Why a CIO should care about APM

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Recently, I was talking to the CIO of a midsize software technology company on an airplane (I live in Silicon Valley. What are the odds?). He was chatty and I was bored, so we began to talk about business challenges he was facing. I figured I would use the opportunity to learn something.

The CIO talked about his company’s transformation to a software as a service (SaaS) organization. He said that they were essentially forced to adopt SaaS delivery, simply because the economics of SaaS was too attractive to his clients. We then began to discuss application performance management (APM) and how it was helping him. He hadn’t heard of APM specifically, but after I offered some education he rattled off a few tools he had heard of. He said he didn’t have much interaction with such tools; they were used by his operations team and didn’t have C-level impact.

This got me thinking. The disconnect between this CIO and his operations team seems to reflect a common problem. In this era of cloud, analytics, mobile and social, APM should be the great enabler of digital transformation, which really is a C-level concern.

arun2, APM

There are a couple of factors that are important for C-suite executives to consider here.

First, I regularly talk to other organizations that are still early in the maturity cycle and struggling with a switch to DevOps. DevOps is what is enabling organizations to be more agile by getting the development and operations sides of a business to break through their silos. End-to-end APM solutions are the critical component that ties “Dev” and “Ops” together, enabling closer collaboration. DevOps cannot succeed without a good APM solution.

Second, the focus of APM has now shifted: in the past, it focused on IT problems, whereas the new APM is focusing on the business.

The business impact of APM can be seen by looking at three critical metrics:
1. Prevent issues: Prevent expensive outages and directly impact your customer satisfaction index.
2. Get business insights: Gain new process and transaction insights that directly impact your bottom line, including new real-time insights on your key transactions.
3. Accelerate innovation: Accelerate your application validation and lifecycle, helping to drive more innovation out the door. Validation is usually the bottleneck in this age of rapid development with agile.

application-performance-management, APM
With this new outlook, focusing on the business rather than just the problem, C-level executives will truly care about APM and pick the right APM solution to benefit their business.

For more information on how application performance management can help your business, check out this recent webcast from IBM and Gartner Inc.

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