New Relic: Observability Tops 2022 DevOps Agenda

If 2021 is the year when IT organizations become aware of the need for observability, the next year should see observational aspirations come true.

A report published by monitoring platform provider New Relic assumes that there are no fewer than 11 factors that converge in such a way that observability is an absolute requirement for organizations.

A simple truth is at the top of that list: Observational power is now required to drive digital business transformation initiatives that typically span multiple operations. In fact, a global survey of 1,300 IT leaders, software engineers and developers conducted by New Relic found that 90% of respondents see observation as critical to business.

Second, as a result, observability is now beginning to apply in both pre- and post-production environments as organizations take a more holistic approach to managing the software development lifecycle, the report noted.

Third, the report suggested that IT teams look to make informed decisions based more on facts than intuition. To do this, teams use data collected from across the enterprise application environment. In fact, the fourth factor that enhances observability in the enterprise is that the cost of hardware application environments is declining, which the report notes makes it easier to collect relevant data.

Factors 5 and 6 reflect the desire to rationalize the number of monitoring tools that IT teams currently use and the fact that usage-based pricing has simultaneously made it cheaper to leverage monitoring platforms as needed.

The seventh factor is the general shift towards open source software that enables monitoring platform providers to collectively benefit from innovations faster. The eighth factor, closely related to the open source trend, is the emergence of more complex open source platforms such as Kubernetes that require much higher visibility to successfully deploy and manage.

The ninth trend identified in the report is the increased adoption of DevOps best practices that encourage IT teams to view observability as a core principle of any IT management strategy. The tenth factor cited by the report is the need to increase collaboration between IT professionals.

Finally, the eleventh factor driving the adoption of more observability is the need to increase application reliability as more organizations value their reliance on software to deliver essential services.

Now that monitoring platforms are more accessible, said Buddy Brewer, Group Vice President and General Manager, New Relic, the next big challenge will be to teach IT professionals the questions to ask as they explore both monolithic legacy applications and a wide range of emerging applications based Micro services. He added that the results of these queries then need to be easily shared with both developers and internal IT operations teams who must work together to maximize application performance and availability. The latter requirement is why New Relic decided to acquire CodeStream to make telemetry data available with integrated development environments (IDEs), Brewer noted.

There is, of course, no shortage of monitoring platforms that IT teams can adopt. In fact, the biggest challenge now is getting all of the application’s stakeholders to agree to standardization on an observational platform – no small feat, as many DevOps teams may already have a preference for one method over another.

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