John Rakowski from Forrester: 10 Must-Have APM Capabilities
November 19, 2014
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During APMdigest's exclusive interview last month, John Rakowski, Forrester Analyst & Advisor Serving Infrastructure & Operations Professionals, outlined 10 must-have capabilities to look for when you are purchasing an Application Performance Management (APM) solution. Not included with the rest of the interview, here is the list published for the first time:

1. Simplicity

Complexity kills. Complexity in any monitoring solution is not going to provide value. So first and foremost any recommendation that I make is that simple is beautiful. Solutions must be simple to deploy quickly, simple to use, simple to access.

2. Collect All Data

APM solutions must be able to record data rapidly and store economically. You need to be able to record all data. It used to be that monitoring solutions would sample data every five minutes, or even every minute. That is too slow now. You need to be collecting all data.

3. Automation

APM solutions must automatically learn and understand what is important to the environment, in terms of the people, process and technology perspective. It is no good having the operator define this. Because of the rapid return you need to get from APM, these solutions need to be able to learn about the environment.

4. Integration

An APM solution is not going to be the only solution you invest in. A good monitoring approach is to have various products in a monitoring stack – infrastructure monitoring, network performance monitoring. So a good APM solution needs to be able to integrate easily with other monitoring solutions. An open API is a must here.

5. Single Source of the Truth

APM solutions must promote cooperation, and a single source of truth. Your APM solution must be a single source of truth for application performance and availability. And it is not just about traditional understanding of performance and availability. It is also about making sure that these applications are delivering the right customer experience.

6. Search

APM solutions should be collecting all data, so they must make it easy to search through that data.

7. Flexible Dashboards

APM solutions must make it easy to display information in context – whether it is to the business or IT. This requires the capability to easily create dashboards for multiple users.

8. Freemium Model

APM solutions must be available to try for free. I am a big advocate of the “freemium” model. For any APM solution, it is very hard to understand what value you are going to get from that solution in a trial period of 30 days.

9. Integration with Automation Solutions

Solutions must be able to trigger responses to situations rapidly, so integration with automation solutions is important.

10. Focus on Business

APM solutions must focus on business outcomes first, and technology second.

ABOUT John Rakowski

John Rakowski serves Infrastructure & Operations Professionals. He has eight years of experience in the technology and consulting industry, with certifications from Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, BMC, and the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). At Forrester, his
research focuses on service management strategy, adoption, and implementation. In particular, Rakowski helps IT leaders and their teams understand the business value of service management, develop their strategy, evaluate and select vendor tools, and implement service management processes such as ITIL. Additionally, Rakowski focuses on the organizational impact of service management and its relationship to broader IT trends such as cloud computing.

Prior to joining Forrester in 2011, Rakowski was a solution architect for Fujitsu specializing in enterprise management. He has provided consultancy to a number of organizations in both the public and private sector and across different verticals ranging from the financial sector to not-for-profit charities. Some notable examples of his past clients are Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, KPMG, and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). He has also been a certified trainer delivering systems management courses on behalf of Microsoft. Working out of Forrester's London office, John holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in business information technology from Manchester Metropolitan University.

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