As SLOs grow in popularity their usage is becoming more mature, according to Nobl9‘s The State of Service Level Objectives (SLOs) 2023. For example, 82 percent of respondents intend to increase their use of SLOs, and 96 percent have mapped SLOs directly to their business operations or already have a plan to. Results are also becoming quantitative with 95 percent of respondents indicating that SLOs help them make better business decisions with 27 percent of companies stating that SLOs have saved them $500,000 or more.

Companies use observability tools to provide visibility and enable key functions such as security, operational efficiency, capacity planning, customer support, and increase development velocity. As code comes together from more sources — open source, AI-generated, commercial solutions, and systems integrators, the typical applications, databases, and networks, and into cloud and container environments, microservices, and the developer pipeline – something barely half of companies can do today. With the plethora of fragmented tools – 72 percent responded that more than six observability tools – companies need to gain visibility not by consolidation that would hurt productivity, but by creating consistent definitions of reliability and expectations for various services.

Sixty-nine percent of companies responding had adopted SLOs for the first time or are expanding their use – which is consistent with the 2022 survey. Of the 72 percent of respondents not using SLOs today, 54 percent plan on adopting them in the next 18 months for the results seen in the survey.

Key findings from survey respondents show:

  • 80 percent indicate an increased focus on system reliability due to the pandemic driving cloud adoption, remote workers and supply chain issues.
  • 94 percent state they are doing system reliability engineering, with most tasks being assigned to IT operations.
  • The ways companies are using monitoring and observability tools is increasing. More than 13 initiatives rely on monitoring and reliability with the most common being security, operations performance (uptime, performance, efficiency) and capacity planning.
  • Respondents identified 10 areas that require monitoring beyond networks, applications and databases, but most lack visibility, and the number is expected to grow.
  • 72 percent of companies use six or more monitoring and observability tools.
  • 76 percent prevented business interruptions using SLOs – but 9 percent haven’t implemented thresholds yet.

All respondents had observability and monitoring responsibilities, and were IT professionals and executives at medium to large enterprise companies representing all seniority levels. Participants represented dozens of countries from five continents providing a global market perspective.

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