Having the talent base, holistic framework, single source of truth, tech partner and a continually-updated action plan can galvanize buy-in.

Faced with an ever-more complex and fragmented IT ecosystem, IT teams have recognized the need to consolidate their current monitoring tools in order to cut through crippling data noise and deliver the faultless digital experiences that customers and employees now expect.

In particular, many IT departments have prioritized efforts to generate improved visibility into new cloud-native environments, to manage the increasing deployment of microservices and container solutions.

Where organizations have made progress, they have reported benefits ranging from enhanced productivity and reduced operational costs in IT, to improved collaboration levels and a greater focus on strategic innovation.

Achieving full-stack observability

Many organizations are still relying on multiple, disconnected tools to monitor IT availability and performance across the IT stack. While these current solutions are performing an important role, the lack of connection and interoperability between these tools is reducing the ease of understanding dependencies up and down the IT stack.

However, the journey to full-stack observability is complex and involves multiple stages. In the big picture, IT leaders need to focus their efforts, bringing together their existing monitoring capabilities to develop a  more unified view of IT availability and performance, and introducing new solutions to get greater visibility into cloud environments.

In particular, here are the five key success factors that can accelerate the achievement of full-stack observability:

  1. Acquiring the necessary talent
    Monitoring performance in the Cloud requires specific skill sets, particularly due to the shift to OpenTelemetry, a specific telemetry framework for modern environments. IT leaders need access to these skills, and they need to define a clear strategy that combine attracting high quality talent (from within a competitive talent pool) and upskilling existing team members to be able to optimize performance in microservices, container and serverless environments.
  2. Define new practices
    The move towards full-stack observability requires a holistic strategy that includes cultural and structural change, not just the implementation of new technical solutions. Deploying the right tools is critical but leaders know that they cannot overlook the implications of full-stack observability at a process level. They need to instill the right processes and frameworks to ensure the smooth and seamless roll-out of new solutions and to maximize the subsequent benefits.
  3. Identify the right technology partners
    Vendors (and their partners) have a vital role to play in helping IT leaders to define the right observability strategy and to guide and support them throughout their journey to full-stack observability. The vendor with the best fit is one that can work with an organization’s unique culture to deliver a true end-to-end solution that includes application monitoring, security, workload optimization and financial cloud cost optimization.
  4. Establish a common goal to unify teams
    One of the central tenets of full-stack observability is that all IT operations teams commit to a single source of truth for all performance data. It sounds simple but when teams are used to working in silos and have been reliant on their own specific monitoring solutions for so long, it is not always the easiest or most comfortable shift for some IT personnel. IT leaders need to focus on creating a shared goal for full-stack observability. Many will be looking to create a vision for the IT department in the future, founded on full-stack observability. This could include an IT function that is able to deliver world-class digital experiences for customers and employees at all times—deploying cutting-edge AI and automation tools to optimize IT availability and performance management, so that IT can dedicate more time to strategic, innovation-focused work.
  5. Have a clearly defined strategy and execution plan
    While many organizations have a defined full-stack observability strategy in place, not many have moved into execution mode. Despite this, there is a need to continually review and refine their strategy in order to adapt to constantly evolving IT and business requirements.

    From a technical perspective, this is particularly true where organizations are planning to double down on their deployment of microservices, containers and serverless environments, and to increase their use of open-source systems such as Kubernetes, over the next 12 months.

    From a business perspective, rapid innovation and the launch of new digital services mean that IT will need to continually update its full-stack observability strategies to ensure they have full visibility into new applications and supporting infrastructure.

With these key sub-goals in mind, IT leaders can grab the opportunity to empower their organizations to maximize the benefits of digital transformation and data-driven business intelligence and customer service.