Why Your Business Needs Observability

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Increased productivity

Stripe’s 2018 Developer Coefficient report, which surveyed thousands of C-level executives and developers across six different countries, states that

96% of C-level executives consider it a priority to increase the productivity of their developers.

Honeycomb brings a rich set of integrated capabilities in one comprehensive, easy-to-use solution. Getting started is fast and simple with Honeycomb Beelines designed to instrument code automatically so developers can immediately move on to fit and finish. Pick your Beeline SDK based on your coding language – Node.js, Ruby, Python and Go – and you start to generate wide, contextful events. BubbleUp heat-maps instantly surface outliers and bring unusual events into view so debugging happens faster. Tracing visualization right inline with the rest of your query visualizations means no time is lost to context-switching—you bring the context right along with you using the best visualization you need to solve the problem.

With Honeycomb, your team will:

Ship more often

When you’ve got access to Honeycomb’s observability tooling, you have the confidence to ship code more often—knowing that if something does go wrong, you will find out sooner, diagnose the issue faster, and resolve the problem right away.

Tapjoy, a Honeycomb customer says,

We felt confident cutting over much in faster cycles, almost all at once, because we knew we’d see anything wrong immediately, in real-time-AND we’d be able to dig  into it and find the cause in minutes.

Produce better code

Observability-Driven Development with Honeycomb gives your engineers the ability to see what matters to your customers, so they can make better choices up front and every time they ship. Proactively watching how customers react to new features can be achieved with real-time query and analysis such as uptake on new features by specific customer type or region or unusual customer behavior which would give further insights to both product and engineering teams.

Spend less time debugging and more time creating value

According to the Stripe report,

…the average developer spends more than 17 hours a week dealing with maintenance issues, such as debugging and refactoring. In addition, they spend approximately four hours a week on “bad code,” which equates to nearly $85 billion worldwide in opportunity cost lost annually.

When your team is constantly in the weeds without the ability to fully investigate and resolve issues in production code, they are prevented from creating new value for your organization. With Honeycomb, you find and solve issues faster, leaving your team more time to innovate which benefits the business overall.

According to customer Fender:

“If we did not have Honeycomb it may have taken an additional 30 minutes or so to determine what the issue was by poking around in ELK or Cloudwatch logs. Honeycomb’s visualization and honeymarkers made it obvious that the issue was related to a recent release. On top of that, Honeycomb allowed us to determine the affected users and pass that information on to our support team.”

Leverage collective intelligence and work as a unified team

When your team uses Honeycomb, all the knowledge an individual team member gains when exploring your systems—as part of investigating an issue, researching parts of the code that are new to them, or simply exploring—is available to the entire team, forever. Honeycomb is designed for teams that work together giving everyone visibility and access to historical queries, at a detailed level. The UI encourages this behavior and your most seasoned team-members can easily share experience and knowledge which is important when troubleshooting an issue on-call.

Extend the knowledge and productivity gains to other teams

Ops and support teams also solve issues faster with Honeycomb, and without needing to pull engineering into on-call or customer-reported issues. The time saved means more bandwidth to improve customer service and provide valuable feedback to engineering.

Decreased downtime

Decreasing downtime is an obvious money saver. We’ve all read horror stories that can impact a large number of customers such as a banking software update that went horribly wrong and affected millions of customers with HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland a few years ago. It’s pretty difficult to quantify the overall loss from such a catastrophic outage but according to Gartner, the average cost of network downtime alone in 2014 was around $5,600 per minute; around $300,000 per hour— and no one believes that number has decreased since then. No matter your business, downtime always means lost revenue, and potentially significant brand erosion over the long term.

When you use Honeycomb, you’ll know sooner when something is wrong, and solve problems more quickly.

  • Because you’re shipping better, more observable code, you’ll have fewer problems over time. You’ll significantly improve and over time eradicate known unknowns, and be able to focus on the unknown unknowns. BHVR Interactive selected Honeycomb and immediately stopped using a traditional APM tool because “in addition to solving new problems as they arise, we’re now able to go back and dig into problems we had given up on ever solving previously- increasing the performance and resiliency of our code every step of the way.”
  • With Honeycomb, you’ll avoid the untold costs of developing a reputation for being down and not being able to figure it out — lost confidence in your service means you could potentially lose a lot more revenue than from just a single incident of actual downtime

Happier developers

Almost 80% of developers surveyed said that working on poor-quality code or inscrutable legacy systems had a negative impact on their morale.

Additionally, the Stripe report shares, “Senior executives report that the lack of developer talent is one of the biggest potential threats to their businesses. In fact, they now worry about access to developers more than they worry about access to capital, immigration concerns, and other challenges.”

  • If your developers have access to wide events and deep traces, they will feel more in control of their code and its behavior in production. They’ll be able to improve their own lives, as well as the lives of their colleagues (and of course, those of your customers). In addition to the blazing fast query response, thoughtfully-laid-out UI, and a full complement of analytics and visualization features, Honeycomb’s collaboration capabilities give each team member access to the entire team’s experience when on call—a much less stressful experience than ‘going it alone’.
  • Hiring new developers is a big time and money resource sink. If your developers are happier, they will be less likely to leave. You’ll experience reduced churn and spend less time bringing new people up to speed. And when you do hire, Honeycomb makes it much easier to onboard new developers—all that collective intelligence is stored in the tool to help convey the current state of your infrastructure, services and how to debug them.

Greater customer satisfaction

Ultimately, what matters is what your customers think and say about your service. Happier customers don’t churn, and according to Forbes, it can cost five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.

  • Using Honeycomb allows you to better serve the customers you already have, so they can help you acquire new ones — happier customers tell their colleagues, and the value of ‘free’ marketing is extremely high. According to Lithium’s 2017 study of over 3000 consumers, “71% of adults in the U.S. would share a positive experience with other consumers.”
  • With Honeycomb, you’ll find and resolve problems before they notice. For example, Fender were able to drill into their data using Honeycomb and identify the exact users impacted by an issue so rapidly that their Customer Support team was able to contact those users before they contacted Fender to report an issue.

And when a customer does notice an issue, you’ll be able to provide high-touch service and attention.

Observability and How to Get Started?

Observability in software development is defined as the ability to ask any question of a system in order to understand exactly what is happening so you can quickly resolve an issue, continuously learn and improve


Want a copy of the whitepaper for yourself? Download the PDF