3 Takeaways from Velocity New York 2014 - and What This Means for APM
September 26, 2014

Laura Strassman
SmartBear

Share this

While exhibiting with the SmartBear AlertSite UXM team in Velocity last week, I managed to skip away from the booth quite a bit to squeeze in as many sessions as possible. The more sessions I attended, the more some common themes started materializing. The three themes that finally emerged are all very different, but are ultimately all related at the end of the day.


Here they are, my 3 big takeaways from Velocity NY 2014:

1. We live in a complex world of our own making

2. Failure is the nature of complex systems technological or organizational

3. Organizational change is necessary to effect solutions and sustain them

The theme of complexity appeared in several sessions ranging from fixing healthcare.com, to a very academic talk about complex systems, to stories about corporate deployments. There were a few layers to complexity. The first layer was about how as teams concerned with performance we were by our very nature, pushing systems to the edge and introducing complexity. The second layer revolved around how deployments are just so big that organizational complexity is introduced - who manages what? If the pieces are all managed separately, complexity is increased, organizationally.

Which leads directly to a discussion of failure. If we are pushing the edge, and delivering increasingly complex systems, then failures will happen. The nature of the discussion has to change from preventing all failure, to failing gracefully. What do we do when there is a failure? How have we planned, in advance, to handle a failure?

Efficiently handling failure involves a collaborative approach. I know you thought I was going to say that deploying great applications involves a collaborative approach, and it does but I think it’s more crucial for failures. At all the conferences I have been to this year, organization change has been a huge topic. It seems to have two parts to it:

1. Hero/Unicorn culture needs to be replaced by a team culture for the health of the organization and the health of the individual.

2. Performance, by its nature, requires a cross functional approach to be successful.

There seems to be a prominent backlash against the culture of the special individual that takes on heroic efforts and saves the day. I think this is partly due to a maturing of the industry but also there is an inherent conflict between this and the need to work cross functionally to solve problems in complex environments. Several sessions went in depth on this theme.

As I passed the first half dozen APM vendors or so when returning back to the exhibition hall with these themes fresh in my mind, the thought occurred to me that if any of these solutions planned to earn or keep the business of any of these other attendees leaving the same sessions I am, they had better be able to do the following:

1. Make it easier for teams to get their work done. If not help reduce complexity, then at very least you better provide efficient methods to help cope with complexity.

2. Help resolve the inevitable failures quickly.

3. Enhance collaboration, not impede it.

I suspect that APM vendors that fail to deliver on these items might not be exhibiting at Velocity Conferences for too long …


Laura Strassman is Sr. Product Marketing Manager at SmartBear Software.

Share this

The Latest

January 23, 2020

EMA is about to embark on some new research entitled Data-Driven Automation: A Vision for the Modern CIO. We're trying to piece a puzzle together that so far we don't believe anyone to date has fully done — seek out where and how IT is moving toward integrated strategies for automation in context with real-world objectives and obstacles. We'll be looking at four use cases, each of will no doubt tell its own story ...

January 22, 2020

Many pitfalls await CIOs on the journey to the cloud. In fact, a majority of companies have been only partially successful, while some are outright failing. To learn more about this migration, Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network surveyed IT and business executives and conducted in-depth interviews ...

January 21, 2020

The online retail industry has yet to have a Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend unscathed by web performance (speed and availability) problems. Luckily, performance during 2019's hyper-critical online holiday shopping weekend was better than in years past, as we did not see any systemic, lengthy outages. While no website went completely down, several retailers did experience significant problems. Why have online retailers yet to figure out how to be crash-free during this all-important peak traffic period? We've identified several reasons for this ...

January 16, 2020

Gartner highlighted the trends that infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders must start preparing for to support digital infrastructure in 2020 ...

January 15, 2020

Edge computing usage is starting to increase. The obvious follow-up question is, "So, what can I do with edge computing?" I'm glad you asked. There are lots of things you can do ...

January 14, 2020

Industry experts offer predictions on how Network Performance Management (NPM) and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2020. Part 2 offers predictions about 5G and more ...

January 13, 2020

Industry experts offer predictions on how Network Performance Management (NPM) and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2020 ...

January 09, 2020

With AI on the edge, companies will more easily monitor desktops, tablets and other end-user devices. AIOps will enable IT to guide employees on improving productivity from the applications installed on their devices while delivering greater visibility and control around the entire IT environment ...

January 08, 2020

2020 will see AIOps adoption going mainstream as use cases crystallize for improving IT efficiencies and supporting faster decision-making. Expect AI-enhanced automation to become smarter and more contextual, move towards the edge, and used increasingly for customer and user experience analysis. Yet there are significant challenges and cautions, which will shape AI's development in not only IT but across business and society ...

January 07, 2020

Industry experts offer predictions on how Digital Transformation will evolve and impact business in 2020 ...