5 Key Challenges for Proactive Application Performance Management
December 04, 2013
Bojan Simic
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TRAC's research shows that IT first learns about performance issues when business users bring it to their attention in 37% of cases. Additionally, many end-users never complain about issues with application performance as they simply abandon the application or a website.

The ability to prevent issues with application performance before they impact business users results in measurable operational and business benefits, but still many end-user organizations are not successful in meeting this goal. TRAC's research shows that only 41% of organizations have a 50% or better success rate in identifying performance issues before they impact business users.

Some of the key reasons why the prevention of performance problems is still a major issue for organizations include:

1. APM strategies predominantly focused on troubleshooting

Even though APM solutions that organizations are purchasing often include strong capabilities for proactive management, organizations tend to use these solutions for troubleshooting only. This comes as a result of:

- internal strategies for managing IT services that are predominantly focused on “firefighting”

- the lack of resources and time needed to support a learning curve and the provision of additional internal resources required to take advantage of features for proactive management

2. Baselining and alerting

Timeliness and accuracy of performance alerts play a significant role in enabling proactive APM. From a cost-savings perspective, there is a significant difference between being able to alert the IT team about issues as they happen as opposed to several minutes later.

The process for defining performance baselines determines how early organizations can detect potential performance issues and, therefore, define an organization's ability to mitigate the negative impact of application performance issues on their business.

3. Collaboration between production and pre-production teams

Production and pre-production teams must be able to speak a common language so organizations can identify potential performance bottlenecks before applications go to production thereby improving their success rate in preventing performance issues. Application transactions can serve as the common language between these groups. Organizations must deploy technology capabilities that will enable collaboration between production and pre-production teams.

4. Advanced APM analytics

Effective strategies for proactively managing application performance issues call for next-generation analytics that enable organizations to perform "what-if" analyses and to automatically detect performance anomalies. Not having these types of capabilities in place makes it more difficult to identify problems early and resolve them before they impact business users.

5. Monitoring the impact of change

Organizations are reporting that many performance problems are caused by changes – in usage patterns, application features, new infrastructure or service delivery type. However, many organizations do not have capabilities in place to analyze how these changes could impact application performance from the end-user's perspective.

ABOUT Bojan Simic

Bojan Simic is President and Principal Analyst at TRAC Research, a market research and analyst firm that specializes in IT performance management. As an industry analyst, Simic has interviewed more than 2,000 IT and business professionals from end-user organizations and has published more than 50 research reports. His domain knowledge includes insights into end user experiences, best-practices in deploying solutions for IT performance management, and strategies of related solution providers.

Prior to joining TRAC Research, Simic was a lead analyst for Network and Application Performance Management research at Aberdeen Group. He is frequently quoted in leading industry publications and has presented his research findings at more than 30 market facing events.

Simic's coverage area at TRAC Research includes application and network monitoring, WAN management and acceleration, cloud and virtualization management, business service management and managed services.

Bojan holds a BA in Economics from Belgrade University in Belgrade, Serbia and an MBA from McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley University.

Related Links:

www.new.trac-research.com/

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