This is quite possibly the most important list we have posted on APMdigest. The bottom-line business benefits are what APM is really all about, or should be all about, although the market can forget this at times. But the reality is that no company should be deploying Application Performance Management unless they are using it to drive bottom-line business benefits such as those on this list. The benefits on this list are the payoff, the end result, the ultimate reason for APM.
This list of benefits is the common ground between Business and IT. This where the CFO and VP of Sales and Marketing can meet the CIO and CTO, and join forces. This list is the mutual goal.
Many of the APM industry's top experts — from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors — offer their perspective on the bottom-line benefits of APM.
These benefits are not listed in order of importance. Some of the categories overlap. Some of the categories could actually be considered subsets of the other categories. Some of the quotes could fit into multiple categories. But this list will give you an idea of the diverse and critical range of benefits offered by APM.
1. Increased Sales and Revenue
Every business has a set of critical applications that they depend on for brand image and/or revenue. The availability and performance of these applications can have significant impact on business performance, especially when the business is trying to get more connected to their users via internet, social media and mobile devices and driving more sources of revenue.
IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director of APM and Analytics
From an IT Service Manager’s view, the benefit is increased service availability to meet or exceed an SLA. But to translate this to bottom line impact, Netuitive believes APM analytics need to correlate service levels and outages to real financial impact. The lost revenue, lost customers and brand damage that can result from an outage or degradation.
President and CEO, Netuitive
APM can deliver great bottom line benefits, like increased sales, by reducing mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) for production incidents. Recently a customer in the online travel sector, Thomas Cook, realized a 97 percent improvement in MTTR following their APM implementation, which increased online bookings by 30 percent and helped the company recapture an estimated $190,000 of lost business in three months. Quickly detecting, diagnosing, and resolving web performance issues gives a business insight into customer experience to boost sales.
Executive Director, Application Performance Monitoring, Dell Software
Today's business is heavily dependent on IT systems to perform at the best. For example, an IT component failing in an eCommerce business could result in a shopping cart order failure that in turn results in loss of revenue for that business. If IT uses APM to proactively detect performance degradation and rectify it before it severely impacts the business, that could save loss of revenue and also credibility for the business with its customers.
Vice President, Product Management, ManageEngine
For businesses, down time and poor performance can result in lost revenue as customers go elsewhere. Without APM, businesses might be blind to the customer experience and could be losing revenue due to poor performance.
Product Marketing Manager, CA Technologies
Not knowing about and dealing with issues before they become business-impacting can cause anything from a black eye for operations to actual loss of revenue. For example we have a customer who has a trading desk application; every minute of downtime translates to revenue lost. APM empowers organizations to proactively identify potential issues and take the appropriate steps to ensure their applications are meeting performance and business goals.
Reduced revenue risk - applications are the business in most organizations, if an application is slow or down then that has a direct impact on the business. APM lets organizations troubleshoot and reduce the amount of time an application is slow or down, thus reducing the revenue risk associated with slow performance. If application performance didn't hurt the business then there would be no compelling reason to purchase an APM solution.
Tech Evangelist, AppDynamics
APM can increase revenues and help keep satisfied customers resulting in a better bottom line. The issue is that most businesses cannot provide the profit or loss based on application quality aside from a couple industries (such as advertising, retail or other e-commerce business), so most of the ROI cases presented by vendors are intangible at best.
Research Vice President, IT Operations Management, Gartner
2. Business Continuity – Reduced Downtime
APM provides lower risk of IT breakdown for the business.
Principal Analyst, Ovum
Many companies see up to 60-70% reduction in downtime and in business impact by using APM solutions to optimize their operations.
Sr. Product Marketing Manager for HP Application Performance Management
IT services are at the heart of any business. Simply put, without the assured availability of those, companies will be confronted with unacceptable downtime that can cost millions in lost revenue. APM’s role in improving availability is three-fold: verify that these core services maintain expected levels of availability; ensure more efficient troubleshooting; and promote safer upgrades and changes. In organizations deploying modern APM tools, we have seen 10 times faster problem isolation and an average reduction of 27 percent in Mean-Time-To-Repair (MTTR).
CTO and Co-Founder, Neebula
Downtime impacts the business severely: lost revenue, damaged reputation, lost productivity, regulatory impact . APM, particularly when complemented by the powerful ability of IT Operations Analytics solutions, provides actionable insights allowing IT operations teams to predict and prevent downtime.
The biggest benefits of effective APM are optimizing the availability and quality of service of the internal and third-party resources that employees, customers and partners rely upon, and mitigating risks of service disruptions which can adversely affect business operations.
Managing Director of THINKstrategies and Founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace
3. Better End-User Experience
Improvement in application quality creates not only a better user experience, but more productive business interactions with internal and external users.
Research Vice President, IT Operations Management, Gartne
One of the main bottom-line benefits gained from APM is a positive user experience. To satisfy the availability demand, enterprises are looking for truly virtualization-aware management systems able to rapidly diagnosis problems thereby ensuring user satisfaction and productivity.
CEO, eG Innovations
A main benefit of APM is satisfying your end-users. If they are not getting a good experience, they may not tell you. They just stop using the corporate app and start using something faster. All of a sudden, without realizing it, you've lost control of your corporate data! This is a reality. APM will keep you one step ahead of the Game i.e. keeping your end-users using.
Pre-Sales Technologist, iTrinegy
User satisfaction is the most important benefit of APM. In external facing sites, a slow performing application service will prompt users to look to competitive sites. In internal applications, a slow application will result in support calls and lost productivity. In both cases, using proactive APM tools will impact the bottom line directly.
