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Why it's critical to understand your "App Landscape"
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

When monitoring an enterprise network, teams often think that they need to focus squarely on the apps that are deemed “business critical,” and little else. While the logic here isn’t flawed, per se, this approach robs IT of the holistic picture of network conditions they need to truly understand where their network capacity is being spent. Without this full picture of the enterprise’s App Landscape, IT could be completely blind to nonessential apps that are eating up network capacity at the expense of essential tools.

However, even getting consensus on what makes an application “business critical” can be an uphill battle at any organization. What may be a “critical” app for a marketing organization, for instance, may be a completely foreign product to those in engineering or business ops.

According to research from the Forbes Technology Council, the average midsized company employs roughly 120 business applications as of 2019. For a large enterprise network, that number could be far greater, and doesn’t even account for the non-business apps that may be active on the network (think Facebook or Instagram on employees phones, or the worker watching Netflix on their lunch break).

With many network performance monitoring solutions, IT teams have to identify a limited and specific set of applications that will be monitored and prioritized. From there, additional testing can be cost prohibitive, as teams need to pay a premium for each additional test for new apps that they want to include in their “business-critical” stack. This is only the beginning, as the bill for monitoring can continue to climb as additional kinds of testing is required on a per-issue basis. And because the view of the network is limited to just the apps deemed “business critical,” teams are blind to ancillary tools -- social media or streaming services -- that could be sucking up network bandwidth and significantly slowing down MTTI and MTTR.

This is an even more important consideration when you consider that Forbes research found 43 percent of the average company’s application stack has changed in the past two years. This outpaces the already high turnover rate for employment in the tech space, which is currently at 13 percent, according to a recent LinkedIn survey.

Staying on top of the rapid pace of change in the IT space is already a huge headache for ops teams, especially as the number of SaaS tools available for all manner of business solution -- from Salesforce to Slack -- continues to balloon, expanding every company’s App Landscape in tandem. Teams will inevitably want to test out all of these tools to find a good fit, but if they are limited by licensing constraints with their monitoring solution, organizations might forego exploring the “latest and greatest” tools.

The longer-term costs to business thereafter range from a lack of productivity, to teams “going rogue” and employing solutions without the knowledge of IT. These “rogue” apps could end up chronically hindering network performance unbeknownst to IT, who are squarely focused on an approved list of solutions, and not really seeing into the entire network.

With networks moving to SaaS tools and cloud networking to support them, it only makes sense that companies turn to monitoring solutions that themselves are delivered through the cloud.

AppNeta Performance Manager can not only be deployed and delivered with ease on all kinds of networks, but we can monitor for ALL of the apps leveraging your network. Without looking at the network through the lens of “total capacity” and accounting for the entire who, what, where and when, it’s impossible for teams to effectively suss out performance issues and resolve them in a time that works for end users.

All of this is what makes AppNeta different than other NPM products -- we take a comprehensive, four-dimensional approach to monitoring that can scale flexibly, allowing teams to explore new solutions and expand at their own pace without having to worry about their monitoring leaving them in the dark.

To learn more about how our delivery model is better than the rest, read our latest whitepaper, “Why a SaaS approach to Network Performance Monitoring fits in the Cloud Era.”

Filed Under: industry insights, networking technology, performance monitoring

Tags: app performance, applications, apps, business and IT goals, business applications, network performance, network performance monitoring, social media, streaming

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