Transaction-level monitoring matters more and more within enterprise operations environments - if for no other reason than so many different teams within the IT operations and application support ecosystems can benefit.
Transactions offer visibility into how each team's operational domain is performing, while also displaying all the inter-dependencies that make an end-to-end IT system work seamlessly. Where each team used to have their own tools and their own views into the applications they are responsible for, transaction-level monitoring enables them to coordinate themselves around a common source of performance data that provides an overall view of system performance and promotes a culture of operational efficiency that starts paying dividends almost immediately.
Network-based Application Performance Management (APM) - otherwise known as Business Transaction Management (BTM) - provides end-to-end visibility into critical business transactions, monitors the performance of multi-tiered applications, and manages complex network infrastructures that involve a mixture of on-premise, virtual, Cloud-based, and third party software-as-a-service components.
These transaction-level monitoring tools deliver a coherent, multi-dimensional set of views into the transactions at each level of the overall system for your entire IT operations and application support ecosystem to share. Each team can see their part of the overall system with respect to the metrics that matter most to them. It is like having your cake and eating it too. And why not? That is what cake is for, after all.
So who exactly are the team members that need transaction-level monitoring?
These are some of the most critical members of the business. Their roles are inter-related and yet their responsibilities are sufficiently distinct:
Application Support Managers
- responsible for customer satisfaction with respect to application performance
- interfaces between the applications, the customers, the vendors and other teams
- owns the relationships with the customer and with vendors
- must ensure that all SLAs are met
IT Operations Teams
- responsible for the smooth operation of IT resources in support of all aspects of all applications
- owns the infrastructure elements including servers, networks, and platforms
- defines and manages the processes relating to allocation, integration and performance of IT resources, infrastructure, and services
- responsible for achieving the functional, operational, and performance specifications of in-house applications
- must translate performance symptoms and end-user observations into root cause determination in order identify and resolve issues in the applications
- needs to distinguish whether it is the application or the infrastructure that is responsible and determine how the application needs to be adapted
- debug interactions between application components and 3rd party services
- responsible for the architecture, deployment, conversion, recovery, and performance of database services
- defines the structure and access of all data within the database
- ensures the protection, security, integrity and compliance of database contents
- defines the performance of the database with respect to application requirements
Application Operations Teams
- responsible for the overall performance of the entire application deployment environment, including virtualization and Cloud
- discovery, identification, tracking and inventory of all applications
- monitoring, measuring and assuring performance of all applications with respect to the deployment and delivery environment
- implementation of automated discovery and configuration for the application infrastructure
- coordination of triage response to performance faults and degradation
CIO and Business Development Leaders
- define, assess and develop the relationships between IT and business objectives and opportunities
- develop and implement strategic plans to generate new opportunities
- define and drive the implementation of IT to expand and realize the potential of the business with both customers and partners
- coordinate the teams involved in deploying, integrating, and managing IT
Each of these teams (and many others) play a critical role when it comes to the end-to-end performance of the enterprise operations environment. If not equipped with the right tools, these teams often find themselves responding to problems with trial-and-error processes that take up their valuable time and limit their ability to react quickly or proactively. Instead of the right team working on a problem, all of them may have to jump into the fray until someone figures out what is causing the issue.
And when it comes down to owning the end-to-end performance of all the applications running within the network operations environment, none of them feels like they have the ability to take full control of the situation.
That means waste, waste, and more waste. Their time and energy is the life blood of the business. Wasting their time undermines the performance of the entire business, and no business can afford that kind of waste.
Transaction-level monitoring can positively impact each team by delivering to them the data they need to do their jobs - and simultaneously enable them to all work together efficiently by limiting overlap and enabling coordination.
And how is that possible? In the Stakeholders blog series, we will look more closely at each team and their responsibilities. And, we will look at the visibility they derive from key metrics available through transaction monitoring and how they can use them to change their game - from underdog to most valuable player.
This is the first blog in a seven-part series:
Stacy Gorkoff is Director of Strategic Marketing for INETCO.