As an IT Production Manager, you should know everything going on across your technology landscape at any given moment in time?
Ok…let’s test this out.
How confident are you, using a scale of 1-10 (1 being not confident in any way shape or form and 10 being super confident) that in the last 24 hours;
- All apps across your IT environment processed everything correctly?
- If something had gone wrong you would have been notified and been able to take clear action to resolve the issue?
- That, in fact, everything processed so well, you have the capacity for even more? Maybe even double the volume?
If you’ve been nodding your head and scoring double figures across the board, your work here is complete.
But, if like many of your peers out there, instead of exuding confidence you find yourself nervously waiting on the next big thing to go wrong. Where managing to get through the day incident free feels more down to luck than judgement. And, closing your laptop brings with it a sense of relief rather than the feeling of a job well done.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can help you break this cycle of negative thinking into positive action for success. So, what’s the answer, I hear you say?
As an IT Production Manager, embracing a culture of Observability will give you a front-row seat view across your entire technology landscape. Enabling you to keep your finger on the pulse at all times. And, should anything go wrong, Observability will ensure you know about it well before it becomes a problem. Ready to get started?
Here are some of our top tips for Observability success:
1. Start with the right problems, not the right tools
When it comes to Observability, most people want to explore all the great tools there are on the market. But, by doing this you are limiting your potential from the outset. You will waste a lot of time analysing all the shiny tools out there without fully understanding your requirements and what tool will be right for your needs.
Inevitably it will lead you to look through the lens of the problems the particular tool has been built to solve, not your problems. There are some really powerful Observability tools on the market but many may be completely irrelevant for your needs. Or even worse you could end up with multiple Observability tools to serve the same needs adding to the complexity of your IT environment — instead of helping to simplify it.
The best place to start is to think about what you are trying to achieve? What’s the business objectives or outcomes you are striving for? And, what data will you need to observe to make sure your technology is meeting those objectives?
You may have 20 different sources of data in 20 different formats, you may want to be able to consume that data somewhere centrally and analyze it. Once you know exactly what you need, you can start exploring the best tool to meet those needs.
2. Align your technology operations with your business outcomes
Achieving success with Observability is close to impossible if your technology is not in sync with the outcomes you are trying to achieve as a business. Just like a watermelon, everything on the outside is green, but on the inside, it’s a completely different picture.
When it comes to your IT landscape you may be overlooking things that are really important to your business. The reality is, if you don’t understand what your technology is there to do or what business outcomes it is there to achieve, how can you ever be sure or confident that it’s working effectively?
3. Keep the bigger picture view in mind
For Observability to work, you need to look at multiple data dimensions – never just one element in isolation. With an effective Observability platform, you can start to bring in other data and observable information around a specific application. You can examine your critical processes and the health of your environment, as well as your business processing, and the quality around your exception reporting. So that if an exception occurs (an issue that is not known and unexpected) you know what to do and what action to take to resolve it.
Observability is not about examining one piece of the puzzle. It’s not just about your business processing, your capacity, your ability to affirm, your exceptions, it’s about looking across all these elements and more — the complete picture. So, if you really want to build a solid observability solution, you’ve got to think across multiple dimensions.
When you have an issue, this means you can correlate events at one layer with a symptom seen at another layer. If you don’t have that complete picture, you’ll end up spending a lot of time trying to figure out what has gone wrong before you can even start to think about what you need to do to resolve it.
4. Remember it’s going to be hard before it gets easier
The truth is doing IT Observability well is hard. It’s complicated. It involves working with lots of unstructured data and you are going to have to work through it all to make sense of it. But once you get over those early hurdles it becomes much more straightforward. But, you have to be willing to dig deep and ride the storm at the start to reap the benefits in the long term.
Your team might be great at looking for errors. But, if they are not looking across the affirmation data or business processes data, they will not benefit from the full range of business intelligence available to them. If you want proper observability on your systems, you need the business, technical affirmation data, capacity information, technical error and exception reporting data, all in one place. Then and only then will you know what you are processing and that everything is working correctly.
Systems are becoming more and more complex, there are many moving pieces to manage and all of those moving pieces generate data. To succeed with Observability you will have to be willing to invest time up-front, to consider your whole technology landscape end to end.
5. Every team plays a part in achieving success
Some think of IT Production as the main beneficiary of Observability — the reality is many teams can benefit. Development can deliver better code and functionality because they know what’s going on with their applications and businesses can seek more opportunities knowing the capacity the applications have to process.
Observability is not just there to solve production-related issues. To be successful, it requires close alignment across multiple different teams in your organisation, and at the very least between production and development. To work effectively it has to be viewed as both a technology and business challenge.
Ready to get started?
To achieve success with Observability start by asking yourself the right questions about what your business needs and why. With the right data, you can start to have confidence in what you are doing and why you are doing it from the right sources. You will know what is going on across your IT landscape and you will be able to affirm with confidence that you are meeting the requirements you set out to meet.
As an IT Production Manager, this newfound confidence will not end there. You will know that when things do go wrong, you will be able to get to the root of the problem fast and have a plan in place to resolve it. But, most important of all, you will be able to conquer your fear of failure, so you can focus on achieving positive outcomes for your business, and close your laptop with a smile.
Struggling to get ahead with Observability? We can help!