APM's primary mandate is fighting complexity by providing deep visibility and performance insight to businesses, helping to assure faster response times, increased productivity and, most importantly, satisfied end users.
Director of APM Product Management, AppNeta
4. Greater Customer Satisfaction
“Measure twice; cut once” is a phrase carpenters say to prevent mistakes. The same is true in APM. If we measure the performance of our applications in development, make adjustments and then continue to do so in production, we can use APM to directly impact customer satisfaction in a positive way. APM is the tool we use to measure performance, analyze the results and in a closed-loop manner take immediate action to continuously keep performance high. Ensuring applications remain available and fast is a great way to keep customers happy.
VP Product Management and Marketing, Nastel Technologies
APM all comes down to customer service and satisfaction. Expectations are high for anything delivered electronically – a response should be immediate. There is little tolerance for web pages that take too long to load, calls that take too long to connect. Consistently good performance is rewarded by loyalty, and business. High customer satisfaction goes right to the bottom line.
Sr. VP and GM of Riverbed Performance Management
5. Higher Productivity
Our research shows that organizations that are able to make APM data more actionable and relevant reduced man-hours spent in war-room meetings per month by 59%. This resulted in significant improvements in productivity of IT staff as these organizations are reporting that their IT staff is able to support twice as many business users (per IT FTE) as compared to organizations that do not have these capabilities.
President and Principal Analyst, TRAC Research
Repeatedly we hear from customers that monitoring tools “open their eyes” to what is going on their environment. By proactively being notified that something needs fixing, admins can adjust memory or restart services, and so on – before employees and customers are impacted. Everyone involved is more productive when services run well.
Product Marketing Manager, SolarWinds
APM can bring together data on application performance with insights on business outcomes (from revenue to business process efficiencies) and so help to optimize IT performance to business effectiveness. APM can help to unify IT performance with business effectiveness.
VP of Research, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
6. Decreased Reliance on Costly Experts
The greatest benefit of APM? It has to be a decreased reliance on expensive experts. The biggest challenge with siloed infrastructures and spiraling complexity is that they increase a company’s dependence on costly experts. But experts don’t scale. An end-to-end visibility and control infrastructure, done right, becomes an expert work system that allows even junior support engineers be more effective more quickly.
VP of Products, SL Corporation
7. Greater Innovation
One of the primary benefits of good APM is an increase in innovation. When applications are well managed, application development teams are pulled into fire-fighting mode far less, enabling them to spend more time on delivering new innovations to support key business decisions more quickly. Through DevOps and improved collaboration and knowledge sharing between the Service Desk, Application Operations, and Application Development issues can be resolved more quickly, recurring problems permanently fixed, and unnecessary escalations avoided so that Application Development can focus on it primary mission of development that supports innovation.
VP of Marketing, ITinvolve
Companies that want to transition from agile development to agile delivery not only need a change in culture, but also need to make sure to focus on application performance as it impacts end user experience. This will define whether a software becomes successful or not. Today’s APM is an enabler of this change because it is simpler and supports the innovative drive that R&D teams have gained with agile development. It features greater automation in order to cope with the speed of change, and it fosters greater collaboration between ops, testing and development teams. This all results in increased confidence when rolling out new features to the end user.
Technology Strategist, Compuware APM's Center of Excellence
8. Reduced Operational Costs
With an APM approach centered around actual end-user experience instead of just individual network and application measurements, IT can increase business efficiency by decreasing the number of IT staff members needed to triage a problem and lower operational costs by reducing trouble ticket escalations by 40-50%.
Managing Director of Product Strategy, Fluke Networks Visual
One of the key benefits from analytics-driven APM is that it allows you to constantly fine tune your business so that you can not only minimize the impact of poor performance but also find hidden efficiencies that bring overall cost of service down.
VP Marketing, OpTier
The next big benefit of APM is driving top-line growth. Problem prevention is the next big opportunity to reduce IT costs and free that savings for investment in new products and services to fuel top-line growth. IT investments in the next generation of APM will cost far less than continued costs in fixing problems over and over. As the new preventive approach matures, reduced risk to profitability and the savings in IT cost will drive increased investment resulting in an exciting time for APM to deliver on top-line growth.
President – US Operations, Appnomic Systems
9. Higher Google Ranking
APM's greatest benefit is being #1 in Google search results. Google now counts site speed as a key ranking factor for search results. If your web application performs well, with high Apdex scores and excellent end user experience, you have a huge edge in search engine results and watch your organic traffic skyrocket. If your web app is slow, expect to appear far down in search results, and you'll need to spend significant marketing budget to bring in new users.
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station
10. Intangible Benefits: Taking Emotion Out of the Equation
Having the ability to engage in a fact based conversation about the end-user-experience, instead of “spinning” infrastructure metrics and making assumptions about performance, is an elegant proficiency. Taking the emotion out of performance related problems for critical business applications is one of the intangible benefits that an APM solution can bring to your table. This benefit comes from correlating bottom-up monitoring (Infrastructure monitoring) with insights from top-down monitoring (real-time application monitoring) all within the context of the end-user-experience (EUE). If you can put the heat of the moment on ice and clearer heads prevail, this will allow for a more honest discussion to take place specifically with code reviews and performance degradation. It also prevents finger pointing when a system event occurs or an application threshold is breached, since the fault domain is immediately isolated (e.g. network, server, middleware, database, etc.), a stronger team camaraderie ensues to fix the problem.
Director of Enterprise Application Services at the Auto Club Group
and Founder of the APM Strategies Group on LinkedIn