5 Dirty Little Secrets About Application Performance Management

Trouble With APM

Application performance management (APM) software is becoming an important tool for helping IT managers monitor their assets in both the data center and the cloud. IDC says the APM market will grow to $2.2 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $3.5 billion in 2016.

APM market growth is occurring faster than traditional apps because of the cloud, which is creating a need to monitor apps outside the data center. But despite the growing need to monitor apps, many AMP users are unsatisfied with their product. In addition, users are not taking advantage of all the features APM offers, such as the use of business intelligence or APM to get real-time warnings when there's an application performance problem. A survey of 92 IT managers by Knoa Software of New York City, N.Y., outlined these and other issues holding back APM. Knoa sells APM products in the growing market, which includes IBM, HP and CA.

Continue on and discover some surprising attitudes IT managers have about APM in their businesses.

Half Of APM Users Unsatisfied

When asked to describe the satisfaction level with their current application performance management (monitoring) toolset, about 50 percent of the respondents said they were unsatisfied or extremely unsatisfied, while about 50 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied.

Mike Zuckerman, chief marketing officer at Knoa, said this level of dissatisfaction was surprising with such a popular product. "With a market at $2 billion in sales, you would assume more people would be satisfied," he said.

Few Use APM's Full Feature Set

When asked what best describes the basic features for information display in their APM tools, more than 50 percent of respondents said they had only operations consoles, green or red lights, spreadsheets and proprietary reports. Less than 25 percent had business intelligence or analytics-based presentation and analysis tools.

Knoa's Zuckerman said BI offers valuable insight into how applications are performing and being used, "but most IT operations don't seem to be using it, judging by the survey."

APM Not Ready For Real-Time Updates

When asked to describe the frequency of updates for their APM tools, only about 50 percent of the respondents said they had real-time updates.

"If you have a problem with your infrastructure or a degradation of your network, you need to know that," in order to address the issue before real damage occurs, Knoa's Zuckerman said.

Apps Have Real Performance Problems

When asked what percent of their applications experience performance problems, 100 percent of participants said they had performance problems with at least 30 percent of their applications. About 35 percent of all participants had performance problems with at least 50 percent of their applications.

With nearly all respondents experiencing application performance issues, the need for better APMs is as great as ever, Knoa's Zuckerman said. "This shows there is much work to be done to solve this problem," he said

IT Managers Are Often The Last To Know About Problems

When asked what percent of the time their users identify a performance problem before the operations or information technology team are aware of the problem, more than 60 percent of participants noted that users identified a performance problem at least 40 percent of the time before their operations or IT personnel did.

Additionally, about 25 percent of all participants said that users identified a performance problem at least 70 percent of the time before their operations or IT team.

IT managers need APM systems that have more visibility into all aspects of application performance, from infrastructure to the desktop, otherwise IT managers are "flying blind," Knoa's Zuckerman said.

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