Sunday, July 3, 2022

Seeing is believing: visibility is key in the cloud era

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“I can remember the time when everything was hosted internally and third-party components were installed on our servers, and now that has completely changed,” says Ravindran. “You have these APIs running everywhere for every aspect of the solution stack, so it’s becoming more and more complex to manage these days. Everything is now connected to everything.”

But without visibility, companies cannot fully control their cloud applications, adapt to performance issues, and collect information about how users interact with the application.

Hard to see: the user experience

As companies move more of their business infrastructure online, the user experience, whether an employee or a customer, has become the most important measure of performance. When an application runs on a company-owned device, the system has full visibility into its performance and interactions with users. But cloud applications have many components that are not under an organization’s control and may not provide an easy way to collect performance data and information about interactions. “The software supply chain that powers applications is likely to rely more and more on third-party code and services in the future,” said Vishal Chawla, a principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Source: MIT Technology Review Insights

“You can monitor a lot of things, but the most relevant thing to monitor is to find out what’s going on,” Chawla says. There are many technologies that can help people untangle the clutter: application performance monitoring, for example, and CASBs, or cloud access security brokers,” but the question is do you have an end-to-end strategy for understanding everything that’s going on. is , and do you monitor things that are relevant and not monitor things that are not relevant?”

In December 2021, the average web page took 74 requests to various sources to fully load in a desktop browser. Organizations today manage more ways to interact with applications through APIs, with the average company managing more than 360 APIs. Third-party integrations and the growing software supply chain have made performance tracking more difficult, with the average software application reliant on more than 500 different libraries and components.

Gaining and maintaining visibility is difficult with the growing number of third parties because they are beyond a company’s control, creating blind spots in the application stack. Application performance is important, but understanding the application experience from the user’s point of view has become even more important.

On improving Thermo Fisher’s application performance, Ravindran says, “We look at our standards and make sure we capture the lessons from these mistakes. We do a lot of ‘lessons learned’. And we usually try to keep the lights on for the time being, and then make sure we do things differently later on.”

Download the full report.

This content is produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by the editors of MIT Technology Review.

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