Features, Insight, Opinion

The surprising way observability can help companies build strong teams

By Sascha Giese, SolarWinds Head Geek

Technology companies today face many challenges related to attracting and retaining talented employees.

Highly sought-after skilled workers are increasingly expecting to have the flexibility of hybrid and remote work environments while still receiving office-like support from their employers. Many of these same employees also expect their employers to be environmentally conscious. Younger generations, in particular, say they would be willing to earn less to work at a sustainable company.

Providing support in a distributed workplace and a cultural alignment on eco-conscious values will be key for organisations looking to remain competitive in the year ahead. Prioritising the employee experience and environmental, social, and governance efforts also stands to benefit both employer and employee, with research suggesting companies embracing sustainability attract better talent and have longer retention, which increases productivity and business performance.

In 2023, one surprising way companies can reduce their environmental impact and provide remote work technology and networks enabling employees to efficiently do their jobs is by increasing visibility into their environments through observability.

Reduce the Environmental Impact of Data Centres With Observability

Databases—whether they’re hosted in on-premises facilities or in the cloud—play a fundamental role in organisations’ day-to-day IT operations. They help ensure the high-performing and highly available networks, applications, and environments needed for employees to do their jobs and for customers to enjoy a company’s products.

Unfortunately for planet earth, global emissions from data centres supporting these databases range from 2.5% to 3.7% of all global greenhouse gasses. To put this in perspective, commercial flights account for about 2.4%! One of the reasons these databases end up being such energy hogs is because many are still running underutilised or unused legacy applications or systems that are inherently energy inefficient.

Modern observability solutions provide database administrators with single-pane-of-glass visibility no matter the company’s infrastructure, enabling them to easily map the performance of applications and systems. Database performance analysis and tuning capabilities then enable organisations to identify and eliminate redundant or underused applications and systems, which in turn reduces computing power and energy consumption.

In addition to reducing energy use, these tools can enable companies to reduce physical waste. By eliminating unnecessary computing processes on on-premises data centre hardware, companies can prolong the hardware’s life span.

By leveraging observability, some estimates suggest companies can experience a 10% energy reduction, an attractive statistic for environmentally conscious employees that also comes with significant cost savings.

Observability Improves Digital Experiences for Distributed and Remote Employees

In the post-pandemic world, at least some level of remote work flexibility is a top priority. Hybrid workplaces are typical of organisations hoping to attract and retain skilled employees. According to recent research, however, managing the infrastructure needed to support a hybrid and remote workforce by ensuring their applications and data are accessible from anywhere is becoming more difficult. The result is remote workplaces where processes as simple as handling an IT ticket have become unnecessarily difficult and frustrating experiences.

Part of the problem is today’s distributed employees rely more heavily on infrastructure outside of IT’s control—such as commercial internet access—in addition to various remote work tools, software, and custom applications to get work done. Modern, flexible observability solutions provide IT staff comprehensive visibility into these dispersed workplaces so they can identify application and tool outages and performance bottlenecks. Meanwhile, the artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities powering these solutions help remediate and prevent future problems, ensuring employees have access to the resources they need to do their jobs.

By combining these observability functions with ITSM services, organisations can help ensure employees have access to the same quality of service they would receive in the office, eliminating staff frustration and the need for employees to contact peers or bypass their IT service desk for support. The stakes for providing workplace flexibility while delivering exceptional, office-like support to employees are high, as doing so can directly correlate to staff retention, satisfaction productivity, and overall business performance.

The next generation of technology leaders demand workplace flexibility with strong support of their IT teams and a commitment to protecting the earth.

By implementing observability, companies can become greener and provide excellent remote and hybrid workplaces and in turn, appeal to a broader pool of talent that empower them to succeed into the future.

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