Application Performance Management (APM) has traditionally focused on monitoring the infrastructure and the internal components of applications a company builds and operates. In the past few years, APM has evolved its focus to take into consideration the end users and how applications are performing for them. However, we’re seeing that there are other types of applications that a business relies on which require performance monitoring. Up until now, APM has concentrated primarily on the apps a company builds, not the ones it buys.
With that in mind, here’s where we think APM is heading as we start the New Year.
APM Predictions for 2015:
1. Increasingly more complex distributed applications
With the introduction of infrastructure-as-a-service and X-as-a-service applications, we’re outsourcing parts of what we might have previously considered critical infrastructure, and critical parts of our applications to outside providers. Classic examples of this are payment providers handling your credit card payment processing or housing your data storage and associated infrastructure in a location maintained by a third party.
As applications become more distributed, companies will need to understand where the potential points of failure exist and how each is impacting their application’s (and thus their business’) performance. They will need to monitor these third-party services and, because they are increasingly relying on networks to receive these services, they will need to monitor the networks as well.
2. Tipping point for business-critical SaaS apps
What’s further driving companies to implement X-as-a-service applications, particularly SaaS applications, is the ability to buy or rent an entire application or service and not invest engineering time developing and maintaining it. SaaS gives them the same value at a lower total cost of ownership. However, if employees are relying on the SaaS application to do their jobs and the app is not working, the business will be negatively impacted.
Companies will realize that even if their IT team isn’t responsible for deploying and maintaining the SaaS application, they need to monitor it. Business will see the tremendous value and savings in monitoring from the end user through the network and all the way to the application provider. Understanding the cause of performance failures can help with identifying and resolving issues before they create a problem for the business.
In summary, as companies continue to move more of their business to the cloud, APM will have to encompass applications and services they buy as well as those they build. As distributed applications and the growing ecosystem of SaaS apps increasingly become the fabric of modern business. We’ll embark on a new frontier for APM technology, the expansion of monitoring to the entire ecosystem.