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Report: More Companies Failing to Achieve Observability

If you need any more proof that you need observability in your systems, look no further than last week’s large AWS outage. It took down many large websites, and was a great reminder that you need to know what your systems are doing at all times in order to be able to properly respond when things do go bad.

In a new report from observability company LogDNA, however, it appears that most companies aren’t quite there when it comes to having successful observability. The report, “The Observability Challenge,” revealed that 74% of companies struggle to achieve true observability.

This struggle is despite the fact that companies have been making huge investments into observability. According to the report, two-thirds of companies spend over $100,000 per year on observability tools, and 38% spend more than $300,000 per year.

LogDNA found that a lot of organizations surveyed had at least four or more observability tools, but more than half are unable to successfully implement those tools due to vendor lock-in.

Fewer than half of respondents are satisfied with their ability to conduct key observability activities, such as tracking performance and resources, informing product improvements, and identifying threats and anomalies. Survey respondents cited three key reasons for these frustrations. 67% find it difficult to collaborate across teams, 66% said tools are difficult to use, and 58% struggle to route security events.

“The Harris Poll found that the issues with cross-team collaboration appear to exist across organizations, with all levels of seniority, tenure, and company size consistently agreeing on this as a challenge,” said Tucker Callaway, CEO of LogDNA. “Development teams, IT operations, SRE, and security teams all need access to the same data, but they need it for different reasons, and routing that data to the right people at the right time is often cumbersome and expensive.”

It’s not all bad though; Despite the struggles to obtain true observability currently, 85% believe it is possible. LogDNA believes that in order to achieve true observability, improvements need to be made that will facilitate better cross-team collaboration.

“The Observability Challenge” was conducted by the Harris Poll and was based on responses from over 200 senior engineering professionals, according to LogDNA.