Application performance is critical to the customer experience

Pre637 Application performance is critical to the customer experience

Application performance monitoring (APM) is a well-established tool for IT professionals: to understand how well applications on which a business depends are performing and to pinpoint bottlenecks that are compromising performance.

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In a world where customer interactions are increasingly based on digital technologies the performance of applications has a direct impact on the customer experience, and in many cases, on a company’s bottom line. Numerous surveys have shown now low customer tolerance is for slow-loading web pages.

Take a look at this graph. It suggests 25 percent of customers will abandon a page after a four-second delay, and almost 40 percent after ten seconds. Amazon has reportedly calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $US1.6 billion in sales each year.

What this means is that application performance monitoring tools need to be able to link application performance to its impact on the end user experience. As this report Closing the End-User Experience Gap in APM, says: “While back-end metrics like server, operating system and memory are nice, they’re of little value without the context of end-user experience. As the end user goes, so does your business.

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An APM strategy that doesn’t take into account the end-user experience, that lacks visibility into the many factors that affect end-user experience, is a broken model.”

The report contains the results of a survey undertaken by Gartner to try and determine the primary inhibitors to the increased adoption of enterprise APM products or services.  “We wanted to understand the degree of APM penetration, as well as to establish whether or not there were any correlations to APM usage and the ‘mission criticality’ of the application,” Gartner said.

Its survey results would suggest that enhancing customer experience is now the top priority for investment in APM systems, ranked number one by 49 percent of respondents, compared to improved troubleshooting capabilities, ranked number one by 24 percent of respondents. However when the top three reasons are combined, enhancing customer experience and improved troubleshooting capabilities are almost neck and neck.

Gartner makes a rather more subtle distinction in APM functionality than simply between application troubleshooting and monitoring customer experience. It says buyers of APM systems should “look for products that enable not only the understanding of end-user experience but also the context of the business impact of poor performance.”

Gartner then sought to discover which APM features were in most demand to see if preferences here correlated with the primary purchase criteria. The top ranked features were end-user experience monitoring (ranked number one by 46 percent of respondents), followed by IT operations analytics (33 percent) and application component deep dive (10 percent).

Gartner observed: “The interest in analytics at first does not seem to correlate with improving troubleshooting, but because of the increasing complexity of the application and infrastructure environment, we have observed rising client interest in analytics to improve root cause analysis and other capabilities.”

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