Rethinking Application Performance in the Digital Business Era

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IT Operational Excellence

IT operational excellence takes on a new meaning.

IT operational excellence used to mean delivering "good enough" application performance and reliability, with the smallest amount of fully maximized resources. In the new, customer-centric digital business paradigm, IT operational excellence needs to be redefined – optimizing IT to support the best possible customer experience. For example, in a virtualized environment, there may be a certain level of CPU utilization (less than 100 percent) where application performance begins to suffer. In this example, 100 percent utilization is not the ideal. The advanced analytics capabilities described previously can help organizations discover these thresholds. IT operational excellence, in the context of supporting the best possible customer experience, is a significant benefit of an evolved APM strategy.

Application Performance Management (APM) is defined as the monitoring and management of the performance – speed, availability, and reliability – of software applications. APM strives to detect and diagnose application problems in order to maintain an expected level of service for users. In recent years, the definition of "user" has evolved beyond internal users (i.e., employees using applications to do their jobs), to increasingly mean external customers using web-based applications.

Today's organizations leverage a variety of services to deliver stronger, more feature-rich and more satisfying digital experiences to customers, often with the aim of driving more conversions. Examples include content delivery networks (CDNs), social media plug-ins and marketing analytics. One nasty by-product of all these services is increased complexity – more elements are "standing" between an organization and its customers than ever before, and each one represents a potential point of failure that can degrade an entire experience.

Modern customers have no patience for websites, mobile sites and applications that are slow or unreliable. According to Nielsen Norman Group, even an extra second or two of delay in load time can create an unpleasant user experience, causing a transaction-oriented site to lose sales. If customers have a poor experience with a brand, they don't care who or what third-party element may be the cause; it is the brand itself that will take the reputation hit. Given increased web complexity, APM isn't as clear-cut as it used to be, and IT teams can no longer assume that just because the servers within their walls are up and running, their customer experiences are void of hiccups. Today's APM strategies need to be much more extensive, with a strong customer experience being the ultimate measure of success. Against this backdrop, Catchpoint Systems has identified six key points organizations should consider as they evolve their APM strategies for the digital business era.


Related Topics : SharePoint, Web Video and Voice Conferencing, UK, MySpace, Intranets

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