In APMdigest's annual list of APM predictions, industry experts - from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors - offer thoughtful, insightful, and sometimes controversial and contradictory predictions on how Application Performance Management (APM) will change and impact business in 2013.
These are the thoughts from the top minds in APM, and the secrets to the future of our industry could quite possibly be hiding somewhere in this list. Some predictions are changes we all expect. Other predictions are surprising, but just as possible. You may not agree with all the predictions, but after reading this list, I am sure there is one point we can all agree on - APM has some exciting changes ahead in 2013 as it strives to keep up with the technological and cultural revolutions across all of IT.
And most importantly - for the vendors, analysts, consultants, and maybe the users most of all - I think this list shows that APM is still positioned to be an essential technology in the arena where IT and Business meet.
1. Big Data Drives Advanced Performance Analytics
The need to analyze performance stats of Big Data proportions and in real-time will grow and vendors with solutions will have an edge in the market.
Principal Analyst, Ovum
Big Operational Data is being driven by the sheer scale of the elements supporting modern integrated applications. Such applications are spanning literally thousands of “hops”, with each hop generating significant volumes of structured and unstructured operational data. Operational Big Data is still in its infancy, but will be increasingly relevant as the scope of applications continues to extend across “hops”, Clouds, virtualized platforms, and mobile technologies.
Research Director, Application Management, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
In 2013, users will focus much more on the data analytics portion of APM, deploying a two-pronged approach. First, they’ll use pattern recognition techniques to consolidate the Big Data they collect from monitoring events. This will create “facts” derived from events to determine in real time what is “business normal” and what is not. In the second tier of analysis, they’ll process their reduced set of “small meaningful data” using case-based reasoning to look for business impact. Users will map situations against past cases to identify how close we are in terms of percentage of similarity to a past case. From this they will be able to take a collection of facts and describe it as a business situation and know it’s true criticality.
VP Product Management and Marketing, Nastel Technologies
In 2013, the role of performance analytics will be a requirement for a modern APM system. Organizations now collect unprecedented volumes of data. The key to making sense of this will be systems that automate analytics and deliver actionable insight and answers, not just more data.
VP of Product Management for Compuware's APM Business Unit
With growing volumes of data flowing into the APM repositories, addressing business needs has become a Big Data problem that will require all APM vendors to re-evaluate, and for almost all of them, add more technology based on Big Data databases.
In 2013, I think we will see growth in all three use cases for Advanced Performance Analytics – technical performance analytics, business impact management, and change impact and capacity optimization/planning.
VP of Research, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
2. APM Solutions Simplified
The complexity of APM solutions will continue to decrease, making them lower cost and easily implemented.
Research Director in Gartner's IT Operations Research Group
Smaller boxes/solutions with less features but advanced capabilities and an emphasis on ease of use, to target mission critical pain points, will do well in the wider market.
Principal Analyst, Ovum
IT Operations professionals will realize they need the features typically found in higher end, agent-based APM solutions (e.g individual transaction tracing, application layer data fields, business context) to monitor business critical applications running in virtualized and hybrid cloud environments. They will look to the market to deliver these features in a much simpler to install and operate package. For some, this will lead them to SaaS-based offerings, for others (where privacy and security are paramount), this will lead them to pressure network-based APM providers to innovate and find ways to add these advanced features to their platforms.
VP of Marketing, INETCO
3. APM SaaS on the Rise
While there has been increased talk about APM delivered as a service, we were a bit surprised when a recent CA Technologies-sponsored survey found that a majority of respondents from large enterprises are taking a cautious approach to its adoption. While large enterprises aren't known for making quick changes, we think 2013 will see an uptick in APM SaaS usage driven by the need to manage application complexity and shift to a DevOps approach to building applications more quickly and efficiently.
Product Marketing Manager, CA Technologies
The End of Legacy APM Vendors: Lack of innovation and understanding of modern day application architectures will see several APM vendors replaced in 2013 by a new breed of next generation vendors. The days of custom instrumentation, complex deployments, babysitting consultants and shelfware will be replaced by affordable, easy-to-deploy and easy-to-use APM solutions. The adoption of freemium and APMaaS by several vendors will enable customers to evaluate APM based on their own needs, requirements and timelines rather than those driven by old school vendors. This means more customers around the world will be able to deploy, adopt and leverage the power of APM across their applications and business.
