Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 21 April 2022
Regional Vice President & General Manager, Asia at Cisco AppDynamics
AppDynamics has recently launched a new study based on a global survey of 1,200 IT professionals. Including respondents from APAC markets like Singapore, Japan, India and Australia, the research reveals the progress that IT teams have made with full-stack observability solutions.
But while organizations in financial services have readily embraced a variety of new solutions (with more than half already starting their journey to full-stack observability), challenges abound with increasingly data fragmentation and sources to manage. With 2022 set to be a pivotal year for businesses to bounce back and head towards growth, what should technologists prioritize in the year ahead?
Business Solutions That Are Gaining Popularity In Recent Years
The financial services sector has seen two years of relentless, rapid digital transformation in response to the pandemic. Banks, investment companies, mortgage providers and many types of organisations from across the sector have had to adjust their business operations to meet huge fluctuations in customer and business needs. As a result, technologists in financial services now recognise the need to monitor and optimise availability and performance across their increasingly fragmented and complex technology landscape. Therefore, they are looking for solutions which will give them full visibility into legacy on-premise architecture alongside cloud native environments, including the expanding deployment of microservices and container-based application services.
This is why full-stack observability has now become a major priority for organisations all over the world. Full-stack observability enables IT operations, development, and networking teams to quickly and easily identify anomalies, understand root causes through dependency analysis, and resolve critical issues before they impact customers and employees.
And promisingly, financial institutions are very much enthusiastic when it comes to full-stack observability. The Cisco AppDynamics report – The Journey to Observability – showed that more than half have already started their transition to full-stack observability. And a further 33% are planning to do so in the next 12 months. That means that 87% of financial services institutions will be somewhere along their journey to full-stack observability in the coming year.
Some Challenges In Implementing These Solutions
While the progress that financial institutions have made is impressive, they’re aware that there’s still a long way to go. The transition to full-stack observability is a complex, dynamic, multi-stage journey that takes time and requires considerable technical, cultural, and structural change. As you would expect in such a fast-emerging area of technology, most organisations are in an early adoption and maturity stage.
Financial services technologists have identified integration challenges (46%) and implementation issues (37%) as the biggest problems to overcome on their journey to full-stack observability. There are also understandable concerns over the difficulty in proving return on investment (ROI) and building a strong business case within the organisation for 35% of them. Additionally, the lack of skills will also be one of the biggest barriers for organisations moving away from traditional silo-based monitoring solutions towards full-stack observability platforms. Implementing an enterprise-wide comprehensive full-stack observability platform is a transformational journey, technologists are well aware that it will require unlearning of some old skills, learning some new skills, processes, and most importantly change in the thinking.
What Technologists Need To Prioritise In The Year Ahead
Our research shows that financial services technologists are clear on where they need to focus their efforts in order to hit their goals over the next 12 months and recognise there is more work to be done to deploy full-stack observability across their organisation. Indeed, 79% agree that those who fail to make significant strides in their full-stack observability journey this year will face a competitive disadvantage when compared to their peers.
So, they know they need innovative strategies to attract high quality talent against fierce competition, and to rapidly upskill existing team members to be able to visualise and optimise performance of microservices, container-based and serverless environments. Alongside skills, they also point to the importance of having a clearly defined strategy and plan in place. Most organisations already have a strategy for full-stack observability, but our report highlights the need to continually review and revise this in-line with changing business requirements and support the emergence of new environments and tools across the tech stack.
Another priority for technologists, is ensuring that their organisation is working with the right technology partner – who can deliver a true end-to-end platform that combines the goodness of application monitoring, run-time security analysis, active workload optimisation and financial cloud cost optimisation. Beyond technology implementation, technologists will need partners who can help them drive through the cultural and operational changes that are required to maximise the benefits of full-stack observability.
With these solutions and challenges in mind, organizations can form the necessary strategies and plan that is most in line with their mission and vision to have a successful bounce back in 2022. Although technologists are clear on what they need to prioritise, finding the right partners is not an easy feat. With this in mind, organizations can look forward to a wonderful business year as long as they take the necessary precautions when overcoming challenges or planning ahead for potential challenges as well as keeping up to date with popular business solutions.