Apps are only as good as their Application Performance Management (APM)

Why good application performance management (APM) is becoming increasingly important.

Many companies have long since turned to apps in order to be able to do business faster and more agilely. However, they are often unaware that the various apps and programs can get in each other’s way and place an excessive load on the corporate network. This is where a well set up Application Performance Management (APM) can help. This article shows how APM can support companies.

Business apps have quickly become an integral part of our daily lives, and we often don’t realize that they have long been an integral part of our daily lives – we rely on them naturally.

This also makes their performance increasingly important: in a survey by Riverbed, 98 percent of business decision makers surveyed said they need to improve digital performance as a key component of business performance. However, companies are not managing it efficiently. According to the survey, nearly 80 percent of respondents said performance issues negatively impact digital services at least once a month. Since poor apps have a direct impact on business results, there is a great need for improvement here.

Technological advancements have driven business development in recent years. Trends such as cloud, mobile, containerization, modern application architectures or bring-your-own-device (BYOD) make companies more efficient, reduce costs, save time and have virtually revolutionized customer service. The current challenge is to properly integrate all the necessary solutions while maximizing benefits for the business and customers. But how can companies get the most out of their apps?

Apps need proper application performance management (APM)

In order to develop and deliver high-performance applications to users, organizations need to get a clear picture of the interactions and transactions users have to perform with them every day. An essential foundation for this is optimized application performance management (APM). But often, legacy APM solutions don’t provide the insights needed because they were designed for simpler systems. Instead of focusing more on the end-user experience, they often focused only on features that are most useful for app development. More advanced solutions should incorporate these critical metrics. Those who want to assess how effective their APM solution is should ask themselves the following questions:

  1. What do end users actually want to “experience” on each device?
  2. What applications are they using, including on-premise, cloud, SaaS, and mobile?
  3. Can all transactional and business-critical information about transactions be captured at scale?
  4. Can the data be easily and quickly analyzed, problems identified and the business optimized?

The background is simple: enterprises are faced with increasingly complex environments and applications. Data and users can actually be anywhere, and environments are becoming more challenging with new trends such as SaaS, hybrid networks, and increasing mobility. APM is key to understanding application performance issues at each of these levels. Only when IT is aware of all the apps in use can it identify bottlenecks even within the application code and application systems.

This involves transactions from the user to the back end as well as an understanding of the interdependencies of the various applications. Problems can occur in many areas, from code to SQL to web services. To identify and overcome these challenges, so-called end-to-end visibility is critical. Another task that can be solved with APM: Infrastructure diagnostics can help monitor dynamic infrastructures end-to-end.

In what ways does APM support your business?

A good APM solution provides both AppOps and DevOps teams with new ways to greatly reduce downtime and make the business more productive overall.

On the one hand, it requires faster diagnosis of the root causes of performance problems: Using advanced analytics, performance issues can be identified, isolated and localized more quickly. This is the first step in avoiding negative business impact.

On the other hand, it is about presenting all components of application deployment and preparing them in a practical way. This also includes container environments and architectures based on micro-services, which are often not given enough attention.

Last but not least, a modern APM solution ensures comprehensive transparency of user transactions throughout the network – all the way to the back end. On this basis, companies can break down silos and eliminate errors and bottlenecks regardless of location.

The benefits of APM

The benefits of well-functioning APM are many: First, communication between different teams improves. This prevents unnecessary finger-pointing, enables faster development lifecycles and reduces support costs, which in turn leads to fewer failed projects – this shared sense of achievement can also strengthen team spirit and promote more productive collaboration.

There is also the prospect of increasing efficiency in general – not just in terms of communication, as key information from IT and DevOps is clearly presented in dashboards and reports.

Performance issues can be actively addressed because the dependencies and issues of all application components across IT assets are identified and analyzed. IT teams can monitor critical elements of application delivery in this way and address potential difficulties early. An added benefit for planned IT initiatives: IT teams can plan faster and more accurately, greatly reducing negative project impacts.


Today’s truly digital enterprises need a solution that provides end-to-end visibility into all users, applications, data and transactions. Enterprises simply can’t afford to rely on inadequate legacy solutions anymore. Best-in-class solutions additionally combine the benefits of APM with so-called end-user experience management. This gives companies visibility into the end-user experience for all applications and provides them with the insights they need. This allows them to determine the application performance level even with little time. Companies should take the time to dig deeper into APM: Your customers and your team will thank you for it.

Klaus-Peter Kaul ist Regional Sales Director für Alpine (Schweiz und Österreich) bei Riverbed Technology. Der in den Bereichen Server, Storage, Security und Netzwerke versierte Manager schaut auf eine bereits über 22 Jahre dauernde Karriere bei führenden Unternehmen zurück, darunter McAfee, Secure Computing, Veritas Software und SGI Silicon Graphics.

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