Application performance management, or APM, refers to the discipline within systems management that focuses on monitoring and managing the performance and service availability of software applications. According to Gartner research, Application Performance Management includes 5 distinct functional dimensions:
As organizations examine ways to improve the quality of their application services, many will turn to end-to-end application performance management (APM). While the business case for APM varies based on the type of organization, all organizations must develop the ROI as an initial step. Business units that rely on critical applications to drive revenue or internal efficiencies cannot afford to experience application performance issues or application failures, and will be the biggest benefactors of APM.
When application performance issues occur, the business loses revenue or productivity (or both), and these losses can usually be quantified. Such losses are the areas to focus on. APM also provides value to application engineering teams as well as the operational organizations that are tasked with managing and ensuring performance of the application.
End-to-end APM provides enterprises with quick insight into performance problems, and can allow the IT team to troubleshoot issues before they affect customers. The highest value for APM will be for applications that directly affect revenue, such as online product ordering, financial transactions or mission-critical services like VoIP. End-to-end APM can also help ensure that service level agreements (SLAs) are not violated, and reduce or eliminate the penalties associated with those SLA violations.
For organizations that do not have APM products, end-to-end APM can monitor and report on all aspects of the application environment and provide immediate value to application development and engineering teams, as well as operations and management organizations that need application performance visibility. In environments where organizations have tools to monitor components of the application infrastructure, end-to-end APM can fill the monitoring gaps that exist, and provide an overall analytics engine for the events and presentation layer. For organizations that have monitoring tools and an overall enterprise management system, end-to-end APM can perform the tough job of aggregating application data and pinpointing the root cause of the application problem.
Providing this level of both real-time and historical visibility will finally allow organizations to attain better management of their application services and allow those same organizations to reduce the customer-facing impact of performance degradation and mean-time-to-repair (MTTR). Just about every organization that relies on applications should provide monitoring visibility into those same applications, but it all starts with the business case and providing overall justification for the solution.