When you’re overwhelmed with IT jargon, you must look for the simple explanation. When they’re throwing CDNs, sysadmins, and visual user stats at you, you want someone to keep your head above water.
So, with enough other things to worry about in your new business, you might wrap your head around Application Performance Management (APM).
As long as IT is the nervous system of any business, you need the tools to monitor and manage how your software applications work. By the time your business is operating comfortably, it has amassed a bunch of software applications to run its many processes.
You may depend on word processing while your partner needs spreadsheets. But, as you drill down in what and how the company operates, your applications start to multiply in number and complexity.
Someone or something must notice, report, and remediate disruptions, quirks, or misfires. When your IT ops are juggling cloud, streaming, web-enabled, and standalone applications, you can have problems. And, that’s where APM comes into play.
What APM does.
According to Computer Weekly, “APM looks at how fast transactions are completed for an end user or how fast information is delivered to the end user, via a particular network or web services infrastructure.
Basically, Application Performance Management watches over several system functionalities. To keep it simple, Stackify explains, “application performance management is largely an industry or vendor created term for anything that must do with managing or monitoring the performance of your code, application dependencies, transaction times, and overall user experiences.”
For example, you need to know how things are affecting your end-users. If they’re not comfortable with an application, it won’t go anywhere.
APM will also monitor the application’s runtime architecture. If there are problems, you need to find them, look at them, and fix them.
And, to do fix them, you have to know why they are not working. That requires you to find out what an application is doing at a code level, so you can figure out what’s being used, what’s running slow, and what’s in the way.
Because APM can visualize and display this traffic in real-time, you can get a life dynamic showing memory and CPU functions. And, with professional IT assistance, you can customize the metrics that prove most valuable to you and your teams.
What to look for?
Justin Rohrman and Matt Heusser, writing for TechTarget, said, “APM tools measure many aspects of an app’s health. Reporting, stack visibility and scheduling are all key features to consider when procuring APM software for your enterprise.”
They suggest you start by looking at your stacking needs. An application has many layers stacked up like a game of Jenga. So, you want the APM that matches your stack.
Because you will depend on the dashboard visualization of performance and problems, you want the dashboard display or integration that you find the most useful for your needs.
You want meaningful reporting. Meaningful reporting notches up old school performance notices when what you need to predictive analytics more than cumulative logging of transactions. Knowing, for example, that peak traffic occurs at certain times of the day lets you build in anticipatory solutions.
And, finally, you must weigh the APM’s ability to display with your business’s need for security. This is where some art figures in. That is, just because the APM has the ability to show and tell, you have to finesse what is shows and who has access to it.
Application Performance Management means more to the CIO than the business owner, but in the long run, the CEO depends on its functions and performance.