How to Spot When You Need a New Application Performance Management Solution

Some companies can catch the faults in their applications quickly. Others cannot, and need to amend their strategies.

Being a sales territory leader at OpTier means getting in touch with IT leaders at companies of all types. These businesses share a commonality in their need for a reliable and effective way to gain insight from a variety of complex, distributed systems, but the various approaches they take to the problem can be very different. Many rely on application performance management systems that, when are working correctly, help companies collect information from throughout the infrastructure and combine it. Some companies, however, use APM systems that are constrained by various limitations, whether of age or design.

Types of systems
It is important for IT workers at companies with APM solutions to determine where they fall on the maturity curve. The distance between modern, high-complexity systems and antiquated technology is vast, with several points along the way.  Sometimes an IT leader may think his or her company has the APM situation in hand, as big problems are caught and responded to relatively quickly. Small dangers and issues add up, however, and a closer inspection may reveal a host of comparatively minor issues wasting time and effort.

Companies may also have their own hand-coded solutions designed to give an overview of the transactional environment. While these may have been sufficient as recently as a few years ago, data is growing quickly and processes are growing faster, meaning firms need more horsepower than these makeshift solutions can deliver.

Signs of trouble
There are a few telltale signs that a current APM system is simply not getting the job done. These can be serious details or small concerns, but they paint a clear picture of a system in need of revision and improvement.

Through the cracks
Some firms don’t suffer one huge problem in their applications and assume this means they’re succeeding in protecting themselves. Sometimes, however, the culprit is a collection of small errors, which could be harder to detect, but still damaging. The constant fight against these little worries can distract IT and monopolize workers’ time. Combating minor problems puts a company on the defensive, in a reactive stance. Summoning the effort to be proactive and fend of glitches before they occur becomes almost impossible.

Delayed response time
Many firms may have APM systems that lack root cause analysis. These will tell decision-makers that something has gone wrong but won’t dig deep enough to find the specific cause. Businesses can spend ages digging through their code to find the fault and solve it.

In different tiers
IT systems’ many and varied application tiers can present a massive problem for companies. While a clear overall picture of processes can bring clarity and help firms act, a fragmented view does the opposite. Legacy systems are heavily divided across servers. While this made sense when the programs were designed, modern users need a complete view of the environment.

When each department is focused on looking after its own monitoring systems, the tone of IT can change for the worse. One client explained that the systems had created a culture of blame shifting, with mean time to resolution replaced by “mean time to innocence.”

Missing SLAs
One of the clearest signs that a company is failing to manage its own internal processes is missing compliance with SLAs. If this is happening, it is definitely time to move up the APM maturity curve.

Determining your place
So where do you stand?  Are you operating effectively or does one of the signs above hit close to home?  If so, to learn more about OpTier’s Application Performance Management solutions, please download our Transaction-driven Application Performance Management white paper or Contact Us.

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