The modern software delivery pipeline breaks the mold of traditional process and tool acquisition, but doesn’t warrant any less consideration. Measuring the impact of log analysis for your ops and dev teams (and the organization overall) is more of an exercise in measuring process improvement—not hard ROI.
The soft ROI components of log analysis are:
- Wasting Less Time: IT Operations wastes dozens of hours each week hunting down system events that relate to a problem. Log analysis not only eliminates the lost time, but also this reactive approach to addressing problems. Identifying system issues is an arduous task, especially when it’s not clear if the problem is on the application layer or the infrastructure. If the issue is a combination of the two, a delayed release is the likely outcome. With log analysis, you’ll discover issues either before or as they happen and avoid both lost time and unnecessary delays!
- Responding and Resolving Issues More Quickly: Developers working with IT provided analytics respond to and resolve bugs more quickly. This helps improve the stability of production and frees up developer time to focus on adding new functionalities that will ultimately increase the value of your application.
- Reducing Customer Churn: Modern customers demand stable applications with regular updates. Without this positive user experience, they’ll move on and find a different application to meet their needs. Frequent outages and poor product quality result in churn even in previously entrenched industries. For instance in financial services, a few bottom-up constructed DevOps teams are blowing traditional organizations out of the water. Some of the older institutions have stepped up their game but only by thinking ahead and using better metrics.
- Accelerating Releases: You cannot do agile if you are always playing catch up with production. Often organizations delay six or more planned releases a year due to unexpected issues. When a publicized release is delayed, customers are particularly unhappy and prone to jumping ship. In agile, with the expectation of regular bi-weekly or fast sprints, delays are a major let down. If your goal is continuous integration or delivery, delayed releases are not acceptable.
- Optimizing Production Infrastructure Costs: Growing infrastructure quickly is easy, but how fast is too fast? Because of its low visibility, bad infrastructure can control your organization without you even realizing. Using log analysis, you can attack server sprawl head-on, track workloads assigned to specific machines and identify underutilized or dead assets. You can also use that data to restructure your on premise or cloud infrastructure spend!
- Exploratory Infrastructure: Log analysis builds confidence that server logging is happening automatically, freeing IT resources and providing them the time to consider how and where your system can be improved. From identifying infrastructure configurations that will enhance the environment to auto-scaling initiatives or simply engaging in more productive activities than justifying outages, your IT department will have the time to focus on higher-level thinking and tasks.
- Improving Communication: With better reporting, comes better communication to both the team and executives. Presentations are built more quickly, analysis showing what went well and poorly is generated easily and action items for improvement are implemented in more detail and without any additional effort. Consistent presentations means standard dashboards and greater efficiency across the board for the team.
Forget the ROI
You may have noticed the absence of any ROI calculation in our benefits analysis. This is intentional, because in the end, the calculations don’t matter. The point of implementing log analysis is to replace your existing procurement model with a system that your team already knows is better. Unfortunately, those who continue to use old ROI calculations to evaluate these tools will miss these benefits.
Cloud-based log analysis sometimes seems too easy, but it is the future of the modern software delivery pipeline. The processes and tools that drive log analysis are simplified and seamless, adding value to your culture, team and processes that cannot be measured in dollars.