To keep customers coming back, businesses need to prioritize the customer experience – not just in physical stores but virtually and throughout the entire value chain. If a website fails to load, customers can easily take their business to another platform. A negative review about user experience can impact the reputation of the business, creating a ripple effect if not addressed quickly and adequately.

Cloud assurance teams have the herculean task of preventing these scenarios from playing out because they have the in-depth knowledge of the application stack and how it works with various businesses processes. And while monitoring technology has made their jobs easier, other advancements — including increased cloud adoption and the rise of hybrid cloud environments — have created new and more complex challenges.

Today’s customers have come to expect seamless user experiences. An IT pitfall such as an application or website being down for too long could severely impact sales and customer spend. Yet the various microservices of hybrid cloud environments can make identifying the root cause of an issue extremely challenging. It’s no longer enough for teams to know an issue has occurred. To deliver quality service and remain competitive, companies need to quickly identify the cause and implement the right solution, whether the issue resides in their on-premises or cloud environments.

Central to this shift from being reactive to proactive is a focus on observability in production environments.

Observability Is Key

Traditional monitoring focuses on a single element in the vast system of an organization. One program might monitor servers or virtual machines, while another monitors applications, and still another monitors business transactions. This siloed approach presents an incomplete picture of incidents that can delay resolutions. Does an application crash affect only the end user? Or, does the issue also involve back-end operations and a third party? The effects might span multiple areas of the business, but teams need to quickly identify the root cause.

By shifting the focus to business processes rather than single elements, observability connects the dots between various applications and microservices.

Observability, on the other hand, approaches incidents from a customer-journey perspective, focusing on the business processes and the various IT components they cut across. By shifting the focus to business processes rather than single elements, observability connects the dots between various applications and microservices. A single business process might cut across 20 applications, 50 services and hundreds of servers. Observability provides a unified view of these various elements, making it easier for teams to see what’s happening, where it’s happening, and how to solve it.

In other words: with observability comes controllability.

Valuable Insights, Powerful Actions

Consider a typical eCommerce transaction. A customer places an order, which triggers actions from item allocation, the fulfillment center and dispatch, which involves associates scanning items and coordinating with trucks for shipment. If a business were monitoring all these operations in siloes, tracking incidents and coordinating responses would take too much time and shipments would be delayed left and right.

Observability services monitor all these operations and their corresponding endpoints simultaneously, collecting data and processing it to provide a holistic view of business operations. Traditional monitoring services might only show that response time for a website is taking longer than usual, or that virtual machines hosting order services are maxing out. Observability services can go a step further, connecting those incidents to an increase in check-out pages and delays in third-party tokenization. With these insights, solutions become clearer: If the team can filter only the customers at the check-out stage and direct them to the edge, they can divert all other traffic to the static shopping pages, relieving the bottleneck without disrupting the shopping experience.

Observability services take stock of the entire value chain, from servers and virtual machines to the scanners used by warehouse associates and the trucks used for distribution. They collect data throughout these elements, process it and present a single coherent picture of what’s happening throughout the business, enabling teams to make more informed and timely decisions based on those insights.  

Advanced data processing also allows cloud assurance and quality engineering (QE) teams to be more proactive. By integrating other technologies like AI and machine learning, teams can automate data analysis and pattern detection to anticipate incidents and prompt responses before they interrupt service.

Don’t Underestimate Brand Affinity

To make the most of these capabilities, businesses must develop the infrastructure to collect and process data and convert it into actions. Organizations often overlook this point, especially in the early stages of their cloud migrations and digital transformations. But doing so can cost the organization down the line — not just in missed opportunities, but also poor customer experience.

Observability and controllability help cloud assurance teams ensure business operations not only run smoothly but remain relevant by offering improved services and continuous tech iterations, improving the customer experience. Services can be automated to ensure regular updates and testing for an error-free product.

Keeping Customers

Technologies like cloud and automation can increase adaptability and enable new and improved ways of connecting with customers. But many digital transformations have been followed by a spike in cybercrime and service disruptions due to businesses moving too quickly and overlooking critical testing and quality engineering services, impacting the customer experience. Working with cloud assurance teams to make observability and controllability services an integral part of the transformation strategy can help ensure a more successful integration, strengthen operations, increase quality service, bolster the customer experience, and pave the way for greater returns on investment. 

About the Authors

Saket Bihari

Saket leads Wipro’s Observability practice as part of the Quality Engineering and Testing unit. He has more than 18 years of experience in non-functional quality-specifically performance engineering, chaos engineering and observability. He focuses on innovating and rolling out solutions for clients looking to improve business resiliency in their cloud journey. 

Rachna Trivedi

Rachna is a results-oriented, highly accomplished site reliability engineer (SRE) leader with over 18 years of experience in IT. She has consulted and implemented full stack observability, chaos engineering and site reliability engineering initiatives for clients across multiple domains including retail, banking, manufacturing and insurance.