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DynatraceGo! APAC 2021: Lessons in thick data and keeping pace with the market

Yesterday was a big moment for me. I’ve led exceptional teams here at Dynatrace for almost three years, and today was the moment I saw all of our hard work, teamwork, and customer obsession come together; at DynatraceGo! It underlined my absolute conviction that the Dynatrace community, which we call our village, is a highly connected place.

Why do I think that? Because here is a group of people who thrive on discovering new things, transforming workplaces, and innovating in the true sense of the word, every single day. Our teams have unlocked the secret of digital transformation, and are super excited to share their discoveries with other villagers. And, they got the chance to do just that at our recent event, DynatraceGo!, which I’ll tell you a bit more about in this blog.

What is DynatraceGo! APAC?

DynatraceGo! is Dynatrace’s regional roadshow that gives APAC’s leading CIOs, CDOs, Cloud Architects, IT Operations, DevOps, SRE, and AIOps professionals access to live keynotes and breakout learning sessions with local technical experts to accelerate their digital transformation. This year’s conference agenda was packed full of choices, including:

  • Keynotes: Topics included accelerating digital transformation, with Dynatrace CIO Mike Maciag, and Spatial Collapse: The Great Acceleration of Turning Data Into an Asset, with Tricia Wang from Sudden Compass
  • Customer Panel joined by CIO’s from digital pioneers BPAY, Kiwibank, and Allianz Malaysia
  • Breakout Sessions on Scaling DevOps and SRE, Simplifying Kubernetes, Accelerating Cloud Native Innovation, and Delivering Perfect Experiences with Full Stack Observability
  • Learning Lounge where Dynatrace experts laid themselves open to all and any questions via live chat from attendees

Here is what that looks like:
DynatraceGo! APAC 2021: Lessons in thick data and keeping pace with the market

So much going on, I’ll think you’ll agree. So I wanted to unpack some of the key takeaways for you. These are the points that resonated deeply with me:


I had the privilege of setting everyone up for the day alongside my co-host Carrie Mott, Head of Marketing and Business Development for APAC. We discussed the incredible shift from businesses getting their applications into the cloud, to asking themselves how can I do more than just make them work? How can I make them better? And that’s what brought about a surge of interest in automatic and intelligent observability.

Intelligent Observability includes the ability to not only monitor applications but gain actionable insights that can be used to transform services and create great customer experiences.

Carrie called out how at Dynatrace we know it takes a village to achieve the extraordinary, from innovating reliable digital services at speed to learning how to adapt and thrive while managing our increasingly complex, dynamic technology environments.

Carrie also promised us an awesome lineup of speakers. She wasn’t wrong.

DynatraceGo! APAC 2021: Lessons in thick data and keeping pace with the market

CIO Customer Panel

We knew that by bringing Allianz, Kiwibank, and BPAY together, we were going to have our thoughts challenged. And they were.

“What we forget is that we are customers too!”

Vikash Chhaganlal, GM of Engineering and Infrastructure at Kiwibank said it. And he’s 100% right. The experiences we would like to have ourselves are the same ones our customers want. Having “deep empathy” for our customers is important, as Vikash noted. It requires more than monitoring to check if the services you’re delivering are operational, it also requires deeply understanding how and when those services are being consumed and the ability to take insightful actions to improve them.

DynatraceGo! APAC 2021: Lessons in thick data and keeping pace with the market

Angela Donohoe, CIO of BPAY shared her two top priorities were to maintain quality services and to keep pace with changing market expectations. In fact, Angela’s observations echoed the findings of Dynatrace’s recent Global CIO Report for Financial Services, which outlined an urgent need for financial services organizations to accelerate their digital transformation to pivot to market demand. BPAY is in the midst of its digital transformation journey in which it is discovering the critical importance of developing “contemporary ways of designing, operating, and using” its software.

DynatraceGo! APAC 2021: Lessons in thick data and keeping pace with the market

Angela also spoke about customer obsession, one of our favorite topics here at Dynatrace. To be customer-obsessed and to keep pace with the market, BPAY has decided to API-enable all of its core services and increase service transparency. The key driver for this action is to expose a view of current service availability to BPAY customers, drawing on Dynatrace insights. I find that level of accountability for customer experience exciting!

Yorck Reuber Chief Information Technology Officer at Allianz Malaysia made the good point that while we are thinking of the customer, we also need to prioritize security. These two are tied together, because as Yorck puts it,  “If we don’t keep our data secure, who would believe in us? And how fast would we be able to get products to market?”

Accelerating digital transformation with Dynatrace

Dynatrace CMO Mike Maciag talked about the dangers of “status quo” and failing to get where you need to go because of loyalty to legacy APM software, or hanging onto outdated processes. I’m a firm believer in putting a foot on the ladder. If you change nothing, nothing changes. On the other hand, every single step you take towards intelligently observing data across your organization brings increasingly greater rewards. Our maturity model neatly wraps up the whole concept of landing observability within your organization, and gradually expanding it to new areas in one diagram:

DynatraceGo! APAC 2021: Lessons in thick data and keeping pace with the market

Mike also raised the minefield of DIY data management, involving a heavy time and resource effort in trying to collect, store, massage, and clean data, then distribute it to teams at scale. It’s hard work, and it takes those organizations away from where they should be spending their time and money: in customer-focused innovation.

Spatial Collapse: The Great Acceleration of Turning Data into an Asset

We’ve all heard it: data is one of your biggest assets. Yet no one puts it quite as succinctly as our guest speaker @Tricia Wang from Sudden Compass. She’s quite clear about which kinds of data, though.

Sudden Compass is made up of strategists, product leaders, data analysts, and network-builders. They question everything and break down tightly held beliefs to reconnect companies with their customers.

DynatraceGo! APAC 2021: Lessons in thick data and keeping pace with the market

“Part of what a spatial collapse means is that we are spending more time online. In two-dimensional space and in digital space. People are expecting increased personalization and protection. However, if you increase personalization, you lose some protection,” Tricia explained, adding that the challenge for each organization is to find the right balance.

She dispelled the myth that more big data equals better decisions, higher profits, or more customers.

“Investing in data is easy but using it is really hard”

The fact is, data on its own isn’t meaningful. No matter how much you collect. Tricia quoted the statistic that companies typically use 3% of their data to inform decisions. What was even more thought-provoking was that big data is only valuable when it’s thick data. Thick data is data with insights and full context. Essentially Tricia was saying, don’t blindly believe what’s in front of you. Don’t act on the data alone, without context.

That speaks to me. It’s the reason we’ve built causation-based intelligence into Dynatrace, in our Davis AI engine. Because eyeball analytics is never going to get you to the answers you want or direct you to the actions you need.

As you can see, I was a big fan of this session. Not least because Tricia’s presentation had the most fun pictures of all of the sessions. A typing dog for one! (I won’t give any more away)

Nobody wraps up a day more articulately than Rafi Katanasho, CTO for Dynatrace APAC. He summed up his big takeaways for DevOps, AIOps, and Observability professionals as:

  1. Systems are getting more complex
  2. Customer centricity is key – it’s the route to new revenue streams
  3. Keeping pace with tech and time to market is critical.

Navigating these points says Rafi, depends on your ability to empower and enable your internal teams with high-quality insights.

If you weren’t able to join us for Dynatrace Go! APAC 2021 or want to share and digest these sessions with your broader team, there’s good news…all the sessions are available for on-demand viewing for the next 3 months.

I also encourage you to reach out to Carrie, Rafi, myself, or any of our Dynatrace APAC Village to learn how we can help you no matter what stage of maturity you are at in your journey to intelligent and automatic observability.