2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 1
December 04, 2023
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The Holiday Season means it is time for APMdigest's annual list of Application Performance Management (APM) predictions, covering IT performance topics. Industry experts — from analysts and consultants to the top vendors — offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM, Observability, AIOps and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2024.

Despite the title, this predictions list is not only about APM. Throughout the year, APMdigest covers a variety of related technologies beyond APM, and this year's predictions list offers an equally broad scope of topics. In addition to APM, the related technologies covered include AIOps, Observability, OpenTelemetry, IT Service Management (ITSM), User Experience Management, NetOps and Network Performance Management (NPM) and more.

Some of these predictions may come true in the next 12 months, while others may be just as valid but take several years to be realized. Still others may be wishful thinking or unbased fears. Several predictions even directly contradict each other. But taken collectively, this list of predictions offers a timely and detailed snapshot of what the IT industry and the APM, Observability, AIOps and NetOps markets are thinking about, planning, expecting and hoping for 2024.

The predictions will be posted in 8 parts over the next two weeks, with separate lists of predictions for Cloud, DataOps and GenAI to follow after the holidays. Meanwhile, DEVOPSdigest is posting a series of DevOps and development-related predictions for 2024.

A forecast by the top minds in Application Performance Management today, here are the predictions. Part 1 covers APM and Observability.

PERFORMANCE BECOMES MORE IMPORTANT THAN UPTIME AND AVAILABILITY

Performance will finally kill uptime and availability as the most monitored indicators. No longer will uptime be discussed without performance as Internet Performance Management becomes a recognized priority for businesses looking to achieve resilience and optimize digital customer experience. In 2024, performance conversations will be paramount.
Leo Vasiliou
Director of Product Marketing, Catchpoint

MISSION-CRITICAL SERVICE RELIABILITY COMES TO THE FOREFRONT

In 2024, mission-critical service reliability will come to the forefront as companies experience the consequences of under-investment in reliability and security work. Major outages like the Optus outage in Australia, Square and CBA outages, and the MGM outage that took major services offline for hours, should serve as a wakeup call for 2024. As we approach even larger high-stakes projects, like the rollout of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) by 2025, my hope is that the software development teams use good practices to avoid mission-critical outages.
Liz Fong-Jones
Field CTO, Honeycomb

Application high availability becomes universal

As reliance on applications continues to rise, IT teams will be pressured to deliver efficient high availability for applications once considered non-essential. Once reserved for mission-critical systems, such as SQL Server, Oracle, SAP, and HANA, application high availability — typically delivered with HA clustering technology — will become a requirement for more systems, applications, and services throughout the enterprise.
Cassius Rhue
VP, Customer Experience, SIOS Technology

HOLDING VENDORS ACCOUNTABLE FOR SLA

Web teams will realize their increased dependency on third-party systems, applications, services, and the overall internet, which require monitoring and optimization for all the dependencies from cloud providers to CDNs to web components. We'll see a shift in how they consolidate and evaluate their vendors to hold them accountable to SLAs.
Gerardo Dada
CMO, Catchpoint

EXPERIENCE LEVEL AGREEMENT OVER SLA

We're going to see a shift to Experience-Level Agreements (XLAs) in 2024. Currently, we're already seeing more organizations prioritize XLAs over Service Level Agreements (SLAs). With digital workflows connecting much of the enterprise, organizations are focused on creating the most seamless experiences for end-users. To make this a reality, IT agents will come to rely on digital assistants powered by AI to streamline operations and increase efficiency.
Brian Emerson
VP and GM of ITOM Business, ServiceNow

APM LEVERAGES AI AND ML

APM tools will increasingly leverage AI and machine learning to offer advanced analytics, detect anomalies, and provide predictive insights. This will help to proactively recognize and resolve performance issues before they affect users.
Vladimir Mihailenco
CTO, Uptrace

APM ADDS AI MONITORING CAPABILITY

We'll likely see the industry become hyper-focused on monitoring AI applications as an extension of their application performance monitoring (APM), especially as generative AI adoption increases. The next evolution of APM is going to be all about AI monitoring.
Camden Swita
Senior Product Manager, New Relic

APM FEATURES INTELLIGENT SELF-HEALING

With the widescale adoption of intelligent systems, Application Performance Management will increasingly become predictive. The vast data volumes coupled with machine learning will provide insights into what might happen, and the technology will take action before the application performance is impacted. Automation will advance intelligent self-healing of applications and services.
Rupert Colbourne
CTO, Orbus Software

APM EVOLVES FOR HYBRID CLOUD

The landscape of Application Performance Management will evolve with a nuanced approach to cloud adoption. Containers will become increasingly central, offering unparalleled flexibility to businesses. Smaller companies will continue to harness cloud-based APM for its scalability and cost-effectiveness, while larger organizations might favor on-premises or hybrid solutions, using containers to seamlessly bridge the gap between cloud and local resources. This blend of technologies allows for an adaptive APM strategy, providing the agility to shift workloads in response to performance metrics and operational efficiencies.
Keith Cunningham
VP of Strategy, Sylabs

OPEN SOURCE APM ADOPTION GROWS

The adoption of open-source APM tools will continue to increase as they become more mature and more businesses recognize the demand for cost-effective and flexible solutions to monitor their applications.
Vladimir Mihailenco
CTO, Uptrace

CONTAINERS ENABLE REAL-TIME ANALYTICS IN APM

The acceleration of real-time analytics in APM will be imperative for proactive management of application performance and security. Traditional post-event analysis will yield to immediate, data-driven actions, enabling organizations to address issues as they arise and prevent potential disruptions. This real-time shift requires the adoption of secure execution environments, ensuring not only performance monitoring but also the safeguarding of application integrity. Containers are integral to this evolution, offering the agility to adapt to new technologies rapidly, while ensuring consistent, isolated environments for applications across diverse infrastructures. Their role in enhancing operational efficiency is critical for businesses aiming for resilience and agility in the face of ever-changing demands.
Keith Cunningham
VP of Strategy, Sylabs

APM HAS RESURGENCE WHILE OBSERVABILITY HYPE COOLS

Traditional Application Performance Monitoring will have a resurgence as Observability hype cools. The renewed interest in tried-and-true frameworks, in monolithic architectures as an extremely valid approach and in shipping features over coordinating microservice releases all imply there is a lot of value left in traditional APM. If it can solve 90% of a team's problems with a fraction of an Observability solution's complexity and cost, a lot of people are going to realize that as a win.
Lance Erickson
Head of Engineering, Scout APM

COVERGENCE OF APM AND OBSERVABILITY

Tool sprawl and data silos will be main challenges in the coming year. Organizations no longer struggle with getting the right data in. Rather, they struggle with the explosion of data, which is not only costly to ingest and store, but is also becoming increasingly difficult to "find the needle in the haystack" in. Observability practice will move up the stack, from the focus on collecting logs, metrics and other signals, to extracting insights out of the data, across infrastructure and application, across signal types, sources and formats. To address this need, Observability tools and vendors will not only expedite the shift to a holistic observability solution, but will also double down on the data analytics backend capabilities, and I expect to see increasing use of artificial intelligence to extract insights from the data. This will also push the convergence of APM and Observability, to address both traditional and cloud-native workloads.
Dotan Horovits
CNCF Ambassador and Principal Developer Advocate, Logz.io

Go to: 2024 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 2, covering more on observability.

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