For nearly two years, IT departments have been reacting to evolving business and customer needs. The challenge now is for businesses to deliver this pace of digital transformation on a sustainable basis. They need to move from the reactive mode that has plagued most IT departments and embed the processes and technologies to support digital transformation as a regular part of doing business.

To do this, full-stack observability – the ability to monitor the full IT estate, from customer-facing applications through to third party services and core infrastructure – will become one of the most critical priorities for IT leaders during 2022. These solutions will help them tackle heightened levels of complexity, and adopt a more proactive approach to technology innovation and performance.

As organizations shift towards cloud-native architecture to enhance the efficiency and productivity of their IT Ops teams, and embrace a hybrid cloud approach to allow dynamic and agile application development techniques; they will need new solutions to manage and optimize performance across their IT estate. This means moving beyond current application monitoring and implementing full-stack observability and application security across a cloud-native architecture.

For the channel, there is now a huge, largely untapped opportunity to support customers as they transition to full-stack observability, ensuring they have the technology platforms, processes, and skills in place to optimize their digital transformation efforts.

Helping enterprises to tackle overwhelming IT complexity

As anybody that works in the IT sector knows, technologists are feeling the effects of constant innovation and a dramatic shift towards cloud computing. IT departments find themselves struggling to manage a fragmented, sprawling IT environment, across a patchwork of legacy and cloud technologies. Many global technologists believe that the response to COVID-19 has created more IT complexity than they have ever experienced.

In response, IT departments have recognized the need to monitor the full IT landscape, from customer-facing applications through to core infrastructure such as network and security. But this enhanced monitoring has meant that technologists are now facing soaring volumes of data from up and down their IT stack, and this data noise is further adding to the complexity and pressure.

Unfortunately, many technologists find themselves without the tools they need to turn this mass of data into meaningful and actionable insights. Technologists are still relying on multiple, disconnected monitoring solutions, and this is making their day-to-day operations extremely challenging, if not impossible.

The consequences of this situation are severe – an inability to maximize the benefits of digital transformation investment and the very real and persistent worry that an IT performance issue could escalate into something incredibly damaging.

Exploiting the full-stack observability opportunity 

While technologists understand the need for unified visibility, most report at least one barrier that they need to address in their organization in order to adopt full-stack observability and link this to business outcomes. These include concerns around technology integration and implementation, scalability, and how to go about building a business case to prove ROI.

This is where channel partners play a vital role in easing the pressure on technologists during this challenging period. They also need to provide them with the support and information they need to build a business case and execute against a strategic implementation program.

Across all industries, partners are already accelerating the move into hybrid IT environments, while focusing on recurring revenue, OPEX, and SaaS. They now need to demonstrate to customers how full-stack observability, cloud-native architecture, and application security underpin this strategic shift.

Partners have a unique ability to look across the four areas of IT operations – AppOps and DevOps, NetOps, InfraOps, and SecOps – and to take a holistic view on technology performance and optimization. They can help clients to identify key use cases at an early stage and work with them to achieve their transformation goals.

The opportunity for partners to take an existing application performance monitoring practice and extend this into a much larger, higher value full-stack observability practice is vast. And those that are able to make this shift in the next 12 months will effectively establish a new, largely uncontested market space where they can create and capture new demand.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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Mark Maslach
Mark Maslach is Vice President of Worldwide Channels and Strategic Alliances at AppDynamics, part of Cisco. Mark has been with Cisco for over 22 years, holding leadership roles across Channels, Sales, and Product Management. He is focused on helping partners gain market share while producing amazing customer experiences.