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APM Best Practices to Deliver Big Performance Gains

Integrating APM into CI/CD processes will help improve how your organization uses data to make faster business decisions – which can lead to measurable ROI.

Enterprise IT operations teams are always looking for ways to improve efficiency. Application performance management (APM) is a process that can help. However, with a crowded market of APM tools all promising to deliver transformative results, how do you develop a plan for implementation that leads to measurable improvement? What are the established APM best practices that can help ensure success?

Improving application performance is essential for any business, but it can be difficult to know where to start or how to measure success. Without a clear plan, you could end up wasting time and money on ineffective tools and strategies.

In this post, we’ll discuss best practices for implementing APM tools or platforms such as Dynatrace, DataDog, or Elastic as part of an overall APM solution, and what pitfalls to look out for as you integrate this process into your overall IT operations strategy. We’ll also provide advice on how to measure the success of your APM initiative so that you can be sure that it’s delivering value to your business.

What is Application Performance Management (APM)?

Application performance management (APM) is the process of monitoring and managing the performance of software applications. The goal of APM is to ensure that applications are available and performing as expected in order to provide a good user experience. APM tools can help you identify and diagnose issues with your applications, so that you can take steps to fix them.

What are the benefits of APM?

In the world of IT operations management, application performance management is a key area for efficiency gains. Poorly performing applications can lead to lost revenue, frustrated customers and even damaged reputations.

A recent study by Aberdeen Group found that organizations with strong APM practices enjoyed an impressive 31% improvement in customer satisfaction and a 27% improvement in employee productivity. Let’s explore some of the best APM practices to help you deliver big performance gains for your business.

What are the APM best practices for getting started?

Getting off to a solid start with APM will require taking an honest assessment of the state of your IT ecosystem. This will help you understand where your APM solution will fit within your overall operations strategy. This will involve pulling together a team of stakeholders, and seeking consensus on the following:

  • Defining and setting application performance goals
  • Determining which metrics to measure
  • Creating a baseline for performance measurement
  • Performing a scope assessment and features wish list
  • Completing due diligence assessment of possible solutions

Once you have a good understanding of the state of your IT infrastructure and how APM can help, you’ll need to select the right solution for your needs.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing an APM solution. These include budget, features, capabilities, and the skillsets required to both stand-up a solution and to keep it running smoothly post-launch. 

As with most aspects of IT operations management, successful APM deployment depends on starting with the end in mind. If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s impossible to outline a map to get there.

How APM best practices help overcome common challenges in implementation

When it comes to APM, one size does not fit all. The best solution for your organization depends on the specific needs of your business and IT environment. However, there are some common challenges that organizations face when implementing APM solutions:

  • Lack of visibility into application performance: Without visibility into how your applications are performing, it’s impossible to expedite remediation.
  • Lack of collaboration: To resolve performance issues quickly, you must have a good working relationship between IT and business teams.
  • Siloed data: When data is siloed, it’s difficult to get a holistic view of application performance.
  • Poorly-implemented AI/ML tools: Many teams underestimate the effort required to set up and train the algorithms.
  • Underestimating the ongoing maintenance required for your APM platform or tool.

How can you overcome these challenges? One option is by engaging an experienced IT consulting firm familiar with setting up successful APM solutions in your industry. A consulting company can help your team internalize and activate the best practices for APM. This applies to both the setup phase and over the long term. 

Another option is to lean on your IT tools vendor to provide support and guidance. Many tools offer this kind of concierge service – for an additional fee. Additionally, a combination of strategic consultants and vendor support may be the best option, assuming a good working relationship.

Other tips or advice for implementing APM in enterprise IT Operations

If you’re looking to implement APM in your organization, here are a few best practices to keep in mind. To get the most out of your monitoring efforts, you need a comprehensive picture.

That means regular reporting on key metrics as well as monitoring real-time awareness. This provides current and trending insights for business units and team priorities. Integrating APM into CI/CD processes will help improve how your organization uses its data. This will enable faster business decisions – which can ultimately lead to measurable ROI.

Our team of experts can help you develop an APM checklist that leads to measurable improvement in application performance. We’ll work with you to identify the right tools and strategies for your unique needs, and help you implement them effectively so you can see results fast.

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APM Best Practices to Deliver Big Performance Gains

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