To drive business ROI and retain competitive advantage in today’s super-fast paced digital market, organizations have to focus on their applications. Applications are the life-blood of a business; they are the channels through which end-users engage with your brand, products, and services.
To appreciate this concept, we need to look no further than load times. The latest figures show that if your mobile app or website doesn’t do a full page load in 3 seconds or less, then your customers will leave and abandon you and head over to your competitors site to spend their money there. Customers simply have no patience for slow, erratic, or buggy applications.
Application performance monitoring is the key to ensuring that the hard-earned app is delivering the business value it was designed for. APM is the IT discipline that focuses on application monitoring and management. One source well summarizes the purpose of APM as follows: “To translate IT metrics into an End-User-Experience that provides value back to the business.”
Application monitoring in the life of a business is critical and deserves a fair treatment. So in what follows we describe some of the main reasons why you need to adopt application monitoring as a central part of your business strategy.
1. Happy customers are paying customers!
Many folks surprisingly still buy into the “if you build it, they will come” mentality. But having an application is the easy part relatively speaking; anyone can do that much. The real work starts by building your rapport with the customer and making them number one. If you put the customer first, they’ll remain loyal fans of your application. On the other hand, one of the worst things for your business is an error prone, buggy site. Nothing will drive potentially paying customers away faster than waiting for the site to load up, or finding it down altogether. So do whatever it takes to make them happy and the revenue will follow.
2. APM gives critical information on your customer experience
When shopping in a physical store visitors have certain expectations about the kind of service and treatment they’ll receive. So why should it be any less for an online shop. Application monitoring is really about walking the walk and talking the talk on keeping your customers happy. It’s about knowing what they experience the second they go to your website, or “open the door” to your digital shop. Understanding page views and load times, site page build performance, and users’ browser and platform performance – all across various geographical regions – are key metrics for understanding how your website and applications are performing.
3. You need optics on your application performance at every level
Just because an application is up and running, doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is fine. There’s always the possibility that key parts of the application flow are not performing at optimal levels. Multi-tier applications today are complex and there are lots of moving parts between the frontend, middleware, and backend. It’s important therefore to understand the lifecycle of each application including its individual components and modules; the transactions that cross many modules and systems; and the underlying infrastructure of servers and networks that support each application. The use of backend monitors can detect such things as latency and imbalanced CPU, which can indicate underlying configuration issues that must be addressed.
4. Mobile is changing everything
Everything is mobile today and it goes without saying that your business must be “mobile first” to compete. The business impacts of BYOD are significant as customers expect the same level of 24/7 performance and availability on mobile devices as they get on desktops. The desktop environment is still the framework for most monitoring efforts, but this will change; application monitoring will need to become mobile-centric. Vendors have started to offer mAPM or mobile application performance monitoring platforms to deal with the rapid changes and increasing complexity of managing business-critical applications running on mobile, virtual, and physical devices. But this is just the beginning! Gartner predicts UEM, or Unified Endpoint Management, as the future of IT device and application management when wearables, Internet of Things, and smartphones become addressed as endpoints. The bottom line is this: smaller and more dynamic form factors and device sizes will require innovative ways to ensure that APM (or mobile APM!) keeps customer experience front and center as the central business goal.