IT Operations

Innovation Insignt by Gartner

Observability is the evolution of monitoring into a process that offers insight into digital business applications, speeds innovation and enhances customer experience. I&O leaders should use observability to extend current monitoring capabilities, processes and culture to
deliver these benefits.


Key findings:

  • Many vendors are using the term “observability” to differentiate their products. However, little consensus exists on the definition of observability and the benefits it provides, leading to confusion among I&O leaders purchasing tools.
  • Distributed system architectures increase the need for observability because such architectures can fail due to interaction between multiple systems.
  • With DevOps, observability provides a common data model between software development and operations engineers to interpret system state and behavior.
  • The volume of data aggregated by tools can be immense, making it difficult for I&O leaders to understand the data without the aid of artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps)


I&O leaders focused on infrastructure, operations and cloud management should:

  • Enable observability by selecting vendors and systems that utilize emerging open standards for collection, such as OpenTelemetry and OpenMetrics.
  • Investigate problems that cannot be framed by traditional monitoring by using observability to create time and site reliability engineer (SRE) error budgeting, adding flexibility to incident investigations.
  • Apply pragmatic observability to digital business, focusing on the business benefits it can deliver, by using AIOps to analyze the relationships detected across the datasets generated by multiple monitoring tools.
  • Increase application uptime by designing observability directly into the application and its supporting infrastructure.


By 2024, 30% of enterprises implementing distributed system architectures will have adopted observability techniques to improve digital business service performance, up from less than 10% in 2020.

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