Splunk Inc., the cybersecurity and observability leader, in collaboration with Enterprise Strategy Group, released the State of Observability 2022, an annual global research report that examines the role of observability in managing today’s increasingly complex technology environments. The third annual report surveyed 1,750 observability practitioners, managers and experts from organisations with 500 or more employees, providing the largest view and analysis on the observability space.Observability has matured beyond its early adopter position and is now foundational for modern enterprises to achieve full visibility into today’s complex technology environments. Research shows how observability is instrumental in reducing outages, improving app reliability, growing revenue, strengthening customer experience (CX) and establishing digital resilience.
The report defines observability leaders as organisations with at least 24 months of experience with observability. In addition, leaders achieved the highest rank in these five factors: the ability to correlate data across all observability tools, the adoption of AI/ML technology within their observability toolset, skills specialisation in observability, the ability to cover both cloud-native and traditional application architectures and the adoption of AIOps.
A key finding is how observability leaders are four times as likely to resolve instances of unplanned downtime in minutes, versus hours or days. This is notable as 76% of all respondents report that downtime can cost up to $500,000 per hour. It’s clear that a faster approach to issue resolution can drive significant cost savings.
Key findings from the research also include:
- Fewer outages, disruptions to customers. Leaders experience 33% less outages per year than beginners. (On average, beginners report six outages, while leaders experience two.)
- Greater visual clarity drives ROI. Due to observability, a little over 80% of organisations can find and fix problems faster. In addition, 81% can see into hybrid ecosystems.
- Stronger assurance to meet reliability goals. 89% of leaders are completely confident in their ability to meet availability and performance requirements for their applications, 3.9x the rate of beginners.
- Hybrid will persist. Organisations report maintaining 165 business applications (on average), with about half in the public cloud and half on-premises. As the number of apps grows, observability will remain vital to unify visibility across environments.
- AIOps instrumental to CX. AIOps capabilities included in an observability practice outperform legacy solutions, by automatically determining the technical root cause of an issue (according to 34% of respondents,) to predicting problems before they turn into customer-impacting incidents (31%), to better assessing the severity of an incident (30%.)
“With the rising complexity of today’s technology environments and the direct connection between reducing disruptions and optimal customer experiences, observability is fundamental to the successful operations of modern businesses,” said Spiros Xanthos, SVP and the General Manager for the Observability business at Splunk. “Observability enables businesses to keep their software and infrastructure reliable, systems secure and customers happy, making it a critical component to any organisation’s resilience strategy.”
Key highlights from India include:
- Respondents in India are on the leading edge of observability maturity: 23% of represented organisations are classified as leaders (versus 9% in the rest of the world), and just 18% are beginners (versus 34% in the rest of the world).
- Indian organisations are more aggressively transforming their internally developed application portfolios. 82% expect that substantially more of these apps will be cloud-native within the next 12 months (versus 56% in the rest of the world).
- Indian organisations also prioritise resilience — 52% say they have a formal approach to resilience that has been instituted organisation-wide across critical systems (versus 39%).
- Indian organisations are more likely to plan to invest in resilience solutions that will accelerate incident response and remediation (65% versus 49%) and improve the recovery of customer/user services (62% versus 50%).
Other key research findings include:
- Resilience as North Star. 95% say their observability leaders are collaborating more with line-of-business leaders on resilience strategies, which includes investing in solutions that recover customer services faster and remediate incidents more efficiently.
- Communications and media lead in maturity. Communications and media companies are leading the way on observability savviness, with 13% tallied as leaders. Manufacturing and financial services followed with 8% categorised as leaders.
- Public sector makes gains with leaders. The public sector tallied 4% as observability leaders, increasing from 0% in 2022, showing an opportunity for growth.
The State of Observability 2023 also highlights how more organisations are unifying security monitoring and observability to obtain richer context on incidents and accelerate resolution, in comparison to last year. The reasons all respondents are choosing to unify include:
- More granular and precise threat detection. 59% of all respondents uncover security issues more effectively, thanks to intelligence and correlation capabilities native to observability solutions.
- A comprehensive approach. 55% uncover and assess more security vulnerabilities, thanks to the visibility afforded by observability solutions.
- Ability to act quicker. 51% take action on security issues faster, thanks to the remediation capabilities of observability solutions.