Tech Evangelist, AppDynamics
In 2013, essential services for the Cloud, like SaaS APM, will become more tightly integrated with Cloud provider solutions. These key services will become standard issue for any cloud deployment environment.
President and COO, New Relic
4. Mobile APM Becomes Mainstream
Mobile application monitoring will become a mainstream practice in 2013. Why? Companies will realize they need to assure the end user performance of these revenue generating and customer facing business services. Retail, financial services, travel and media will lead the way. They will monitor end user performance and instrument their mobile apps so they can trace the transactions to pinpoint bottlenecks. They will then use predictive analytics to preempt issues before they impair these revenue generating business services. 2013 will be the year for mobile application monitoring. Buckle up!
Product Marketing Lead for HP Application Performance Management
5. APM Leverages Software Defined Infrastructure
As infrastructure vendors (e.g., networking, storage, server/virtual servers) move to adopt software-based control capabilities that fit into a Software Defined Datacenter, applications will continue to evolve to better exploit these new capabilities. With more ability to adapt and optimize infrastructure resources on the fly, applications will be better able to communicate with the underlying resources to tune application performance under varying conditions. As infrastructure providers continue to evolve their Software Defined management capabilities, we will start to see more and more application vendors leveraging those capabilities in 2013 to optimize their performance and the overall end user experience.
Principal for Product Marketing, SolarWinds
6. Convergence of APM and NPM
Business service focused monitoring software will use both APM and NPM as data sources for providing end-to-end service views in the hybrid cloud. Neither APM nor NPM tools alone can give a complete picture of underlying cause of service degradation – IT will need a unified view using both APM and NPM data.
Network-based APM approaches will improve, and delivery models will allow them to handle deployment methods which are not possible today, increasing visibility options based on the data center architecture.
Research Director in Gartner's IT Operations Research Group
Cloud-based APM solutions will bridge the longstanding gap between the IT ops and SW development teams. These easier-to-use and more economical tools will enable the teams to bring together real-time network and application performance data to create a more unified view across the enterprise.
Managing Director of THINKstrategies and Founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace
7A. Bringing APM and DevOps Together
I see APM becoming a sustainable solution set, by being integrated into the IT culture, which will support existing production processes. It will then expand out from its original implementation to cover all areas in the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
Director of Enterprise Application Services at the Auto Club Group
2013 will be a breakout year for DevOps, as it moves from theory to accepted practice within IT departments. As more custom applications (Java and .Net based) are deployed in production to meet business needs, managing the application "service" delivery becomes critical - especially as applications increase in complexity as a result of architectural componentization and fundamental yet dynamic changes in infrastructure. It isn't just about identifying a bug in the application anymore; today's development and IT Operations teams must work in concert to ensure apps work well from both a user and infrastructure perspective - a powerful combination. Enter DevOps. We predict that 2013 is the year in which DevOps becomes an officially acknowledged discipline (like Virtualization Administrator, Exchange Administrator, etc.) among the upper echelon of IT Operations and Application Development.
Director – Product Marketing for Quest Software (now part of Dell)
The new year will see the APM married up with the DevOps toolchain to provide a much faster system for enhancing revenue producing applications. The marriage of these two will allow the insights provided by APM to get acted upon in a timely fashion, which is increasingly coming to mean going from demand to deployment in hours instead of days or weeks.
SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Serena Software
The industry will start moving to a complete application lifecycle, where applications for APM will be instrumented earlier, making DevOps increasingly important. We will see tools available both for Systems of Record and Systems of Engagement applications that support the various parts of the lifecycle, including: the developer during unit test, test organization in the formal verification cycles, and the operational management teams for applications in production. This tooling will be configurable to collect the data appropriate to those different phases as well as the different security requirements mandatory in each lifecycle phase.
