Virtually every business depends on mission-critical software to run their business. Any slight application slowdown or outage can lead to legions of unhappy employees or customers. Application Performance Management (APM) solutions can help monitor for performance issues, but they can also be used to gain insights to proactively improve performance as well.
APM is not just a tool for IT Operations. APM has grown into an essential tool that can be utilized by many departments within your business.
When you think of APM, you normally think about IT operations using it for monitoring mission-critical applications. Instead of only monitoring servers and infrastructure, APM solutions can help better track performance at the application level. Including overall performance, key transactions, and much, much more.
APM solutions collect a lot of data. Including code level performance, overall application usage and performance, metrics, log messages, errors, real user monitoring, and more. All of this data can be very valuable for developers when it comes to researching bugs in production. It can also be used to identify parts of an application that can be optimized and validating those performance optimizations.
Developers can also use APM in QA to test and validate the performance of their code before it gets to production.
Traditionally, APM is thought to be used mostly in production. However, APM can be extremely valuable as part of your QA process to find problems before they get to production. It could be used to look for any overall change in performance, new application errors found, load testing validation and more.
Most APM solutions track the performance of SQL queries. This can be useful information for your DBAs to augment other tools they may also have. They could potentially use APM for various monitoring capabilities. For example, monitoring how often a specific SQL query is taking or how often it is being called.
Product Owners and Executives
The product owner ultimately cares a lot about the application, its functionality, usage, service availability and performance. APM gives product owners visibility into the performance of their application and potentially into metrics around how much it is being used. APM dashboards are popular with product owners and other executives in a company.
When a customer calls and says your application is slow, what do you do? After a quick login test to your app, your customer service member would likely tell the customer that everything seems to be working fine, and the problem is likely on their end.
The problem is a user could be accessing your application on a different server, database, or even in a different data center. If your customer service team has access to basic APM dashboards, they could leverage those to better understand if any application problems may exist or not with more certainty. They also wouldn’t have to bug the IT department every time a customer complains.
Sales and Marketing
Major application outages are always a big PR problem for marketing teams, but hopefully they can use it to instead rave about how fast your application is! They could also use it to gather insights into how parts of your application are being used. Just like your customer service team, your sales team is going to get flooded with calls if your site is down.
Application performance is important to your entire business. APM solutions collect an amazing out of data and usually provide very flexible reporting options. I would encourage you to think of ways to leverage the value of it anywhere that you can.
Matt Watson is Founder and CEO of Stackify.
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