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Using modern observability to chart a course to successful digital transformation

As organizations strive to digitally transform, innovate, and grow in today’s fast-paced environment, they have increasingly turned to cloud technologies to enable business goals. Yet, as organizations embark on a cloud migration journey, they face overwhelming cloud complexity and an explosion of data to manage. And although technology has become more central to their business strategies, they are juggling many priorities in digital transformation.

“Every company is becoming a software company,” said Dynatrace Chief Marketing Officer Mike Maciag, during a Perform 2023 conference keynote on the role of observability in driving enterprise success. “The challenges brought by digital transformation are larger than ever.”

Maciag shared the stage with Dynatrace Chief Product Officer Steve Tack to outline how Dynatrace’s unique take on cloud observability helps customers navigate the challenges of digital transformation.

Observability industry themes to watch

Perhaps the most significant industry trend is the shift from traditional, on-premises environments to multicloud or cloud-native architectures. The cloud boasts many benefits, such as increasing scalability, accelerating digital transformation, and reducing costs. Yet, as organizations embark on a cloud migration journey, they are confronted with overwhelming complexity and the proliferation of data.

To manage the onslaught of data while maintaining a secure environment, organizations require situational awareness: the understanding of what is occurring across their entire environment. They also need to eliminate data silos. As a result, teams are shifting away from data on glass and toward converging the needs of business, development, application security, and operations (BizDevSecOps) teams. Collaboration is key: BizDevSecOps delivery practices require shifting data insights left and right so pre-production and production teams can operate with shared knowledge of all environments in the software delivery lifecycle.

Answers and automation are essential for BizDevSecOps success. Data on glass is not scalable, especially given the increased scale and volume of data. Maciag cited a Dynatrace customer who observed that their ingestion rates and costs were linearly increasing, but the value and analytics their teams could extract were not correlating. A holistic, unified approach to extracting analytics at scale is necessary to keep pace with digital transformation.

Digital transformation powered by context and intelligence

These industry trends and the anticipation of customer needs and challenges drive innovation in the Dynatrace platform.

Maciag noted that the applications and microservices module offers best-in-class, full-stack application performance monitoring with distributed tracing and code-level detail at the core. With the enhancements to Grail this year, organizations can now achieve unified log analytics and distributed tracing to achieve frictionless performance and user experience.

“We’re taking the Dynatrace approach of not just exposing the information, but [also] embedding expertise into it,” Tack said. “From using Dynatrace on Dynatrace, [we learned how] to find the spots where we need to bring the collective intelligence to the surface and provide unified analysis across different areas.”

The infrastructure monitoring module provides complete situational awareness across the entire enterprise. Siloed, cobbled-together approaches to infrastructure monitoring cannot handle the massive volumes of data in a cloud-based environment. Automation and intelligence are necessary for organizations to extract value from data and gain a comprehensive understanding of their environment.

A holistic understanding is critical to digital transformation because the back end often affects the front end. The digital experience monitoring (DEM) module enables organizations to gain insights about the performance of their customer-facing applications to ensure frictionless user experiences.

“Advanced DEM reflects our belief that the end user is essential to understanding how your enterprise is functioning,” Maciag said. “In a declining world of attention spans, if we don’t address [DEM] as a great user experience, competition will.”

Finally, observability and security are converging. Especially in wake of Log4Shell, organizations can no longer bear the burden of zero-day vulnerabilities. The application security module embraces a “shift left” mindset, bringing application security testing earlier into the development cycle. It also shifts right to provide runtime security testing against zero-day attacks. With runtime vulnerability detection and blocking, teams are aware of vulnerabilities before problems occur, preventing attacks from affecting end users.

Answers and automation at scale

“All of this ties to a Dynatrace core belief,” Maciag said. “It’s not just about collecting data or where it’s processed, [but] it’s taking that data and adding context to it so we can deliver answers and automation at scale.”

With these insights on their digital transformation journey, teams have more free time for higher-value activities like delivering innovation and achieving bottom-line business goals.

“Though every module of the Dynatrace platform is best-in-class,” Maciag said, “the exponential value is realized when it’s all used together: leveraging a unified platform for intelligent automation and precise answers.”

To explore more of the themes of this year’s Dynatrace Perform 2023 conference, check out our guide.