5 Ways Observability Improves Your Cloud Center of Excellence

5 min read

When was the last time you filed something in a filing cabinet?

There’s a good chance your customers don’t remember the days of those things, either. Filing cabinets, along with other legacy systems, are rapidly vanishing from the office. In their place, cloud applications have exploded. Some 85% of businesses use the cloud to handle some or all of their most critical business operations.

The cloud has changed the way we think about and do business. Yet, even as the cloud solves many problems associated with legacy systems, it creates new ones. Chief among those challenges include attaining the observability into your cloud ecosystem that you need to manage it correctly.

Here’s what observability means to your cloud center of excellence, and five ways it improves your ability to meet the expectations of your customers.

A cloud center of excellence (CCOE) refers to the team charged with developing and implementing cloud solutions in your organization. They’re the ones who make sure the business has what it needs to take advantage of the power of the cloud. Having a CCOE is considered a best practice because it can drive operational efficiency while creating a fundamental shift in your IT culture.

However, operational efficiency starts with observability. Therefore, your CCOE must have the tools it needs to obtain visibility into your cloud infrastructure. With observability, your CCOE can:

1. Keep infrastructure streamlined

Cloud adoption often represents an attractive alternative to on-premises systems because it offers the ability to attain computing power at a fraction of the cost. However, what many businesses underestimate is how difficult and expensive it can be to fine-tune cloud services to their unique needs.

In short, with cloud infrastructure, it’s easy to end up with bloat. Whether it’s poorly configured autoscaling or instances that get deployed and forgotten about to unknown features of an ecosystem, cloud infrastructure can easily get unruly.

An observability platform addresses these problems and more. With it, a CCOE can:

  • Discover unused or unknown services or resources, then remove them.
  • Make sure the current infrastructure is adequate for the company.
  • Find bottlenecks in operations or resources, then correct them.

2. Identify problems before they can cause disruption

When errors appear, time is of the essence. Every moment represents another opportunity for disruption to magnify, costing the company dollars and consumer trust.

The complexity of most cloud ecosystems means that plenty of opportunities exist for problems and errors to creep into the equation. When unchecked—or worse, undiscovered—they can quickly bring a company’s operations to a standstill.

Unfortunately, the lack of visibility and observability in most cloud systems means that an IT team may have to dig to uncover the root cause of an error. While they’re busy looking at logs, problems multiply in the pipeline.

An observability platform remedies these challenges:

  • Real-time insights and app monitoring. Application monitoring can show your team exactly where things are going wrong—or help them predict where they might.
  • Comprehensive alerts and tracking. Comprehensive alerts mean that nothing gets missed as the business keeps moving.
  • Intuitive interface with accessible details. See what you need at a glance, with the option to zoom in or out as necessary.

3. Achieve closer adherence to compliance requirements

Compliance with the cloud can be tricky, especially when it’s a public one. Certain industries, such as healthcare and finance, have strict requirements for the way data is transmitted, stored, and managed. Failure to follow these regulations can lead to loss of customer trust, fines, or even a data breach.

Increased observability into a cloud ecosystem improves a company’s ability to adhere to regulatory compliance requirements. For example, it allows the team to:

  • Ensure accounts are configured correctly
  • Standardize processes and security best practices
  • Perform regular audits on data storage or account permissions
  • Review what data can stored in the cloud and assess potential risks

4. Develop deeper operational insights (with the right data)

Data drives business decisions. That means the quality of a company’s data directly affects the quality of the decisions they make. Bad data means bad decisions.

However, even good data can lead to bad decisions when it’s the wrong data for a situation. The same thing may happen if a company has access to too much data and no way to synthesize it into a coherent strategy. In both cases, the company may flounder in the face of opportunity simply because it cannot discern what to do.

That’s where the value of increased observability really shines. Mature observability means not just visibility into a system, but also:

  • Knowing which metrics to look at in any given circumstance
  • Having the ability to structure data into useful forms
  • Eliminating information silos that may restrict decision-making
  • Visualizing relationships between operations, customers, markets, and other actors

5. Leverage automation with confidence

The cloud thrives on automation, and that’s even more true when considering cloud native architecture. With automation, cloud infrastructure can scale up and down on-demand and allocate resources as necessary. It can even configure new accounts to save time and energy for the humans guiding the ecosystem. 

However, automation also means even more reduced visibility. After all, what’s out of sight is also out of mind.

In contrast, increased observability can help a CCOE team leverage automation to its fullest. Rather than setting it and forgetting it, observability assists the deployment of automation by making it easier to:

  • Analyze performance and adjust automated processes as necessary
  • Identify new ways to apply automation
  • Manage processes from a central interface

Empower your cloud center of excellence with New Relic

The cloud is a powerful tool, but your team needs visibility to adequately manage it. With a solid observability platform, your team is empowered to envision and govern the architecture that keeps your business nimble, reliable, and able to scale on demand.