2016 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 1
December 16, 2015
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The advent of the Holiday Season means it is time for the annual list of Application Performance Management (APM) predictions, the most popular post on APMdigest, viewed by tens of thousands of people in the IT community around the world every year. Industry experts — from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors — offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2016. In addition to APM, the related technologies include Business Service Management (BSM), End-User Experience Management (EUEM), IT Operations Analytics (ITOA), Network Performance Management (NPM), as well as monitoring and log analytics.

The 2016 APM Predictions List is the longest predictions list ever featured on APMdigest, with almost double the number of predictions on last year's list. This reflects a rapidly growing, changing and increasingly complex IT environment that presents more challenges than ever before.

As usual, some of the predictions overlap with last year's list of predictions. In an industry that is continually evolving, it makes sense that certain topics would remain top of mind several years in a row – end user experience and mobile APM, to name just a few. Analytics, always present on the lists, is growing to the point where it could almost generate a list of predictions on its own. Other topics such as Network Performance Management (NPM) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) are back, after an absence on the 2015 list. In addition, development related topics, such as APIs, microservices and containerization are becoming more prevalent.

One of the most popular topics discussed on previous lists, DevOps now has its own complete list of predictions on DEVOPSdigest, an APMdigest partner site. Amazingly, the first annual list of DevOps Predictions is just as long as the list of APM predictions, featuring insight from many of the key experts in the DevOps arena.

Some of these predictions may come true in the next 12 months, while others may be just as valid but take several years to be realized. Still others may be wishful thinking. But taken collectively, this list of predictions offers a unique and valuable snapshot of what the APM industry is thinking about, planning, expecting and hoping for next year.

The predictions will be posted in 5 parts over the next 5 days.

A forecast by the top minds in Application Performance Management today, here are the predictions:


In 2015 we saw applications became more and more common, and in 2016 applications will be even more pervasive. Instead of using desktops to log in or trying to connect to a network, the vast majority of users are going to use applications to accomplish tasks at work. IT teams should be prepared for new user expectations in keeping applications connected to ensure business operations run smoothly.
Aaron Kelly
VP of Product Management, Ipswitch


From a high level, APM will become more about the business and its effectiveness will be increasingly measured on its business impact.
Cameron Haight
Research VP, IT Operations, Gartner


In 2016, we'll see significant evolution in the adoption of microservices and enabling technologies such as containers, cloud platforms and polyglot programming languages. As these new modern applications make their way into production, IT will be faced with an ever increasing complex and rapidly changing application environment impacting how they monitor, triage and diagnose application performance. In response, we'll see greater emphasis on collaboration across the development lifecycle, innovations to simplify complexity, increasing insights into the impact of change, better use of analytics and new modern monitoring platforms with open APIs to allow for greater flexibility and agility. This year we'll see a shift in application monitoring that will span across development, IT and extending into the business.
Aruna Ravichandran
VP, DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies

Maturity Metrics - Charting Your DevOps Progress

In 2016 history will repeat itself, but perhaps with a new audience this time around. Dev and ops groups have been transforming culturally to adapt to infinitely increasing customer expectations for business teams but not with them. Finally with the tools available to foster collaboration across these groups in a common language, the most mature organizations will begin to practice digital performance management, an evolution of APM. Together, these three groups will innovate faster, cut through complexity and deliver better customer experiences.
Ryan Bateman
Marketing Director, Dynatrace

17 Ways to Define DevOps

Last year I predicted that APM was no longer the central story — but a "new-age BSM" under another label would come to pass. In retrospect I was both right and wrong. Right in that research we did this years showed that ITSM, operations and DevOps are being impelled to work together more and more through shared analytics, automation and process workflows across all IT disciplines. Wrong in that the new banner is "digital transformation" with an emphasis on proactive business versus simply IT outcomes. I predict that 2016 will witness this trend evolve further — to push toward a more integrated, service-aware business-IT community.
Dennis Drogseth
VP of Research, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)

2016 DevOps Predictions

Broader APM adoption within the enterprise: Application performance monitoring will no longer remain a NOC function and will find broader applicability across the application development lifecycle. Developers and QA engineers will rely on APM to ensure that application releases can meet real world conditions, operations will continue to monitor production environments, and business users will look at leverage APM metrics to gather business intelligence. As the application development lifecycle gets more automated, IT will expect APM products to integrate with the tool chain.
Krishnan Badrinarayanan
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Riverbed


