Why an Analyst Joined Observe: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Observability
Observe recognizes that the foundation of observability is data and that making sense of that data is critical to success.
The Role (and What Is an Analyst Anyways?)
For the past five and half years, I’ve worked as an industry analyst at a respected analyst firm. To put it simply, analysts are typically tasked with covering a specific market, or sub-sectors, within the broader IT industry to learn the ins and outs of vendor products and user pain points to help enterprises and vendors alike make sense of it all.
During my time at 451 Research (part of S&P Global Market Intelligence), I covered a range of topics from Storage to Cloud-native and ultimately Observability and Monitoring. Analyst firms have become a staple in the industry and a regular point of contact for leadership at many vendors and enterprises, and I refer back to Observe’s own “Cool Vendor” classification last year via major firm Gartner.
It’s time-consuming to try to learn everything about a specific sector of the IT industry and also keep tabs on adjacent sectors, so keeping the bigger picture in view can be a challenge few people have time for. And yet with the current complexity in IT systems, it’s more important than ever to not lose sight of the forest for the trees. Observe has already built a great product, but negotiating product and market fit is an ongoing process. Adding an analyst to the team is evidence of our desire to ensure we continue to never miss a beat and maintain a strong correlation between product developments and nullifying customer pain points.
The Team and the Leadership
In Observe I saw a tight-knit and enthusiastic team with the opportunity to work in a more collaborative capacity, which I fervently welcomed. Scrutinizing the leadership and their track record only inspires confidence. Mike Speiser and Sutter Hill have a sterling reputation. Similarly, Observe CEO, Jeremy Burton, has a long-standing reputation in the industry, notably serving as Dell Technologies CMO prior to Observe. Most importantly, my interactions with people here at Observe would best be described as nothing short of “very chill”.
Product and Strategy
Over the years I have heard from many vendors and seen many product demos, some have been very cool and some have been less cool. What stood out to me about Observe were a few key factors.
Firstly, the emphasis on the user experience via intelligent curation of datasets and the use of landing pages to ease navigation was immediately apparent. These kinds of features are especially pertinent as usage of such platforms is increasingly centered on SRE teams – which are often in short supply. This makes it that much more beneficial to have a user experience that does not depend upon deep tribal knowledge or previous expertise to be effective.
Secondly, Observe recognizes that the foundation of observability is data and that making sense of that data is critical to success. The novel usage of the popular Snowflake data platform demonstrates the commitment to unifying data, breaking down silos, and architecting the product around the “Event” as the main currency of observability. The platform is designed for organizations that have very dynamic and distributed environments without forcing a growing and insurmountable data management problem upon them.
Out of stealth for a relatively short time, Observe has made substantial progress in product development and customer adoption – which certainly inspires confidence. The ability to leverage data to understand customer challenges and how they are, or are not, addressing them is important for any company. Observe has already made strides to tap into the user perspective via their 2021 The State of Observability report. The observability market is a relatively young one and many organizations are still navigating what observability is and how best to implement it. I look forward to pitching in on future renditions of the survey and continuing to gather insights relevant to the current, and ever-evolving, state of observability. I couldn’t be more excited to be at a fast-moving company with such an ambitious roadmap. In the meantime, I look forward to collaborating with the venerable Knox Lively on the Observe blog.