The annual list of Application Performance Management (APM) predictions is the most popular post on APMdigest, viewed by tens of thousands of people in the APM community around the world every year. Industry experts – from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors – offer thoughtful, insightful, and sometimes controversial predictions on how APM will evolve and impact business in 2015.
Some of the predictions on this year's list have never been seen on our previous APM Predictions lists. Some predictions foresee total upheaval in APM and related markets. Other predictions are continuations from previous years, maybe a little more predictable but no less important or disruptive.
Overall, the outlook remains strong for APM in general. “The APM sector will continue to thrive in 2015,” predicts Karun Subramanian, an application support consultant who started posting on APMdigest this year. “It is amazing how a number of businesses still have not implemented an APM solution.”
The list of predictions show there is a lot of potential for APM in 2015, not just because many organizations still need to get onboard with APM, but because the technology is advancing so rapidly and expanding in so many directions.
Some predictions will be right on the money, and others may not come true. Many of the predictions overlap, just as concepts such as end user experience, mobile APM and DevOps all overlap in the real world. This list is not intended to be clear cut or definitive, but all of the predictions are interesting and make great reading that will get you thinking about all the exciting possibilities for next year.
The first 5 predictions are posted below. The next 5 will post tomorrow, and the final 5 will post on Thursday, followed by some more in-depth predictions from our bloggers in the following days.
A forecast by the top minds in Application Performance Management today, here are 15 APM Predictions for 2015 - Part 1:
1. 2015 IS ALL ABOUT USER EXPERIENCE
In a time when businesses are literally being re-coded by software, applications have now become the face of the business. In the age of rapid adoption and rapid rejection, enterprises have mere seconds to impress their users. In 2015, Application Performance Management solutions will not be just about the performance of applications or business transactions, but its focus will now move to helping enterprises inspire their users and deliver exceptional user experience in order to earn their loyalty.
Sr. Director and Head of APM Product Marketing, CA Technologies
Adoption of mobile workspaces to provide anywhere, anytime access to workforce apps will cross the chasm in 2015. As a result, organizations will need to validate expected gains in workforce productivity with a unified approach to End User Experience Management (EUEM) that covers mobile, virtual, and physical devices. While advanced analytics will play a critical role in providing insights into the impact of infrastructure performance in these converged environments, organizations focused on transforming their businesses into proactive enterprises will make EUEM the center of their monitoring strategy in order to effectively measure, manage, and improve workforce productivity.
Chief Product Evangelist, Aternity
I predict that more enterprises will adopt a strategic, unified approach to application performance and user experience to improve employee productivity and engagement, and to build customer satisfaction and loyalty. Increasingly, C-level executives will recognize the link between assuring consistently superior user experiences and achieving strategic objectives and financial outperformance. This will make a unified performance analytics platform second only to database as the most strategic software in the enterprise. More vendors will have to evolve their offerings toward a framework approach.
Technology Analyst and Founder of TechTonics Advisors
Digital systems that deliver experiences and support digital commerce will become the systems of record providing clear lines from business outcomes to user behaviors to user experience to delivery infrastructure. This likely means that APM systems will begin to adopt more customer experience and analytics capabilities to help drive contextual customer experiences and understand not just what happened but what user experiences led to less desired outcomes and how can we improve.
Chief Blogger and Analyst, APMexaminer.com
The sophistication of inbuilt UEM/RUM capability will evolve in a number of dimensions, in particular: object level data and session based metrics – optimizing business relevance.
Senior Consultant, Intechnica
2. APM DELIVERS VISIBILITY ACROSS THE BORDERLESS ENTERPRISE
Growth of the Borderless Enterprise: Last year, "hybrid cloud" was the shiny new buzzword. Today, applications are also incorporating mobile technologies, social media, and Internet of Things (IoT) data into hybrid environments, while continuing to integrate to cloud, partner, provider, and customer application ecosystems. Viewed from the "end to end APM" perspective, the illusion of control has essentially vanished, yet the need for visibility to performance and availability remains. While 2014 has been a year of explosive change, it's likely that 2015 will see APM vendors and their customers digesting these changes and adapting accordingly.
Research Director, Application Management, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
In 2015, the ubiquitous nature of the cloud (especially SaaS application delivery), user mobility and wireless access will continue to usher in the age of the borderless enterprise. IT will encounter difficulties ensuring the end-user experience and efficiency of its workforce, obligating IT teams to re-think their performance management strategies in light of the expanded domain. Key considerations will include the ability to measure end-user experience regardless of location and establishing standard operating procedures for the implementation of new technologies and applications. IT teams will need to have full control of applications on the network, including the ability to evaluate service level agreements with SaaS providers. IT tool vendors will also need to reconcile the features they provide within the borderless enterprise by adjusting their APM and AANPM product line-up in order to fill this new IT visibility gap.
CTO, Fluke Networks
3. UNIFIED APM OFFERS HOLISTIC VIEW
In 2014, we saw a significant rise in the adoption of APM as a concept. This year, we also saw a rise of various sub-domains within APM, including data analytics, mobile APM, and DevOps. 2015 will be about consolidating all those sub-domains and thereby meet user expectations by bridging the gap between IT and digital groups within the organization.
