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The State of Observability 2022

Global research: As observability becomes essential, leaders extend multicloud visibility and dramatically improve digital experiences

Leaders: 9%; Intermediate: 31%; Beginners: 59%


Observability is essential

We surveyed 1,250 observability practitioners, managers and experts to define observability leadership, and to identify the success that excellence brings. Download the report for the full story, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Observability leaders are 2.1 times as likely to say that they can detect problems in internally developed applications in minutes.
  • Leaders report a 69% better mean time to resolution for unplanned downtime or performance degradation.
  • Leaders’ average annual cost of downtime associated with business-critical internally developed applications is $2.5 million, versus $23.8 million for beginners.


Cloud complexity demands observability

The rapid evolution to hybrid, multicloud infrastructure brings many advantages, but it also escalates complexity, hampers visibility and burns out Ops teams.

  • 92% of observability leaders (and 68% of beginners) commonly use cloud-native applications that run in multiple cloud and on-premises environments.
  • 36% of organizations using three or more public clouds to run internally developed applications today. And 67% expect to do so within two years.
  • Across all maturity levels, staff shortages contribute to projects and initiatives being delayed (at 81% of orgs) or failing (71%), and to burned-out staff quitting (69%).
75% of AppDev leaders are under executive pressure to increase their cloud fluency.
63% of leaders say their observability efforts have improved hiring efforts.


Observability maturity pays off

The research reveals how organizations with a mature observability practice have measurably better outcomes, including accelerated development and deployment, faster time to detect and resolve problems, and less downtime.

  • Leaders report a 37% better MTTD than beginners.
  • 53% of leaders resolve instances of unplanned downtime or serious application degradation in four hours or less (versus 27% of beginners) for 69% better MTTR.
  • Leaders have launched 60% more products or revenue streams from AppDev teams in the last year compared to beginners.


Observability in practice

Mature observability organizations use more tools, but fewer vendors, and turn to AIOps solutions to facilitate event correlation and analysis in the modern hybrid, multicloud world. We found that:

  • 79% of organizations are adding observability tools and capabilities; only 8% are consolidating. 
  • At the same time, 48% of organizations are partnering with fewer vendors (versus 35% who are increasing their number of observability vendors). 
  • 71% of respondents report using AIOps technologies either extensively (34%) or in a limited fashion (37%).
51% of orgs are using more AI/ML to overcome talent shortages.


Solve problems, attract talent

An observability boom is coming. Analysts recognize the value, organizations increasingly understand their need, and vendors are rushing to relabel their solutions to tap into the hype. Among the key recommendations detailed in the report:

  • Build to attract talent. A strong observability practice is a talent magnet.
  • Tackle data volume and variety with AI. AIOps is great for making sense of unrelated data streams, in real time, at massive scale.
  • Rationalize your tools. Take a platform approach that lets you leverage training by relying on a small set of vendors to source the tools you need.

Learn how today's observability leaders manage complexity and maximize innovation.