When Apps Fall Short of User Expectations
While there's no way to eliminate every glitch and problem in applications, it is possible to approach application performance management in a better way.
A recent study conducted by IT management firm ManageEngine found that one-third of IT teams discover application performance issues from users. While this may seem somewhat logical because users are constantly pounding away on applications, it's also a bit unnerving. This means that CIOs and others are oblivious to problems until they play out in the real world.
Let's not even get into the security ramifications. Making matters worse, about half of those surveyed felt that the current set of APM (application performance management) tools the organization uses do not lead to user satisfaction.
Obviously, we've arrived at the intersection of Hazard Avenue and Breakdown Boulevard. The good news, according to the survey, is that 60 percent of responding firms use an APM solution to monitor more than half of their applications. The bad news is that the other 40 percent are flying nearly blind.
It gets worse from there. Nearly 20 percent reported that it takes more than four hours to repair an outage, and 60 percent said it takes upwards of four hours to fix an application performance problem. About 28 percent rely on ad hoc scripts to manage performance.
Finally, only 45 percent of the survey respondents said that application infrastructure monitoring is the high priority APM dimension in their enterprise.
It's not easy dealing with the intricacies and complexities of today's business and IT environment. That much is certain. But CIOs and other business and IT executives need to think about application performance in a broader and deeper way. While there's no way to eliminate every hiccup, glitch and problem, it is possible to approach application performance management smarter and better.
A starting point is to establish metrics and standards that link application performance to the business. The ability to benchmark and understand performance is crucial. The next step is to put systems and technology in place to monitor performance and measure results—from the specific application to the network and beyond—through real-time analytics. Finally, there's a need to put the right software and systems in place to address problems as soon as they are detected.
Without a monitoring solution that is properly configured and a focus on monitoring all applications within the enterprise, an organization is playing Russian roulette. As application performance ripples out to the mobile world, the demands grow even greater. Organizations that don't address these issues wind up with customers who fall into the "frustrated" or "heading elsewhere" categories.