Application Performance Management (APM) is the must-have technology of 2014. Even if you thought your company could get away without at least some sort of APM technology in the past, we are entering a new era of IT where that is no longer possible.
Today, there is a convergence of factors coming together like a perfect storm, making APM more important than ever. It is not just a matter of this factor or that factor, but a whole range of factors that are transforming IT, transforming APM, and transforming the world as we know it.
"With today's rapid technological change, poor service delivery is too common – 75% of IT organizations are suffering from degraded business applications, according to IDG research services. According to Gartner, 70% of the time, IT organizations learn about performance problems from end-users. 31% of performance issues take more than a month to resolve or are never resolved, according to Forrester. Why? Applications are complicated," explains Dimitri Vlachos, VP of Marketing and Products at Riverbed. "Each evolution of technology continues to add another level of complexity. This complexity knows no boundaries, and more complicated problems will occur – without a doubt, increasing complexity is among the biggest factors making APM necessary for your survival today."
"It's all about complexity," IBM's Jim Young agrees. "Multiple innovations and trends in SaaS, Cloud, virtualization, BYOD, etc. are converging to create the greatest challenge facing application administrators today - unfathomable complexity."
"It seems trite to say IT environments are getting more complex, but the reality is that they truly are," adds Matthew Selheimer, VP of Marketing, ITinvolve. “Delivering an application for the business can now stretch across mobile, cloud, and legacy systems with hundreds of dependencies between them along with numerous policies and regulations that govern them. No matter how complex these environments get, the business doesn't care and simply expects they will perform whenever and wherever needed with a user experience that at least matches what they see in their personal lives. In this world we now operate in, APM is even more critical to the success of your business than ever.”
On this list of 15 Reasons Why You Need APM in 2014, industry experts - from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors - show just how many factors are coming together this year to make APM an absolute necessity.
In terms of the solution, our experts all agree that APM is critical. Some experts add that capabilities complementary to APM, such as End User Experience Management (EUEM) and IT Operations Analytics (ITOA), are also essential.
The list is divided into two parts, with the first 7 reasons are posted here in Part One, and a second set of 8 reasons are posted in Part Two. These reasons are not in order of priority. Any one of the challenges listed below makes APM a necessity. But the onslaught of all these factors together in 2014 just might make APM a key to survival in today's IT-centric world.
1. The Age of the Customer
We have entered the age of the customer, a 20 year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers. This era is fueled by innovations in mobile, social and other technologies which organizations must embrace in order to engage and delight customers. Central to this, applications that engage and delight customers are a key catalyst to commercial success. This means that in 2014, APM solutions will become more important than ever before as it's not just about internal application monitoring but the availability, performance and experience management of external, customer applications.
Analyst, Infrastructure and Operations, Forrester Research
User experience is dramatically impacted by the performance of the physical, virtual or mobile device used to access apps, the latency associated with different locations, remote display protocols, the impact concurrently executing apps have on each other, the client-side app execution time, and by user behavior itself, for example. This user-centric approach enables enterprises to see exactly what their end users' see in order to address their business critical enterprise initiatives such as Mobility and BYOD, SLA and Change Management, VDI Migrations, Staff Capacity Management, and many others. This is why End User Experience Management matters and why it is a critical complementary technology to APM.
President and CEO, Aternity
Businesses are more reliant today on e-commerce and the web than ever before, and web and mobile customers are hard to please. They will judge performance against the best experiences they have had and expectations today are high. The smallest delay in response on a website or mobile app can lose that user. APM is therefore essential to both pre-empt problems on the server side before they impact end users, and end user experience monitoring on the client side to gain an accurate view of user experience.
Principal Analyst, Ovum
The continual consumerization of IT technologies is creating the need to understand user experience and behavior, leading to integration of analytics technologies to the APM stack.
Research Director in Gartner's IT Operations Research Group
As more apps/data/transactions move to the Web, uptime is paramount. This has become business critical as C-level executives expect IT to evolve from being a cost center to a business enabler more aligned with overall corporate strategy and objectives. APM provides value to customers through advanced analytics, helping them gain real-time, actionable intelligence from their operational data to assure service delivery and user experience in a cloud and mobile-centric computing environment.
Technology Analyst, Tech-Tonics
A recent Quocirca research report, In Demand: The Culture of Online Service Provision, showed that two thirds of organizations are transacting with external users on a regular basis. This includes consumers and users from business customers and partners. The applications that drive these transactions sit at the core of business processes and income streams. The research shows the extent to which these organizations are investing in advanced network and application support technology as well as using flexible infrastructure, including virtualization and on-demand services, to ensure adaptiveness. All this would be to no avail if they were not able to maintain an overall view of the end-to-end user experience and ensure that these business critical applications continue to deliver day-in, day-out.
