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Application Performance Management: Doing It Right?

Sometimes, a single piece of data can reveal a big managed services challenge — and opportunity. For instance: Roughly 32 percent of businesses become aware of most of application performance issues from their users. In other words: Either corporate IT or an external MSP failed to spot the application issue before it started to impact either a user or customer experience.

That stat comes from the ManageEngine Application Performance Monitoring Survey 2015. But the data points don’t end there. Another key nugget of info to consider:  28 percent find most of their performance issues by running ad hoc scripts.

MSPs and Application Performance Management

The key takeaway: There’s upside opportunity for MSPs to better leverage application performance management (APM) tools in a range of way. Among the problems ManageEngine points to:

  • Many service providers and corporate IT departments still have no APM solution in place.
  • Many APM platforms aren’t configured properly. For instance, threshold values often allow some performance variation and only trigger notices when performance becomes unbearable.
  • Sometimes, MSPs and IT departments only monitor a handful of mission critical applications — leaving general purpose applications exposed to wild performance ranges.
  • Often, new applications are not tested after they reach the QA stage, meaning that performance can vary greatly once they’re out in production used by real users.

The net result? Bad user or customer experiences that can alienate employees or paying customers. Fully 81 percent of organizations take up to four hours to resolve incidents of application outages. Sixty percent of respondents reported they take up to four hours to repair application performance issues such as slow page loading.

Application Performance Management: Evolving Market

Admittedly, application performance management (APM) isn’t a new market. Dozens of companies offer APM tools and technologies. But they’re evolving fast as cloud and mobile applications continue to proliferate.

In ManageEngine’s case, the company’s APM platform includes out-of-the-box support for more than 80 application servers, databases and transactions across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure. Elsewhere in the APM market, disrupters like AppDynamics (updates here) and New Relic (updates here) are now launching partner programs and redefining analytics on application performance.

Still, I sense that the majority of MSPs remain focused on classic tools conversations (RMM, PSA, etc.) rather than pushing onward to the application level…

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