When managing IT, it seems every product comes with its own set of monitoring tools, and then each department or division with the organization standardizes on different sets of tools. In fact, a survey of 300 IT professionals in North America and Europe conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) on behalf of AppDynamics, a provider of application performance monitoring (APM) software and service, finds that on average IT organizations have 11 or more commercial tools at their disposal to manage application performance.
Not surprisingly, nearly two-thirds of respondents report that it takes at least three hours to determine the root cause of performance issues, while another third admit that it takes six or more hours to find the source of an issue. Given the complexity of modern IT environments, that means most IT organizations are spending an inordinate amount of their time trying to discover the sources of multiple issues each day. It may only take a few minutes to actually fix the problem once it’s discovered, but when all the time spent fixing problems is added up, there’s not much time left over to think strategically about how to better apply IT.
AppDynamics CTO Bhaskar Sunkara says most IT organizations need to take a giant step back in terms of how IT is holistically managed. Most IT professionals are trying to prove that whatever they are responsible for inside the IT organization is not the source of a particular problem. Instead, IT organizations should be tracking transactions as they move across their portfolio of applications and IT infrastructure. That approach not only makes it simpler to triangulate where actual problems are occurring and their impact on the business, but it also serves to make the IT management team more efficient.
The truth is that most IT organizations are fundamentally chaotic, but that’s not necessarily anyone’s particular fault. IT management teams have grown up around the technologies that have emerged over the years. The challenge now, says Sunkara, is finding a way to unify all the IT management silos that have sprung up over the decades.
Whether that leads to wider spread adoption of unified IT monitoring tools remains to be seen. So until organizations are willing to change how the IT organization functions, the inefficient forms through which IT management services are delivered today will not change for the better.