Application performance management for the digital enterprise

Application performance management for the digital enterprise

As companies transform digitally, service delivery and application performance distinguish the winners from the losers.

Application performance management (APM) is a critical enterprise function that ensures applications deliver a certain level of performance, speed, and reliability to end users as the inability to do so could adversely impact business. All these years enterprises have relied on various APM tools to guarantee performance, mostly to their internal users. As companies transform digitally, APM becomes even more crucial as applications form the core of a digital environment.

APM: The digital dimension
In the pre-digital period applications were focused inwards. But over the years, enterprises have embraced a slew of disruptive new concepts like cloud, mobility, and containerisation among others. Methodologies like agile and DevOps are changing the way development and operations teams collaborate and deliver applications. Concepts like design thinking have shortened project lifecycles and accelerated the rate at which new applications are delivered. With digital transformation, applications are outward focused as customers interact and transact with enterprises through applications that reside on the web, very often on a remote cloud. In such an environment, service delivery and application performance distinguish the winners from the losers. Inability to deliver application performance (which directly impacts customer experience) could result in a loss of business. That is because today’s customers have no patience for apps that are slow or bug-ridden. A small delay in a transaction on the web could drive the customer to a competitor who offers better customer experience. If a customer has a bad experience with a brand online it could result in reputational damage that could amount to huge costs.

Legacy APM limitations
The traditional approach to APM and the tools that help optimise application performance are inadequate to deal with the demands of the digital world, as it requires enterprises to continuously identify new business opportunities, innovate on applications and deliver customer delight. The legacy approach to APM and the tools that supported it were mostly focused inwards and were not equipped to process humongous amounts of customer data or measure customer experience directly. Digital enterprises will need to adopt an approach that helps them monitor and manage all apps and all users while capturing all data and transactions round the clock. They should also be able to effectively use analytical insights on customer preferences and proactively deliver required functionality through the apps.

APM and automation
Automation of APM is an option that enterprises should consider as it will help fix tech issues faster and deliver superior quality IT service. Leveraging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will go a long way towards increasing operational efficiencies while delivering enhanced application performance. IT service desks around the world are already deploying ML and AI capability to free up their support staff for better tasks. The other development is that application vendors are also embedding AI and ML capabilities in their tools to deliver better app performance. In a few years, platforms like ERP, CRM, CBS and BI will all come equipped with AI and ML capabilities making them more adaptable to the needs of the digital enterprise.

Graphic: macrovector/