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What is Observability 

Observability refers to the ability to gain insights and understand the internal workings, behaviors, and performance of complex systems, applications, and processes. It involves collecting data, metrics, logs, traces, and other information from various components and layers of a system to provide a comprehensive view of its behavior. This data is then analyzed to identify issues, track performance, and make informed decisions about system improvements. As remote work becomes more prevalent, it’s become increasingly important to understand what is actually happening when remote workers interact with corporate apps and data from a range of devices, in locations all over the world. For IT teams, having insights into what actions remote workers are taking can have a lot of benefits and help them be more proactive in solving issues and reducing the amount of time they spend dealing with tickets. 

The benefits of remote work observability: 

Improving Employee Engagement 

By understanding all the ways in which an employee engages with digital tools and systems provided by IT and considering how this holistic experience could be improved and optimized for the benefit of both the employee and the organization is one of the major benefits of adding observability tools to your organization. By streamlining how employees interact with the digital workplace, the organization can improve engagement, productivity and harden security measures. Observability plays a key role in employee engagement, by allowing IT teams to see exactly what’s happening across the organization, understand tool usage, identify places where employees are constantly running into issues and ultimately take a data-driven approach to improving employee experience. 

  • Issue Detection and Resolution: When teams are distributed, identifying and resolving issues becomes more complex. Observability tools allow you to monitor various aspects of remote work and identify issues and policy violations. If you can see for example a spike in policy violations on a particular date, or a particular user group that has a high number of issues, IT teams can proactively investigate the cause and remedy the underlying issue that might be occurring.  This proactive approach helps detect issues early, minimizing downtime and enhancing productivity. 
  • Application Usage: Observability tools can allow you to understand what apps are being used and when, the number of logins per day and even the number of uploads and downloads being made. These kinds of metrics can help IT make better decisions about the apps needed to support the business - if you have 100 licenses for a particular app, but only 10 are being used you can identify opportunities to reduce licensing costs for example. 
  • Resource Allocation: Remote workforces might be spread across different time zones and regions. Observability tools can provide data on when employees are most active and productive. This information can guide resource allocation, allowing organizations to schedule meetings, allocate tasks, and manage workloads more effectively.
  • Security and Compliance: Remote work can introduce security vulnerabilities if not properly managed. Observability tools can help detect unusual behavior, and identify potential security breaches. With real-time notifications on policy violations or behavioral anomalies, IT and security teams can act quickly to ensure potential threats are dealt with quickly. 
  • Identifying Human Errors: A study by Stanford University and a cybersecurity organization found that 88% of data breaches are caused by human error, that they can be unwilling to admit their mistakes, and they are more likely to be distracted (which can increase the likelihood of error) when working from home. Observability tools can identify errors early, allowing IT and security teams to respond quickly, and also identify where training might be needed to better protect the organization. 
  • Insight into session activity: In a remote work environment, it can be challenging to see exactly what a user is doing on their device and what is causing an issue. With user session playback, administrators can easily play back a video recording of the specific user session activity, allowing for a forensic deep-dive into what actually happened and what needs to be done to fix the issue. 
  • Productivity Optimizations: Observability tools can monitor remote work productivity by analyzing user login times, session duration and activity, helping to surface patterns among users or user groups. If one group is more productive than others, deep dives can identify why this might be happening, enabling the organization to transfer learnings to other groups. 
  • Adaptation and Improvement: Observability tools provide data-driven insights that enable organizations to adapt and improve their remote work strategies. By analyzing performance metrics, usage patterns, and other relevant data, companies can make informed decisions about optimizing their remote work setup.

Observability allows IT leaders to generate the data they need to make informed decisions, and better optimize how remote work is set up and managed. Whether it's about investing in new tools, reallocating resources, or adjusting remote work policies, having access to accurate data is essential. Observability allows organizations to continuously assess and fine-tune their remote work strategies, ensuring that they remain effective and aligned with changing circumstances.

Sonet.io provides full remote workforce observability, providing visibility into the remote workforce continuously from a single dashboard. Ensure users are productive, meeting company goals and maintaining compliance. To see how the solution works, book a demo at: sonet.io/demo