Second Gear Application Performance Management
July 20, 2016

Marcel M. Karman

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In 2014 Gartner predicted that "75 percent of IT organizations will be bi-modal in some way by 2017." We are in the midst of this two-speed IT approach that organizations are adopting at an increasing rate to stay relevant for their customers. Where Speed 1 is the traditional IT that is being managed by the IT Operations persona, and Speed 2 is the agile IT where within the organization especially the Developer persona and the Line of Business Persona are involved to get the most out of the digital innovations that flood our daily lives.

One thing that these personas have in common is that they have a need for monitoring. In this blog I will focus on the needs of the various personas.

The Developer

Obviously a developer wants to build nice applications or cloud services. They want to build apps quickly like startups do, without being bogged down by testing and support, and wants to spend time on improving things rather than fixing things.

The requirements of a developer are that they want to be sure that their application is running and performing well for their end-users and if it’s not functioning properly than they need monitoring to help them to find the problem. And very important; the monitoring tool should not be intrusive and be very simple to use. Tools should fit the startup mentality workflow!

The Line of Business

You can say that the Line of Business (LoB) represent the organization`s customers. So they commonly want to improve the customer satisfaction and be able to see which services are successful and which ones are not. Requirements of the LoB are often that they want visibility into the customer experience of applications and services.

IT Operations

The IT Operations persona is another large user of monitoring solutions. Their point of view differs very much of that of the LoB and the Developer. Where the Developer and LoB have a startup mentality, the IT Operations persona most of the time has a mentality far from that. IT Operations has to deal with the scaling of applications that are being managed and they have to meet security and compliance standards as well. Important to them is that they can deliver applications in a controlled and efficient way. A status quo situation would be ideal for them because this improves the quality of the IT services and minimizes the risk of outages. However new services must be introduced by the organization to stay competitive, but this can destabilize the infrastructure and is therefore risky. So IT Operations is always in a balancing act; create stability – and managing newly introduced applications and services in the environment.

The requirements of IT Operations are at a minimum to manage services across the entire hybrid cloud environment and rapidly determine the cause of any issues. So therefore they need end-to-end visibility and control – aka One Dashboard where everything comes together from the on-premise environment and all the different cloud environments.

As an example; IT Operations could use an on-premise Application Performance Management (APM) solution that enables them to obtain the required visibility and control of the hybrid cloud environment. All the monitoring metrics that originate from the different environments (public and private cloud) can be shown in One Dashboard where IT Operations has an instant view on what is happening. Furthermore, IT Operations has always the need to work as effective and efficiently as possible and therefore they need to spot emerging problems fast which is possible with the APM solution build-in innovative analytics that can prevent possible costly outages.

Bringing it together

Below figure gives an overview of how an ideal APM solution could be used in the organization, where the three different personas all can use the same solution. Through the whole organization you should work with one solution, with the same look and feel, and that can fulfill the requirements of the different personas of the organization. The personas can see in their personal monitoring dashboard the items that are important for them and take the required actions when needed. Furthermore this solution can be used in different delivery models, such as on-premise, SaaS and PaaS, so plenty of choices to choose from, or to use jointly.

In the end

In the end there is only one point of view in the organization that really matters. How does the CIO feel about monitoring in the hybrid cloud environment with an organization that is running on two speeds?

The CIO point of view is a "very simple one". Most of the time the CIO has targets on Minimizing Risk, Reducing Costs and Improving Service Levels for the organization’s customers. Therefore an enterprise all-encompassing Application Performance Monitoring solution that can be delivered in multiple delivery models is an ideal fit. So this type of a hybrid APM solution is perfect match for the Two-speed IT approach that organizations are experiencing.

Marcel M. Karman is a Cloud Architect at IBM.

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