New Relic: 5 key insights to cross the chasm in achieving modern observability

Ben Goodman, SVP of New Relic Asia Pacific and Japan
Ben Goodman, SVP of New Relic Asia Pacific and Japan

New Relic, Inc. (NYSE: NEWR), the observability company, released the findings of its 2021 Observability Forecast. The survey of software engineers, developers and IT leaders uncovered that while 88% of ASEAN respondents believe observability is important and strategic to their business and 98% believe it to be strategic to their role, only 33% noted mature observability practices within their business. Recognising the importance of closing that gap, 73% of respondents expect to increase their observability budget in the coming year, with 19% expecting budgets to increase significantly.


“IT teams are under an unprecedented amount of pressure to ensure that they keep up with the pace of innovation demanded by customers. This means shipping new features fast, while ensuring downtime is kept to a minimum,” noted Ben Goodman, SVP of New Relic Asia Pacific and Japan. “Modern observability empowers software engineers, developers and decision makers with the information they need to make swift, data-driven decisions, and is a non-negotiable for enterprises looking to deliver great digital experiences that keep their customers coming back.”


During the pandemic, most organisations accelerated their digital transformation initiatives by as much as three or four years. This phenomenon has condensed software development cycles and burdened data pipelines, making both increasingly complex for engineers and developers with multiple stages of telemetry ingest, processing and compounded interdependencies between various systems of record, applications, infrastructure and networks.


Yet despite the promises and because digital experiences are built on thousands of microservices, today’s monitoring tools often require engineers to spend an unreasonable amount of time stitching together siloed data and switching context between a patchwork of insufficient analysis tools for different parts of the tech stack—only to discover blindspots because it’s too cumbersome and too expensive to instrument the full estate. And even then, engineers get stuck at what is happening, instead of being able to focus on why it’s happening. In fact, 89% of ASEAN survey respondents noted having to toggle between two to ten different tools to monitor the health of their systems.


This all comes at significant cost to businesses—in shipping delays, slow responses to outages, poor customer experiences and time wasted that engineers could have spent on the higher priority, business-impacting and creative coding they love.


Consolidating tools into a single, unified observability platform is among the research report’s five key insights for charting an organisation’s path to achieving modern observability. Adopting a data-driven approach for end-to-end observability, expanding observability across the entire software ecosystem, modernising the IT budget for full-stack observability and upleveling the value of observability to further engage the C-Suite round out the list.


“Modern observability is the domain of engineers and business leaders alike, because of its ability to make crucial data easily accessible, understandable and actionable. By taking a data-driven approach and creating a clear line of sight across the tech stack, modern observability is able to improve uptime and reliability while creating best of breed customer experiences," noted Goodman.


Key ASEAN findings from the 2021 Observability Forecast include:


Observability is mission critical

●      88% of respondents believe observability is important and strategic to their business

●      98% believe observability is important to their role

●      73% of respondents expect to increase their observability budget in the coming year, with 19% expecting budgets to increase significantly


Observability delivers clear, positive business impact

●      91% of IT decision makers (ITDMs) see observability as critical at every stage of the software lifecycle, especially in planning and operations

●      51% believe observability helps support their digital transformation with 21% noting it helps deliver better digital experiences for end users

●      36% cite faster deployment with observability

●      36% believe observability helps organisations be more cost effective


Massive opportunity to expand and mature observability practices

●      89% noted having to toggle between two and ten different tools to monitor the health of their systems

●      11% of respondents said that they cannot gain end-to-end observability at all

●      73% of respondents note room to grow their observability practice with only 33% claiming a mature observability practice in their business


Organisations lack a strategy or roadmap for implementation

●      Only 58% of respondents note their organisations are in the process of implementing observability

●      Lack of resources (50%), skills (40%), and systems that are instrumented (40%) are top barriers to success

●      This explains why 76% of respondents still monitor telemetry data at the application level, leaving massive data unmonitored in their software stack


Observability for Kubernetes and containers expected to grow rapidly

●      ASEAN organisations are leading the world in Kubernetes development and production at 44% and 15% respectively

●      48% of IT decision makers believe that Kubernetes production will increase within three years

●      This is critical because achieving true observability hinges on deploying solutions across all data that will automatically collect and correlate observability data from all available sources


IT leaders, software engineers and developers may access the full 2021 Observability Forecast here.