Analyst and Director, Quocirca
In 2014, the successful delivery of applications that directly win, serve and retain customers will increasingly be a catalyst for commercial success but also, more importantly, will promise to enrich the brand. In 2014, APM solutions will be required in order to unify the views and information regarding the health of applications to both line of business and IT support teams. APM solutions deployed in the right way can help to promote collaboration by presenting information in context so that performance and availability insights can be made in order to avert application issues from directly impacting the revenue generating customer.
Analyst, Infrastructure and Operations, Forrester Research
3. New Development Methods – Agile and DevOps
With requirements for higher levels of automated insight driven from the growing need to integrate agile and DevOps into a fully cross-IT initiative, APM is a great investment especially when it has hooks. APM plus service modeling with hooks into a change impact and change management system can help to drive new levels of automation across your entire IT organization, from service desk, to development to operations. It can be the spark that kindles the fire of real-world success in the age of agile.
VP of Research, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
4. Faster Development Cycles
In 2014, APM will be a required foundation for accelerating application innovation through tighter business-IT alignment. To date, there has been an ongoing struggle between business teams, who want to bring innovative products and services to market more quickly, and IT teams who must support these rapidly changing services. Business teams realize that if they cannot speed up the delivery of quality applications to end users, the competition will. But IT teams have not been able to keep up. Without performance management to align business and IT teams during periods of accelerated change, organizations are only heaping on more problems. Only APM provides non-biased measurements of success or failure, which can speed up the adoption of new technologies into the environment. APM is invaluable in helping IT teams to ingest change more quickly, which in turn helps organizations overall to deliver greater innovation faster and enhance competitive edge.
Director of Solutions Marketing, Compuware APM
5. Reduced IT Budgets and Resources
In 2014 APM can help IT "get more done with less" resources. Research from the analysts on IT budgets have not shown significant increases in headcount allocation for 2014. Yet, the criticality of IT in ensuring application availability and performance is still very important. APM can help manage the growing workload and address the need to keep applications running and delivering services to customers. Today's APM, using real-time analytics will reduce the need for “eyes-on-screen monitoring”. By analyzing multiple event streams and presenting a correlated view of the situation applications are in, APM can reduce false alarms and more rapidly drive root-cause. APM's ROI in 2014 will be improved application availability and performance – getting more done with less.
VP Product Management and Marketing, Nastel Technologies
The need to do more with less, as scarce IT resources are asked to continue to provide high availability, improve efficiencies and speed up time to market. This is where APM comes in, collecting and analyzing metrics that will support an amplified feedback loop back to App Dev and Operations for performance improvements and stabilization. Follow the classic management philosophy of what you want to improve you measure and what you measure you improve, APM will do just that.
Director of Enterprise Application Services at the Auto Club Group and Founder of the APM Strategies Group on LinkedIn.
CIO's, and CEO's, will need APM in 2014 to further drive cost and inefficiency out of the business, while improving customer experience. Lean (too lean?) organizations risk reaching a negative tipping point with deeper staff reductions, jeopardizing business operations, client commitments and compliance mandates. Instead, millions in potential savings can be realized by shifting staff (as mentioned in 14 APM Predications for 2014) to roles focused on improving application performance and stability, while simultaneously driving bottlenecks and delivery inconsistencies from the infrastructure. Just as a sales person has to deliver revenue exceeding her compensation and business costs, IT teams, using APM, can provide savings covering their costs, plus so much more.
Business Systems Performance Consultant
The Business needs to make sure that IT is aligned to its outcomes, and it's not the tail wagging the dog. IT needs to show value for money in its operations; the best way to do this is keep the employees productive by keeping applications running optimally. APM gives you this.
Managing Director, APMSolutions
As part of a performance analytics and decision support (PADS) framework, APM helps enterprises and service providers drive customer ROI objectives of reducing cost, enhancing productivity and generating incremental revenue streams.
Technology Analyst, Tech-Tonics
6. Increased Number of Applications
Implementing an effective APM platform will become even more critical in 2014 because of the rapidly expanding array of applications which organizations will incorporate into their day-to-day operations in the coming year. These applications will, range from Cloud-based mobile enterprise applications to support key business functions to software that captures data collected from remote sensors and controls the operation of remote devices associated with the new world of the “Internet of Things”. Monitoring and measuring application performance in a centralized fashion to optimize the responsiveness and effectiveness of this fragmented application ecosystem will be essential to success.
Managing Director of THINKstrategies and Founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace
7. Distributed Applications
Applications no longer live on an Island – they are increasingly scattered, highly distributed and depend on a wide range of components working together. Getting applications to run optimally is an extremely difficult task. Unfortunately, inefficiencies or delays can exist anywhere in the app or along the delivery chain causing it to exhibit unique behaviors at various times and scale. APM can help identify the source of poor application performance with inefficiencies in the internal components of your applications and how they consume system resources.
VP Marketing and Products, Riverbed
As applications become more widely distributed, performance problems are likely to be more common, not less common, but you won't hear that from your xAAS vendors. The one solution you still have at your disposal is APM, as APM solutions have changed with the times and allow you to take charge and monitor application performance regardless of who is running your application or where it is being housed.
Director of Product Management, WildPackets