Observability is front of mind for devs right now

Fuelled by an acceleration to digital in response to the pandemic, organizations of every size are increasingly relying on their software and apps to deliver quality experiences to their customers, partners, and employees. 

But as your tech stack grows, so does the potential for bugs and issues. And that’s why true software observability is mission-critical to every modern business.

We'll get into the nitty-gritty of why observability is the watchword for developers and engineers in 2022 in a second, but before we do, why not give our On-Demand platform a try for free. You'll see just how easy it is to bring testing and debugging into your observable software universe. 

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What is observability in software testing?

Software observability is a process that allows you to see what’s happening across your entire stack all of the time so you can pinpoint issues across your software, often from a single application.

With eyes over all telemetry - events, metrics, logs, and traces - you can plan, build, deploy, and run great software that delivers exceptional digital experiences. 

The truth is that these days, monitoring is not enough. It only looks at areas that you think are likely to misbehave, leaving the rest of your stack exposed. Observability goes way beyond that, allowing you to see how, why, and where an application is malfunctioning. As soon as an issue arises, it’s instantly noticeable, so you can spend your time on bug fixing rather than bug detection. 

What are the benefits of total observability?

IT leaders and engineers are under more pressure than ever before to ship new features faster and resolve issues before they impact customers. To deliver quality digital experiences, you need to provide a faultless service to all of your customers, not just most of them, and that’s why observability is becoming key to planning, building, deploying, and running your software. 

But don’t just take our word for it. According to the Observability Forecast from the platform New Relic, observability is now ‘mission-critical’. 90% of IT leaders and engineers have said that observability is important and strategic to their business, while 91% of IT decision-makers believe that observability is critical at every stage of the software cycle. 

So why is observability being touted as the answer to every IT organization’s debugging problems? Well, there are some pretty compelling benefits.

1. Observability delivers a clear and positive business impact

The respondents to the New Relic survey cite a range of clear and positive business benefits of implementing observability, from faster development speed and agility (27%) to better user experiences (23%), and improved productivity and employee morale (22%). Another important benefit is that software observability can increase the speed of innovation and lead to accelerated delivery to market (21%).

2. There are lots of use cases 

Another benefit of software observability is just how widely it can be used across the entire software cycle to help businesses achieve their goals. Observability is being used globally to support digital transformation efforts (42%), optimize cloud usage and spend (37%), support an organizational IT move to DevOps (36%), and increase the speed to market for new products (36%). It is also proving to be a valuable tool in helping businesses minimize the risks of migrating core legacy applications to the cloud (35%).  

3. It can be used at every stage of the software cycle

More than eight-in-ten IT decision-makers think that observability is either very important or extremely important at every stage of the software cycle (plan, build, deploy, and operate). However, they think it’s most important to the planning (91%) and operating (86%) phases.  

4. Early adopters can gain a competitive advantage

As things stand, organizations see the value of software observability but many have been slow to implement it. This is particularly true of end-to-end observability with full-stack analysis and all of the data in a single platform. That means there’s a tremendous opportunity to get ahead of the competition for those who move first. 

Although 97% of UK engineers and IT professionals are aware of observability, only 26% of organizations have an established observability practice, with 53% of those able to monitor all parts of their stack. Just 18% of organizations currently discover incidents through a single observability platform, while 43% unify all of their data in one place.   

Observability in 2022, where’s it headed?

If you want to go into 2022 with a tech stack that’s bug-free for all of your users, then it’s time to aggregate your monitoring logs and debugging information with a single, unified observability platform. That will give you an overarching view of everything. But there are also a few changes to the observability landscape that you should look out for in 2022 and beyond.

Here are three emerging observability trends:

  • On-demand, usage-based pricing - Modern observability tools are increasingly shifting from subscription pricing structures that limit visibility to usage-based models that allow organizations to only pay for what they use. That allows engineers to gain a comprehensive picture of their operations without paying over the odds.

  • The emergence of a culture of collaboration across software engineering - Observability platforms can enable collaboration on code directly within the developer environment. That opens the door for questions to be asked, potential errors to be highlighted, and a culture of collaboration to flourish. The result will be stronger teams, better monitoring, and enhanced incident protection across the software cycle.

  • Tool consolidation will improve efficiency and cost - To date, engineering teams have had to adopt many open source and proprietary tools to keep up with IT complexity. According to the New Relic report, 72% of engineering teams have to toggle between two or more tools, while 13% use more than 10 to monitor the health of their systems. Observability will allow IT decision-makers to consolidate their existing toolset so they can save time, increase efficiency, and lower costs. 

Seize the power of observability

It’s clear that modern debugging requires modern methods and tools, and monitoring is no longer enough. Harnessing the power of observability as a data-driven, daily practice for engineers at every stage of the software cycle can help you pinpoint issues across your software so you can deliver exceptional digital experiences. 

Software developer Cindy Sridharan wrote in her book Distributed Systems Observability, “it’s not about logs, metrics, or traces, but about being data-driven during debugging and using the feedback to iterate on and improve the product.”

Global App Testing’s On Demand platform lets you launch tests and receive detailed bug reports from within the tools you know and love (like Jira, GitHub, and TestRail), so you can receive detailed bug reports in your workflow. That makes for faster, easier testing and better software in the long run.

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