Observability is a concern in which I've spent time very actively engaged and also acted as a champion in organizations which have neglected observability. Conceptually I'm a proponent of the "you build it, you run it" mentality and that routine use of observability is a core mechanism to make sure that your system is actually delivering value (which is a function of running code, not writing it). I also seek to streamline and specify observability concerns with the mentality that making sense of data can be tricky, that the vast majority of needs differ in terms of parameters/dimensions but fit within a small number of kinds, and that the curse of knowledge can lead to an inside out perspective which must be actively combatted (the structure should drive discovery rather than just support presumed hypotheses).

At the moment I have the unfortunate perspective that observability remains underserved. While observability has become more expected and there has been a proliferation of relevant tools it feels as though organizations tend to fall into a trap of tossing out increasingly sophisticated tools as purported pillars of observability but it too often seems to lead to states in which data is floating around but teams still do not seem to have increased awareness of the internals of how systems behave or how to efficiently go from questions to answers. This may perhaps lead to a counter-productive quantity over quality where the expectation that arbitrary data will be available leads to less attention being paid to that data. In addition to the threat of overload and noise this may also lead to eye-watering costs or anti-patterns that arise from trying to mitigate those costs.

To a large extent it seems as though many of the standards such as OpenTelemetry are lagging where it seems they should be. My conjecture is that many of the SaaS offerings are appropriate for smaller organizations, most of the larger mature organizations worked out their observability stack long before the current standards, and more active improvements would largely be done in-house with sporadic changes making their way back upstream. This leaves much of the standard tooling in a position in which it supports powerful approaches but realizing such approaches requires a significant amount of wiring and configuration which translates to effort and expertise rather than more immediate value.