SLAs that products must not violate, or it’s costing the company money in penalties. That’s the wrong way to think about observability – it’s not just a tool that checks that your application is working correctly and lets you avoid penalties. Instead, think of observability as a magnifying glass that helps everything teams in your business understand how to increase revenue, by understanding the complexities of your product.

There are two different ways to think about proper observability: It quantifies things that weren’t measurable before. If something is measurable, it can be improved. Second, it is a way of measuring a whole, complex system – both the parts that technology teams traditionally think of (“their code”), and the third-party dependencies that no one thinks about until there are customer complaints.

In fact, many SLAs contain clauses such as “excludes events beyond the company’s control”. That’s great when your app is down and you don’t have to pay an SLA penalty – but the reputational impact or loss of revenue from users who can’t log into the site during that time doesn’t matter. aren’t they worth so much more?

In fact, instead of using observability as a crutch to understand failures, why not use it as a tool for improvement? Do you think how much upper income if the performance of your site increased by a few milliseconds?

Get a more complete picture

The ultimate goal should be the observability of all aspects of the system – both the parts that are under the control of the organization and those that are not. This is crucial as systems become more complex and elaborate.

Conventional monitoring tools only detect a snapshot of issues and why they are happening. Visibility tools such as static analysis, application performance monitoring (APM), and network performance monitoring (NPM) do not show how code and other components operate and interact in the real world. Because they don’t take the whole system into account, these tools often miss real-world problems.

Today, with containers, microservices and multi-cloud frameworks emerging as the new norm – and APIs linking up to a few dozen applications – it is no longer possible to simply check a web application server , application client, cache, or database to diagnose a problem. Web applications integrate code from many sources and connection points with various vendors and business partners – for critical functions such as content delivery, shopping cart functionality and web payments – can involve many applications different.

Performance issues have real consequences. Even if 19 components work perfectly but one is late or fails, the result can be slow loading web pages or a payment that simply won’t be processed. Today’s consumers expect tasks to be completed quickly and efficiently. Systems must be resilient: available, reliable, efficient. For an IT team faced with a resiliency problem, it is essential to be able to identify its origin. Is it related to DNS resolution failure or encoding issues? Is it due to a backbone provider issue or a bug in an API?

For complex systems, companies should use Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) to provide a holistic view of the entire system and its dependencies. When implemented correctly, IPM can give a high-level view from the user’s point of view, as well as precise performance details for every dependency and endpoint, even those that you don’t control. For enterprise-controlled applications or networks, IPM can be easily supplemented with APM or NPM tools.

Go beyond basic diagnostics

Just as more pixels produce a better image, more data improves the ability to diagnose problems. For example, understanding that an API runs slowly is just a starting point. Most organizations don’t have metrics that stop at the performance of an API endpoint. They have enterprise-level metrics, such as uptime, user journey performance, or revenue. Knowing that a piece of code takes 15 milliseconds to execute is helpful, but only if that information can be woven together to tell the whole system performance story and map to those enterprise-level metrics.

This approach, especially when combined with training and accountability, establishes a baseline for a best practice framework. Ultimately, developers, engineers, and operations specialists have the tools they need to excel — and as a result, customers will benefit from a better digital experience, with a direct correlation to revenue.

If implemented correctly, a company’s monitoring or observability strategy extends throughout its software development lifecycle. It also covers technical and non-technical teams. When implemented correctly, it is the framework that ensures application developers and application operators are aligned. It also gives the CEO or CRO insight into the relationship between application resiliency and the bottom line.

Ask your technical teams what their application performance goals are and how they are measured. Knowing these goals and constantly working to improve the baselines will make your teams more cohesive and your app better. Understanding the impact of your app on the customer experience makes your business better. And as a pleasant side effect, it makes the CEO happy.

image credit: Gunnar Pippel/Shutterstock

Sergey Katsev is Vice President of Engineering, capture point.