Manager, Product Marketing & Analyst Relations, ManageEngine
Today, traditional application and infrastructure monitoring, log and event analysis, user response time monitoring, byte-code type instrumentation and other tools are all important in helping IT understand what’s happening with their applications. However, each also only tells a portion of the story, meaning IT is left to try to piece together disparate data to get a holistic view of their application stack, which is no easy task. In 2015, IT will increasingly be able to see across more of these dimensions with an integrated view as vendors bring the capabilities each of these tools provide together for a much improved IT experience.
Director, Systems Management Product Marketing, SolarWinds
I predict that APM tools will start to incorporate bandwidth monitoring alongside application performance. As high bandwidth intensive applications become business critical, root cause analysis becomes challenging without the ability to pinpoint the cause of the slowdown with confidence. Monitoring bandwidth and application performance simultaneously provides a more holistic understanding of the ecosystem's health.
Product Marketing Manager, Ipswitch
APM platforms will have to evolve to support the hybrid enterprise, and provide the end-to-end insight into performance and help IT achieve even faster Mean-Time-To-Resolution. As cloud and mobility are becoming mainstream in 2015, APM has to enable IT to pinpoint issues across the entire stack – from the end user device, through the network to the app or data tiers hosted in the datacenter or in AWS or Azure. In addition to the holy grail of the end-to-end visibility, APM will be driven to deliver high resolution data and analytics to enable faster diagnose and repair cycles.
Sr. Product Manager, Riverbed
4. APM FOCUSES ON “MOBILE FIRST”
Mobile app APM will be the key focus in 2015 as mobile usage continues its growth, with the enterprise space now becoming significant. Closely tied to performance testing is security testing: mobile app security will also rise in importance in 2015.
Principal Analyst, Ovum
The market will continue to experience a rise in mobile APM. Today, we barely have any visibility into mobile app performance; it's a black hole. As businesses see an increase in revenue through their mobile apps, the IT team's imperative will be to provide a consistent user experience on all interfaces, both web and app. We will see mobile operation teams and Web app operation teams come together to ensure this unified experience while going beyond crash reports for apps.
Manager, Product Marketing & Analyst Relations, ManageEngine
2015 will be do or die in terms of mobile. Mobile channels are exploding and businesses need to get the mobile experience right this year — not just one time, but on an ongoing basis with the right kind of APM tools.
Sr. Director and Head of Product Marketing and Strategy, AppDynamics
We are in the midst of a massive mobile surge that is changing the way customers, employees or partners engage with businesses. Mobile is now a primary touch point and a driving force in the way millions of users bank, shop and transact. As a result of this shift, which will only continue to increase throughout 2015, organizations will need to focus on mobile application and web-delivered experiences. With this in mind, organizations must make optimizing performance, and capturing and analyzing all end user experiences, a top priority both to drive business success and to understand how users interact and engage across digital touch points.
Director of Mobile Performance Strategy, Dynatrace
A “mobile first” mentality will become the focus in APM in 2015. As application developers realize the need to focus on developing apps that work on multi-device, multi-OS and in multi-scenarios, they will look to monitoring from the end user perspective throughout the process. The developers want to create the optimal user experience regardless of the user’s scenario, device or network and will use continuous delivery to effectively drive coverage complexity. This shift will tighten the loop between Dev and Ops with a refocus of APM solutions to adopt cloud-based, real devices and provide insight into the end user experience.
Director of Product Management, Perfecto Mobile
In 2015, traditional industries that have the most to lose from providing low quality mobile experiences will adopt mobile APM. At the top of the list will be retailers. These companies will follow best practices established by more nimble mobile first and mobile-dominant firms which in 2014 recognized that mobile client code needs to be watched.
The trend for 2015 is clear, flexible work environments! Companies have tremendous interest in creating and empowering a mobile workforce to increase productivity and enhance employee work life balance. The key to success is user adoption and that requires reliable access, optimal app responsiveness and a solution for monitoring end-to-end performance. Only through real-time performance data, intelligent historical analytics and automatic correlation will IT pros have the universal insight and actionable intelligence they need to fine-tune their environment, proactively diagnose potential problems, prevent unscheduled downtime and keep end-users happy and productive.
CEO, eG Innovations
From gleaning the product reviews on IT Central Station, I can share with you one of the top features that real users cite as lacking in current APM tools: mobile app monitoring. I predict vendors will address this critical need in 2015.
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station
Click here to read the latest APM product reviews on IT Central Station
5. APM ADDRESSES THE INTERNET OF THINGS
The advent of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) will elevate the importance of implementing powerful, easy-to-use and cost-effective APM solutions as a rapidly expanding universe of end-points are connected by software-enabled sensors and systems. The new generation of APM solutions will have to contend with an exponentially greater number of connections, transactions and data points. The APM solutions will also have to span Cloud and on-premise applications which will be linked together in the IoT environment. The task of implementing and administering the APM solutions will increasingly be performed by highly specialized, third-party service providers.
Managing Director of THINKstrategies and Founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace