Johannesburg, 26 Jul 2023
In order to optimise application performance, improve end-user experience and ensure proper service level compliance, it is vital for businesses to be able to understand the overall health status of their environment at a glance. This is where observability and application performance monitoring come into the picture.
Gartner itself defines the application performance monitoring and observability market as software that enables the observation and analysis of application health and user experience.
According to Saadiq de Beer, Head of Enablement Services for Altron Managed Solutions, the key difference between the two is that monitoring offers reactive information. Essentially, it warns of things such as an app that is using too much bandwidth, or errors that need fixing, leading to alert fatigue. However, what a business really requires is access to proactive data that will enable it to eliminate pain points early, thereby reducing the effort of keeping systems healthy.
“Observability is, in fact, not only important within the apps landscape, but is crucial throughout the entire value chain of business outputs. It allows you to measure the state of the systems in the value chain by examining their outputs,” he explains.
“Furthermore, it should provide access to meaningful and actionable insights, by providing context about why certain things are actually happening. Ultimately, observability is an approach that brings together monitoring, automation and visibility, allowing you to eliminate both mundane challenges and any background ‘noise’.”
He notes that observability can help you to make better business decisions, such as identifying where effort is being wasted and how your money can be better spent. This, in turn, leads to improvement in the customer experience (CX), where you can also learn more about the customers and leverage this knowledge to improve the system, ensuring the user interface works even more effectively for those same customers.
“Modern CX requires a deeper level of capability than is provided by purely reactive information. If one considers the current generation’s focus on ‘instant gratification’, and the resultant frustration that comes when such customers do not get their way, it is easy to see why it is important to proactively keep your systems healthy.
“The right observability tool should be able to contextualise events within your business environment. Once you have a baseline set, any deviation from this will be pinpointed by the tool, which should also indicate where the deviation has occurred and the reason for it. With this knowledge, you can automate the troubleshooting, rather than potentially wasting senior resources on it.”
Essentially, adds De Beer, observability is about having the right data to make the right decisions at the right time. It’s about having predictive information that enables you to prevent a system failure, rather than merely reacting to it happening.
Altron Managed Solutions offers unified observability across highly distributed environments, spanning both on-premises data centres and multiple cloud instances. Offering a range of such tools helps to improve agility and ensure performance, as well as deliver an enhanced user experience.
“There are numerous benefits to such an approach. Perhaps the key is that such a tool enables you to do more with less – whether this is time, effort, money or infrastructure. It also increases efficiency, boosts your cost savings and improves the CX,” he continues.
“Understanding user experience (UX) is vital and extends beyond technology services. Observability tools can be used in this context not only to understand what is happening on the technology layer – from a performance point of view – but also from an employee perspective, to ensure compliance of defined processes.”
This helps the business understand whether training is needed to align the employee to the process or whether the process itself is flawed. These tools help to identify the root cause, so you can direct resources like training in the right manner, at the right time.
“Observability is growing increasingly critical to businesses of all sizes, driven by the complexity of the infrastructures we are running today – there are many disparate systems brought together to deliver services – and by human behaviours, like the desire for instant gratification.
“If you don’t utilise observability tools to automate, to eliminate the ‘noise’ or to make the mundane excessively easy, then you are not enabling your key resources to do what’s necessary for your organisation to progress to the next level. In the end, it is very much about using observability to improve your end result, by providing contextual data to enhance your business, your CX and to drive better business outcomes,” concludes De Beer.