Observability as the key to business success
Business Portugal Magazine interviewed André Simões, Project Line Manager, and Adriano Souza, Senior Consultant at Crossjoin Solutions, to find out how the company is leading the way in offering observability, providing a clear and aligned vision to improve business performance and efficiency.We are an international IT company that lives and breathes performance. We deliver innovative IT solutions that optimise our clients’ businesses quickly, reliably and robustly. With your contribution we will transform the experience of using our clients’ technologies, optimising them from the beginning to the last detail, always with performance in mind.
Observability is a growing trend towards which companies are directing their efforts. Understanding the growing complexity of modern business, what is the importance of offering observability in today’s business?
Crossjoin Solutions has as its core business the optimization of information systems, which is why it has created and applies a systematic method that guarantees its clients the guidance and execution of the resolution of challenges associated with the optimization of their IT (People, Processes and Technologies). The basis of this systematic method is the collection of facts, unquestionable by nature, which focus and assist assertive decision-making, both to measure the distance to the resolution of the challenge and to prove its resolution. Observability has always been essential for Crossjoin, and since 2009 it has been carried out using the data collection and visualization tools and techniques used in the industry and suited to its clients’ software lifecycle. Without observability, it would be impossible for Crossjoin to successfully carry out its projects, which is why, after almost 14 years of practice and experience, Crossjoin has positioned its observability offer as the key solution for creating a common vision for the client, to respond to the need to align all its teams, including suppliers, to achieve the expected levels of indicators that measure and demonstrate the performance of its business processes and the level of quality of service of its IT.
More and more of our clients are asking us to help them overcome the difficulty of obtaining the information that is really important for understanding the state of their business. Nowadays, it’s simple to install and configure tools and/or platforms that allow you to extract and generate monitoring data across the different business layers, from infrastructure to business processes, but without in-depth knowledge of the real monitoring needs, finding what’s really important can be a challenge. To respond to this need, Crossjoin has packaged the knowledge of its business areas to be able to offer a solution tailored to the needs of our customers, as well as establishing partnerships with some strategic suppliers that position us as the best technological partner for observability solutions.
Effectively monitoring business operations is essential, but also challenging. What are the main obstacles companies face when trying to monitor their operations and business?
Nowadays, companies have systems that are increasingly complex and with highly variable architectures. Crossjoin has clients at all points of the spectrum: clients who own all their systems and platforms, including the infrastructure, clients who have hybrid environments with their own solution, cloud and SaaS solutions and clients who choose to have all their infrastructure and platforms in a SaaS model. All of these have different problems in terms of achieving the right levels of observability for their business. Solving the problem of observability begins with a thorough understanding of the interactions between these systems and how the business processes that use them are modeled. This alone can involve having resources specialized in multiple technologies and multiple types of application architecture so that you can correctly map out which interactions are considered important and which are optional and can only help you analyze problems. Having monitoring tools appropriate to the application park and an effective configuration of dashboards, alarming and Artificial Intelligence systems that can speed up the analysis and detection of problems is fundamental.
Considering the potential benefits of this solution, how can observability positively impact a company’s performance and efficiency?
We can certainly say that a company that doesn’t have enough information to run its business in an informed and assertive way is unlikely to perform well. By investing in observability solutions, companies regain control and insight into their business and also reduce the bridge between the technical and non-technical worlds. By this we mean that if all the teams that make up a company discuss and make decisions on a common set of indicators, which is understood by everyone, they will have a much greater chance of succeeding in their business.
In the context of innovative companies, the choice of appropriate tools and strategies is fundamental. What types of strategies does the company consider most effective when implementing observability solutions?
Crossjoin’s strategy is to position itself in a tool-agnostic way and direct the choice based on the problem to be solved. Depending on the characteristics of the problem, different tools are “best fit” and so the choice is made taking these characteristics into account first. As Crossjoin’s vision is to be its clients’ favorite technology partner, the strategy involves ensuring partnerships with the main tool suppliers on the market who, by providing the creation of observability in an expeditious manner, that common vision, leverages the focus of all those involved in moving towards the objectives to be achieved. Currently, a lot of time and money is wasted analyzing problems that would be easy to analyze if the visibility of applications and platforms were complete point-to-point. The methodology used by Crossjoin allows us to focus on what really matters and make this journey with our clients meaningful and bring them added value from day one. At the moment, we also have clients who are starting to focus on proactive monitoring solutions on top of existing monitoring platforms using AI, thus completing the observability cycle.
Within the context of Crossjoin and the solutions it offers, how does observability relate to the internal areas of the company?
For Crossjoin, the observability solution appears naturally as a combination of services that our business areas were already doing internally in a less “packaged” way:
- The Performance area focuses on analyzing business processes, the applications that implement them and defining what is “optimal”, and provides recommendations for achieving the desired degree of observability;
- The Infrastructure area focuses on the more operational side: how to install, configure and share tools and/or platforms to implement these observability solutions in which we have some strategic partnerships, as well as any automation needed to achieve this;
- The Development area supports all the application architecture analysis so that all this monitoring can be carried out, and can participate in any additional development that may be necessary to unblock any type of impediment to collecting indicators.
When we implement these solutions with our clients, all these teams work together to provide the necessary skills to have point-to-point monitored systems.
Crossjoin Solutions was awarded the Cotec Distinction as part of the “Innovative Status’23”. What initiatives led Crossjoin to receive this distinction?
Innovation is part of Crossjoin’s DNA, everything we do is aimed at continuous improvement and automation in order to make everything we do more efficient. We are guided by a constant investment in the knowledge of our employees and a commitment to emerging technologies that have an impact on the market. We have been able to make this investment in a sustained way, having opened a training academy for people of the most diverse levels of experience and maturity, having an innovation area, which aims to create experience and capabilities at the forefront of the market, we have managed to have a well-trained team that can respond to all the challenges that arise in our business areas. It was a pleasure to receive this distinction from Cotec, which proves that our path is yielding positive results.
Given the dynamism of the technology sector, how does Crossjoin Solutions see itself evolving over the next few years to remain a leader in the global market?
Crossjoin has invested in being continuously aligned with trends in the technology market and to this end we have established partnerships with Portuguese universities and an internal innovation area that aims to explore emerging technologies. We regularly receive students who decide to work on their master’s theses with us and with this we are able to follow innovation at an academic level, ending up having some potential to be at the forefront of solutions and technologies that are not yet known in the business market and that make us very competitive. Our internal innovation area has three essential pillars in mind: increasing Crossjoin’s productivity, training our employees and products that have significance in the market we dominate. With this, we want to continue moving towards a Crossjoin that is seen as the best technology partner for any of our clients, rather than a traditional IT services company.