Why observability is mission-critical in 2024

New Relic

By Jason Leonidas, Vice President of South Pacific at New Relic
Monday, 29 January, 2024

Why observability is mission-critical in 2024

As we head into 2024, companies will continue to be impacted by rising interest rates, inflation and supply chain issues. With such uncertainty, they will need to differentiate themselves from their competitors. What’s the secret sauce for organisations in delivering the best customer experiences where others struggle? Observability.

For those who have deployed observability, unplanned outages are avoided and the rapid speed of innovation maintained. This is key to getting ahead in a competitive market landscape and creates visibility into customer sentiment while helping to avoid cost blowouts that would otherwise negatively impact business performance and customer satisfaction.

When it comes to companies that have differentiated their operations with business observability, there are many to draw inspiration from. Whether it be payment platforms capable of processing trillions of dollars daily, media companies who stream tens of millions of concurrent downloads during the World Cup or ecommerce platforms selling mobile devices on peak traffic days or during the critical first hour of an iPhone release — all use observability to prepare for their biggest days.

To create successful digital experiences and keep customers engaged, leading organisations are investing in observability tools which give them visibility across their technology stack, so they can not only improve the customer experience but also generate further revenue.

Data underpins business outcomes

Data is one the most valuable assets to any business, and more companies are looking at streamlining their operations and improving their customer offering by taking a strategic approach to their data. Banking is one industry that still has plenty of room for digital innovation, which makes capitalising on data key. Customers have increasingly gone online, which has created an opportunity in this shift. Consumer banks can use digital interactions to gather more customer data and apply real-time analytics to expand services and speed up processes.

Transitioning to automated, data-driven processes is the best way to not only cope with change but also take advantage of it. That’s the difference between revenue secured and revenue lost. It’s not just revenue lost, but revenue lost to a competitor.

Businesses must empower every engineer to do better work with data at every stage of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and encourage them to take responsibility for end-to-end business processes while improving business outcomes. The more complex the infrastructure, the more benefits observability brings: you can see what’s going on and you can fix things faster — including before they break.

The New Relic 2023 Observability Forecast report found that observability adoption is high and increasing. About two in five (41%) in New Zealand and just over a third in Australia (35%) had achieved full-stack observability. Nearly a third (29%) of Australian C-level executives said their organisation receives a total annual value of AU$1.5 million or more. This translates to lower outage costs, a higher annual return on investment and a positive effect on bottom lines.

Experience is everything

The instant gratification of digital platforms has heightened the significance of customer experience. Companies that place it at the forefront of their strategies are set up for success. Give customers a great experience and they’ll buy more, come back and share their experience with others.

As we enter 2024, the imperative of establishing truly seamless, personalised, predictive and proactive customer experiences is more important than ever. Ensuring functionality and a smooth process during an organisation’s biggest moments, like the latest iPhone or Samsung phone launch, the Melbourne Cup carnival or Black Friday sales, is most important.

If you think you’ll have plenty of time to get it right because you’re a beloved brand, think again. A recent study found that 80% of customers in Australia and New Zealand will switch businesses after poor experiences. These moments for some companies are their biggest single event days which brings new customers, new accounts and a heavier system load to their websites. Having observability can help to provide visibility into understanding, anticipation and exceeding customer expectations.

Companies can prepare for major shopping events like Black Friday by establishing alerts that mimic customer activity — surfacing issues that may arise as a result of a massive spike in shoppers. Setting up these simulations means retail businesses are prepared and can maximise revenue.

Weathering the storm with observability

Reflecting on research and dozens of conversations with customers and partners, it’s clear that companies are likely to remain more cautious when it comes to spending this year. The pendulum has come back to cost reduction and spending is being shifted to technologies that enable automation and efficiency to drive growth at scale.

It is more important than ever for business and technology leadership teams to deliver service uptime and performance, scale, efficiencies, speed and agility. Observability has now become a solid aspect of modern IT rather than a fad, as organisations are realising it’s crucial to business revenue. The business value delivered by a comprehensive, real-time, full-stack view of service performance cannot be understated. Improving business results through better and more reliable application performance is a core foundation for modern development and operations teams. To stay competitive in a fast-paced and continuously evolving market, complete and comprehensive observability across the entire enterprise is essential.

Image credit: iStock.com/Thitima Uthaiburom

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