The software of your business – and its protection – is crucial if you want to succeed in the business landscape. Around the world, as many as 30,000 businesses are hacked every day, with 64% of companies also experiencing a form of cyber attack. When it comes to small companies, too, 60% go out of business within six months of being targeted by a hacker.
As system architecture increases in scale and complexity, however, it is becoming harder and harder for IT teams to keep track of every operation. Businesses can now exist in a multi-cloud environment which – although logical in terms of avoiding attacks – elevates the pressure on tracking and responding to any issues that take place. Businesses, therefore, have been searching for a single, good observability platform, allowing them to understand the internal states of their system with the ability to control unpredictability.
But what is observability, and why exactly is it crucial to your own business? In this article, we’ll take a look at the fundamentals of an observability platform, as well as the wide-ranging benefits for businesses operating in a diverse and complicated computing environment.
The first thing to understand is that observability doesn’t necessarily refer to technology. This is a practice that involves a specific set of processes and tools that give a strong insight into a system. In terms of IT infrastructure, observability can measure the current state of a computer system based on the data that is generated, as well as logs, metrics and traces.
The logs give knowledge on a sector of the codebase where a request was reached,as well as anything unusual in the processing of that request. They also capture attempts to access a codebase through the operating system itself. Metrics, on the other hand, provide measurements of the system’s characteristics, with traces providing visibility into code steps – for instance, demonstrating what service a request has negotiated before crashing.
It does this through telemetry, which is derived from the endpoints and services of the computing environment. Within these environments, there are records of activity across every hardware, software and open-source tool, and through measuring logs, metrics and traces, observability strives to shed light on these environments so that your company can detect and solve any issues that might arise due to their complexity.
The Benefits Of Observability Explained
Of course, there are many benefits to this. For one, if your IT team is in control of each environment – with the ability to resolve discrepancies – then it keeps the system efficient, fast and reliable. This will also keep your customers happy. Slow systems – even outside of a multi-cloud environment – are enormously detrimental to a company, especially if customers are not provided with confidence in its security.
This isn’t to say that problems won’t happen; observability – as mentioned previously – is not centred solely around technology, which means it won’t stop all the issues that might occur in a system. What it does, however, is speed up troubleshooting, reducing MTTA, MTTR and MTTI to ensure your systems are running smoothly. This, in turn, improves the end-user experience. Every business knows why customer satisfaction and loyalty are important, and this can be achieved in the software that you provide.
As well as this – and potentially most importantly – observability helps your company detect vulnerabilities in authentication, as well as access control vulnerability, external dependency vulnerability and brute force attacks. By detecting these, you can shield yourself from hackers before they have even managed to find a way in. Once again, with a multi-cloud system being far more “open” and complicated, it is technically harder to barricade every aspect. As mentioned before, a large percentage of businesses that have been attacked go out of business within six months – financially motivated attacks have increased by 686% over the last eight years. For this reason, your company needs this visibility to be proactive rather than reactive, protecting yourself from its vulnerabilities before it’s too late.
Lastly, it is important to be aware of which observability platform to use. For any distributed system – or hybrid cloud – the chances of being the target of a cyber attack are high, meaning you need an observability platform that is suited to the complex system and can generate as much observable data as possible.
As a company, you need to undertake as much research as possible to determine which platform is optimal for your specific system. A good way to tell if it’s right for you is by looking at the specific functions. For instance, it needs to be able to integrate all of your systems across each application stack, as well as capture real-time data and correlate them in a meaningful way.
It also needs to be cost-effective. One of the reasons observability is growing more popular is due to the costs it can reduce for a company – as well as the time it takes to get to market – so it is important that you factor in the cost of observability itself. Above all, however, it should aid users with a strong, easy-to-use and secure interface, ensuring the experience is as smooth and dependable as possible.