End User Experience Management will extend its lead as the most critical dimension of APM. According to the Gartner 2015 Survey Analysis: End-User Experience Monitoring Is the Critical Dimension for Enterprise APM Consumers, 46% of respondents ranked EUEM first in importance vs. 33% for ITOA. In 2016, this lead will grow as more enterprises leverage products that can deliver an immediate, unified view of end user experience for mobile apps, cloud-delivered apps (including Shadow IT), and apps that run on virtualized environments.
Mike Marks
Chief Product Evangelist, Aternity

4 Enterprise Benefits from Integrating Mobile APM with User Experience Monitoring

In 2016, brand value will be more tightly linked than ever to technology reliability. Every brand in every vertical – from consumer packaged goods to healthcare – will be judged and valued based on the quality of the experience users have with their apps and websites. As the volume of machine data increases, and as the distance between competing apps and services decreases, monitoring performance and availability will be what distinguishes leaders from laggards. Organizations that monitor, measure, and value every transaction will gain more customers and earn new business from existing ones.
Dan Turchin
VP of Product, Big Panda

For 2016, I predict we'll see increased competition among APM vendors to address the needs of IT Operations leaders looking to incorporate real user experience more broadly into their unified monitoring strategy.
Marcus MacNeill
VP, Product Management, Zenoss

We're seeing a strong trend – customers want their infrastructure optimization to be driven by customer experience. As a result, 2016 is the year Application Performance Management moves into the "must-have" category for complex service assurance. Gaining insights with APM as to how different application components alongside power, network, compute, storage and middleware interact and perform will be critical for improving customer experience and maximizing return on investment.
Brian Promes
Director of Product Marketing, SevOne


The fundamental drivers of cloud, mobile, social and DevOps will cause more companies to recognize that APM/user experience requires a more strategic, holistic, platform-based approach to ensure successful outcomes.
Gabe Lowy
Technology Analyst and Founder of Tech-Tonics Advisors

People are tired of managing the high costs and low returns of having their application support staff manage incidents by having many monitors that publish events to an incident management system. Consolidated monitoring platforms will replace this old paradigm by aggregating all performance data, performing analytics on this data and providing a single view of health for all support teams. Solutions with consolidated monitoring support for self-service cloud deployments will be the leaders in this shift.
Rodney Morrison
VP Products, SL Corporation

Consolidation of monitoring tools across five major platforms now accounts for more than 80 percent of the application monitoring market. In 2016, that percentage will continue to rise as environments become increasingly complex and the desire for "single pane of glass" monitoring increases, pushing IT departments to combine APM and holistic infrastructure monitoring.
Bogdan Viher
Product Director, Comtrade System Software and Tools

2016 APM Predictions: Single Pane of Glass

Simplicity, power and unified visibility: Enterprises are dealing with immense tool fragmentation across the IT organization. Rather than invest heavily towards integrating disparate, best-in-class tools, they will look for simpler, yet powerful and unified platforms that give them visibility and diagnostics across all IT domains that deliver value quickly.
Krishnan Badrinarayanan
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Riverbed


Crowdsourced buyer intent data indicates Mobile APM is set to hit an inflection point in 2016. When I look at the reviews of APM solutions, I see a significant increase in research for mobile APM product reviews. We recently launched a new category for Mobile APM and have found this area to be one the fast growing topics on IT Central Station.
Russell Rothstein
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station

Click here to read the latest Mobile APM product reviews on IT Central Station

IT Central Station Report: APM Solutions - Reviews by Real Users

Globally, more people are experiencing the internet via mobile devices, completely skipping the desktop-laptop stages. That will make not just Mobile APM but also the ‘device mesh’ more significant than ever in 2016. Irrespective of the devices, ISPs and, geographies, end users will expect seamless experience across all the device endpoints they use to access the applications. Moreover, they will also demand the applications to remember their last sessions and let them pick up the session from another device endpoint. The device endpoint categories will also explode as wearables and IoT further take off. Ensuring application performance across such increasingly diverse use cases will be challenging for the app providers and APM vendors alike.
Priyanka Tiwari
Product Marketing Manager, AlertSite, SmartBear

Mobile usage has overtaken desktop, and the tools we use to measure mobile performance and user engagement have finally caught up. In 2016 we're going to see business owners embrace mobile performance measurement and harness the power of their user data to develop better mobile experiences. With the latest real user monitoring tools, business owners will understand how mobile users are interacting with their sites and mobile apps across a huge swath of metrics: bounce rate, session length, conversion rate, location, network connection, operating system, ISP, and more. Increasingly, site owners will even gather data around how users engage with specific page elements, such as spinners and animated features.
Tammy Everts
Senior Researcher & Evangelist, SOASTA

Read 2016 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 2

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