By: Antoine Le Tard, Regional Vice President ANZ at AppDynamics
It’s clear that the COVID-19 crisis has brought about widespread change in the way companies do business. It has accelerated the digitisation of customer interactions and business processes by several years in a very short space of time. Complex technology projects have taken a leap at both the organisational and industry levels. But what rings true is how the pandemic has intensified trends that were already on the rise.
The shift to remote work in particular has resulted in organisations’ stronger dependency on the cloud to facilitate business continuity and agility. To this point, the AppDynamics Agents of Transformation Report 2020: Covid-19 Special Edition found 92 percent of Australian organisations have already been forced to change their technology priorities during the pandemic. Two thirds of technologists (66 percent) have also been asked to perform tasks and activities they have never done before. Amongst the innovation and transformation, the pandemic has uncovered weaknesses in digital strategies as well as the urgent need to equip IT teams with the tools needed to become Agents of Transformation, championing business-critical digital initiatives.
Observability – a strategic priority for 2021
Today’s employees and consumers have zero tolerance for poor online experiences, and now nothing less than superior application and website performance will suffice. The rapid shift to remote working however, has created a number of new and different challenges for organisations. Namely, the need to effectively monitor at pace both public and private domains outside of their immediate control.
IT teams now require end-to-end transparency across custom and off-the-shelf SaaS applications, as well as across public cloud networks. This means visibility into factors beyond their control such as internet problems and other external network issues; public cloud latency and performance issues will be key in digital customer experience and must now be taken into consideration - even more so today as online networks continue to support unprecedented levels of users while remote working. Organisations today, therefore, must monitor these environments closely to continue to provide customers with reliable and seamless digital interactions.
Observability will grow in significance in 2021. By using observability solutions to pull meaningful data from logs, metrics, traces and events with full context on user experiences, IT teams can shift from monitoring everything, to monitoring the data and insights that matter to the customer’s business priorities and their bottom line. AppDynamics has been championing the need for IT teams to have a unified view of the IT landscape, monitor applications’ health wherever they run and arming themselves with raw, granular data to gain in-depth understanding of complex and highly distributed systems within an organisation. Against this backdrop, the recent acquisition by Cisco of internet and cloud monitoring provider ThousandEyes is exciting. The joint capabilities of AppDynamics, also a Cisco company and the world’s #1 Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solution, with ThousandEyes can provide greater observability across teams and can relieve some of the pressure on Australian technologists who are already juggling competing business priorities.
Making sense of cloud complexities through AppDynamics+ThousandEyes
The cloud has been an enabler of digital transformation for organisations today, and this is an area where AppDynamics and ThousandEyes can add significant value.
One of the interesting features of AppDynamics is that it can break down a digital business into its transactions and supporting technology stacks and help IT teams understand how each behaves, and which ones need improvements. As these changes happen and some - or all - of the processes move to the cloud, ThousandEyes can be used to visualise and understand the ‘where and when’ of performance issues in the Internet between data centres and public clouds. The combination of the two technologies offers the most complete and holistic insight into digital experiences – effectively monitoring and troubleshooting everything from latency and network connectivity issues through to problems with external APIs and SaaS applications. For example, if a retail application is performing poorly, the retailer’s IT team could identify that the issue was located on a public network, then pinpoint whether the issue was tied to specific ISPs or specific failures in a cloud-based service along the path of traffic. They can then quickly work with the third-party to re-route around those bottlenecks.
With 72 percent of Australian technologists confirming the pandemic has exposed weaknesses within their businesses’ digital strategies, it is critical that IT teams are equipped with the tools needed to address performance and network connectivity issues before they become a larger problem. Cloud-to-customer visibility allows IT teams to get to the root of any problems in a more time and cost-efficient way. The joint capabilities not only enable organisations to have a clearer view across all internet-dependent applications, but also offer additional context into the flow-on effects of any performance issues directly impacting the organisation.