VP, Tivoli Service Availability & Performance Management, IBM
During the first half of 2013, increasing customer demand for high quality applications will cause organizations to realize that their APM tools are incomplete and inadequate as stand-alone solutions. In the second half of the year, they will embrace a holistic approach to performance management throughout the application life cycle. This approach will build a DevOps bridge between monitoring reports, alerts, and other APM data and the development/testing teams. Those teams will incorporate this data into their design, development and test processes, thus deploying applications already validated under virtualized production network conditions. APM teams will be better able to set alert thresholds for expected performance of these applications, as they are based on real performance data. The result of this new APM feedback loop will be applications that perform both in the lab and in the hands of end users.
Chairman and CEO, Shunra
7B. Splitting the Market - Ops vs. Dev Tools
2013 will be an interesting year for the APM industry. With IT Operations teams needing broader service management tools, the "APM industry" will split into two - a much needed separation. On one side will be the IT Operations tools, which will provide end-to-end transaction performance monitoring tied directly to infrastructure and application monitoring. The other side of the split will be the "APM tools" – those deep dive code tools that developers use to debug production code issues in Java and .NET code. With the split, IT Buyers will be able to focus in on the exact capabilities they need for evaluation and purchase.
CEO and Co-Founder, BlueStripe
8. APM Addresses Hybrid IT – Virtual and Physical
Last year, experts on APMdigest predicted the rapid rise in hybrid IT computing: described as a combination of on-site and off-site; cloud and legacy; private and public; physical and virtual; social and secure; enterprise and consumer; desktop and server; mobile and static. Hybrid IT is coming together in enterprises right now, and detailed, proactive monitoring of a company’s multiple infrastructures and platforms is a necessary ingredient to make it work. If the application is dynamic, moving between virtual and physical worlds and multiple hosting providers, then monitoring must follow the same path. The advent of shared resources means that IT directors must be vigilant that critical applications are getting the appropriate dose of IT resources. They’ll need to understand the app’s performance based on its resource consumption and how other apps and processes in your shared environment might be conflicting with each other and working against business priorities. Processes and tools that help CIOs hear and see the "platform noise" is a must-have for Hybrid IT.
As organizations look to improve user experience and at the same time reduce cost, 2013 will see an increased need for total performance visibility – across every layer and every tier, automated cross-silo performance diagnosis, pre-emptive problem alerting and predictive analytics. As virtualization adoption grows – both for desktops and for servers – there will be a need for performance management solutions to be virtualization aware. Besides monitoring the virtualization tier, performance management solutions will have to automatically discover and manage the dynamic inter-dependencies that exist between VMs and physical machines, between applications and VMs and between applications. Root-cause diagnosis and advanced analytics have to be designed to handle this new reality.
CEO, eG Innovations
9. Social IT Gains Traction in APM
Just as APM has started to adapt to the transformation of IT due to cloud and mobile, a third disruptive force is about to hit - the Social Enterprise. In 2013 we will see enterprises begin to demand social features from their APM providers. This means not only monitoring the KPIs and SLAs required for community and social applications, but also facilitating social collaboration among IT operations, application teams, and other APM users to share best practices, templates, and recommendations with their peers across the globe.
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station
The use of social add-on capabilities from traditional ITSM vendors and the implementation of solutions that are social and collaborative at their core from new innovators move beyond early adopters to broader mainstream adoption. IT organizations begin to realize that social IT collaboration solutions can drive the next breakthrough in IT service support and delivery so that they can evolve from ad hoc, 1:1 collaboration and fire-fighting meetings to use of solutions that support collaboration by capturing and promoting knowledge using familiar social media principles and facilitate in-process collaboration that enhances traditional ITIL processes.
VP of Marketing, ITinvolve
10. Real User and Service Impact Overtake Traditional IT Monitoring
Real user and service impact will become mainstream and overtake traditional IT monitoring. As more production applications move to cloud and mobile platforms, it’s increasingly important to measure performance based on user and business impact. Monitoring real user experiences and performance impact on key business metrics like transactions completed successfully or revenue generated per hour are the only way to ensure you are delivering the service expected by your users and the business. Organizations who lack real-time visibility into the impact of performance on users and the business will be at a competitive disadvantage.
Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing, BMC Software
11A. End of Traditional CMDB = Beginning of Service-Aware Analytics
The industry finally accepts the fact that traditional CMDB approaches are simply too hard for a majority of IT organizations to deploy and maintain, their data not sufficiently trusted by either IT operations and other IT teams (such as application development), and fall short of capturing the required knowledge to be the single source of truth as claimed. As a result, more and more IT organizations start to look beyond the CMDB model to understand what other approaches can more fully capture, federate, and promote knowledge of the IT environment either in combination with the CMDB or without it.
VP of Marketing, ITinvolve
The dynamic data center in 2013, reflecting wide adoption of new cloud computing paradigms along with supporting methodologies like agile development and DevOps, will continue to disrupt traditional approaches to IT operations. The inherent increasing complexity and decentralization will present specific challenges for maintaining availability of services. Neither the traditional approach to APM nor the asset-focused CMDB will meet the requirements of the new dynamic data center. A solution will be found in “Service-Aware Analytics” - analytic engines that are supercharged through understanding the structure of business services, from the application processes and database queries to the underlying storage, network, and server hardware. A consolidated, cross-domain, and contextual view of availability and performance of Business Services, rather than the traditional silo-approach to IT management, will be empowered through integrating trusted sources (event and monitoring data) with dynamic topological maps. CMDBs, confronted with this rate of change, will have to morph to support the dynamic requirements of IT operations through implementation of “service views.” Service-Aware Analytics will maximize availability in the dynamic data center.
11B. CMDB is Not Dead Yet
Well, like the rather vocal queen in Monte Python's "Mary Queen of Scots" - the CMDB is not dead yet! In fact it's enjoying a rebirth - in more dynamic designs as it shifts from a database-centric to a model-centric paradigm, more closely aligned to ITIL's Configuration Management System (CMS). Watch in 2013 as innovations around federation give the CMDB/CMS (under whatever name) a meaningful rebirth - in which, analytics will play an increasingly important role. Watch as the contest unfolds in 2013 for America's Top (Service) Model!
VP of Research, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
12. APM Evolves Toward End-to-End Management
I think you're going to see more movement toward, if not full on end-to-end, then systems having a lot more openness towards integrating with other systems, to enable end-to-end type capabilities. Obviously there's going to be a lot more built-in capabilities for virtualization, Cloud and mobile, so they can work with those systems seamlessly.
Senior Research Analyst, IT Infrastructure, Aberdeen Group
In 2013, large enterprises will move away from point APM solutions geared toward specific deployment architectures that fit only a portion of their application portfolio. As architectures change to take advantage of virtualization and looser coupling of service components, monitoring solutions will necessarily become more flexible, easy-to-deploy, and capable of bringing together critical metrics from infrastructure, middleware and application components in order to get a complete view of the health state of any complex system. The classic monitoring approach of managing thresholds and thousands of irrelevant alerts will give way to automated analytics of key metrics for trusted alerting, root cause analysis and role-based views of system health.
President and CEO, SL Corporation
All Quocirca research points to the growing complexity of IT infrastructure and consequently the way applications are deployed and accessed. This is driven by increasing use of Cloud sourced services, application workload mobility through virtualization and user mobility coupled with access device diversity. Against this back ground users are less and less tolerant of poor performance and many of those users are external; customers, partners, consumers etc. who can go elsewhere if a given application fails to perform. Addressing this requires APM tools that can probe every part of the application from the user device to the data center and address performance shortfalls at every level.
Analyst and Director, Quocirca
APM tools are not keeping up with dynamic application environments and compressed application lifecycles. In 2013, IT Operations teams will demand a comprehensive APM solution that deploys rapidly without requiring weeks or months of professional services, auto-discovers changes in the environment, and provides visibility across the entire application delivery chain.
CEO and Co-Founder, ExtraHop
13. APM Competitors Cooperate for the Good of the End-User
A growing trend of ‘Federated APM’ – There will be increased ‘coopetition’ – cooperation among competitors to ensure that the end client gains benefits across multiple APM solutions. No matter how aggressively an ‘end-to-end solution’ is marketed, no single APM offering covers everything a client could want or need. We’ll see more competitors cooperating to ensure that the end client gains benefits across multiple APM solutions.
CEO and Co-Founder, AppFirst