Moving performance monitoring from cost to profit center

Not so long ago, if a server went down, the results would often be catastrophic for a business. But, as Gartner notes, with today’s highly dynamic technology infrastructures, cloud-first strategy and software-defined resources, network failures are no longer “a death sentence”.

Traditionally, performance monitoring has been at the hardware level and involved collecting and monitoring data from the infrastructure. However, this approach fails to provide insight into the end-user’s experience and has minimal business relevance. Though, with modern digital experience monitoring (DEM) and application performance monitoring (APM) tools, enterprises are able to collect information that helps ascertain a business’ overall health, not just that of the IT layer.

In other words, IT KPIs are meshing seamlessly with business KPIs, while performance monitoring has shifted from being a cost center to a profit center that impacts an organization’s bottomline. Says Will Cappelli, research vice president at Gartner, “Business performance is the only thing that really matters in terms of the goal of your IT monitoring activities.” Gartner predicts that by 2021, 60% of IT monitoring investments will include a focus on business-relevant metrics, up from less than 20% in 2017.

AppDynamics, a leading APM solutions provider, echoes similar views when it asserts that the best APM solutions provide IT teams with the information they need to connect application performance to business outcomes, as well as identify and fix performance issues before they impact the end-user. Most successful brands have forged intimate bonds with consumers through the proliferation of digital services. “But in today’s on-demand world, those services are only as good as the applications that deliver them. That’s why excellence in digital experience isn’t just about the frontend — it’s also about optimizing application performance on the backend.” AppDynamics recommends an AIOps approach that leverages the power of artificial intelligence, automation and APM to help organizations take care of performance issues before they become customer-impacting problems.

Volition Capital estimates APM was a $4 billion market in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 10% and is likely to reach $6.2 billion by 2023. “With the rise of digital everything during Covid-19, we expect this growth rate to accelerate.” Key trends shaping the growth are migration to public cloud hastened by the pandemic; convergence to an all-in-one suite with many companies offering more comprehensive APM solutions; leveraging of rich data to provide an additional layer of security; and AI Ops — the proliferation of solutions that use AI and machine learning to proactively identify issues rather than pursue a reactive approach. “We expect this predictive and automated element to become an increasingly important component of APM solutions that manage complex networks of applications.”

Volition Capital observes that while some initial category leaders have emerged, the space is still in the relatively early stages of adoption and that sizeable opportunity for innovation remains. “Particularly for players that can leverage AI/ ML to not just identify application issues, but also remediate them.”

No wonder APMdigest asserts that the emphasis on digital experience combined with AI is one of the most easily observable industry trends. “The de facto standard for DevOps extends beyond ensuring uptime and availability, and now includes actively understanding user experience and proactively enhancing performance.” Moreover, AI-based alerting systems can help prevent false and unnecessary alerts. “Having AI integrated with an APM tool helps businesses take proactive rather than reactive actions.”

However, IDC warns that currently many organizations have limited reporting and analytics functionality. Vendors need to bring in AI and predictive analytics capabilities that save time by modeling data to reveal value-added insights that make reporting, performance monitoring and selecting the right outcomes easier. “Vendors must work to embed intelligence within the business workflows to unleash the full power of artificial intelligence. This will guide decision making and automate lower-level tasking within the applications.”

Amplo Global, the leader in AI and machine learning, can work with you to not only get the best out of performance monitoring tools, but also to ensure that your customers stay happy. And loyal.

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