Why Observability-Driven Development Is Key to the Success of Modern Software Development Initiatives




Wissen Team


July 6, 2023

Modern digital systems are often evaluated for their ability to accommodate scale dynamically and be resilient throughout operations to ensure that the end-user experience is always superior. However, the amount of toil that engineers, QAs, and DevOps teams take to ensure this seamless performance is often unimaginable. They need a solution that goes beyond basic monitoring to assure uninterrupted resilience to any change thrown at them. This is where observability-driven development is key to the success of modern software development initiatives.

What Is Observability-Driven Development?

In simple terms, observability refers to the extent to which your workforce can understand the behavior of your system based on its actual business performance. In other words, observability focuses on the real-time performance of the system and helps in identifying any issues in normal behavior. In modern cloud-based distributed digital applications, observability takes a deeper meaning. It involves analyzing a continuous stream of performance data from the system in its natural operating environment with all dependent components to gauge any drop in behavior and subsequently track it to the root cause.

Let us look at five reasons why observability-driven development is key to the success of modern software development initiatives:

Get To Know the Unknown

Traditional application performance monitoring approaches help enterprises keep track of problems that may arise in their operation. But this is severely limited to those issues that are known in advance. In other words, monitoring approaches are good for identifying problems and their root causes based on a repository of similarly documented problems in the past. What if there are issues in your software that have never been encountered before?

Every application we build today has its own unique operational and transactional characteristics, which may produce different behavior according to different conditions. Hence, the chances of unknown issues occurring during operations are higher. This is where observability becomes important, as it allows engineers to identify issues that they never intended to look for. By tracing the linkage of the issue to any operational behavior, observability allows the development team to identify the root cause easily.

Autonomous Remediation

We now know that observability helps uncover the root cause of issues that may be known or unknown to engineers. Using this ability, it becomes easier to automate responses to identified problems. This requires advanced integration of principles like AIOps and MLOps in the development stream. And this results in improved agility, lower downtime and outages, and above all, valuable time for DevOps engineers as well as other core IT resources.

Early Rectification of Issues

Catching defects or issues early will ensure that any harm done will be negligible or minimal. With observability, engineering and DevOps teams get to work like a shift-left strategy of testing wherein defective behavior is detected very early in the development stage itself. This ensures that end-user experience is never disrupted by code errors or bugs as they would be autonomously rectified before it gets to deployment in the live environment.

Better Business-Technology Alignment

Observability ensures that the functional objectives of software applications are tracked regularly for any potential deviation in their behavior. The remedial measures driven autonomously post the identification of an issue are also evaluated against the functional performance of the system to check for the quality of resolution.

In short, observability brings an alignment for the technology team with the business objectives of the company. They get more clarity on how their actions contribute to experiences delivered to customers which in turn are monetized by the business. It allows everyone to work at the same pace with shared goals and objectives.

Improved Productivity

Better automation, earlier visibility into errors or issues, and better insights about business-linked objectives ensure that workforce productivity is boosted when enterprises follow an observability-driven strategy for software development. Observability also guarantees seamless collaboration between development and operations teams that ultimately improves the efficiency of the workforce. This allows multiple teams to work effectively in parallel, thereby empowering the business to launch new software faster and with fewer issues.

Summing Up

Observability-driven development of software brings an additional layer of assurance for modern technology teams. It instills a sense of ownership for the business’s performance in every team member of the technology team and aids in empowering each through automation and tools to achieve their individual goals.

In modern agile businesses, ensuring the availability and performance of digital assets are key to winning long-term business prospects. Observability helps businesses realize these traits through integrated technology solutions. Get in touch with us to know more about leveraging maximum ROI from your software development initiatives through trusted concepts like observability.