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The Comprehensive APM Checklist: From Scope to Solution

An application performance management (APM) solution is a critical piece of your technology infrastructure. This checklist will help you scope out your needs to find the best solution.

A properly implemented application performance management (APM) solution can provide significant value to an organization by improving application performance, efficiency and end-user satisfaction. But with so many products on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive APM checklist of things to consider when selecting and implementing a solution. We will also discuss the different phases of an APM project – from scope definition to solution deployment.

Step 1: Scope Your Project

Any APM project should begin with a clear definition of its scope. What exactly will the project entail? What are the specific goals that need to be achieved? What applications need to be monitored? What performance metrics will need to be collected?

Once you have a clear understanding of the project’s objectives, you can begin to break those bigger objectives down to more discrete milestones, and begin building your project roadmap. 

  • Identify the tasks that need to be accomplished and the resources required for each phase.
  • Develop a timeline for completing the project.
  • Ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page.
  • Determine the budget, including both hard costs like software licensing fees, and soft costs such as staff time spent on onboarding, training and maintaining the solution.

By clearly defining the scope of the project from the outset, you can ensure you follow APM best practices to set yourself up for success. Once the scope has been defined, it is time to start looking at potential solutions.

Step 2: Research APM Vendors

When evaluating APM tools, there are a number of different criteria to consider. These include cost and budget parameters, as well as specific application integrations needed to work with your existing IT environment. You also must consider the business case and the specific features and capabilities required to achieve those larger objectives.

Once you have determined the specific needs of your organization, it is time to start evaluating potential APM vendors, such as Dynatrace, DataDog, or AppDynamics. There are a number of different options on the market, so it is important to do your research before making a final decision. When evaluating vendors, be sure to consider things like pricing, features, and customer support.

Step 3: Test & Evaluate APM Tools

Once you have a shortlist of potential solutions, it is time to start testing and evaluating them. This is where you will really be able to see how each solution performs in your specific environment. Be sure to run a variety of tests and compare the results.

Step 4: Select an APM Vendor

After you have tested and evaluated the different solutions, it is time to make a final decision. Choose the solution that best meets the needs of your organization and provides the best value for your team. This will require comparing the different features and benefits against best practices for APM and your requirements, and getting feedback from all the relevant stakeholders.

Step 5: Deploy Your APM Solution

After the solution has been selected, it is time to deploy it within your environment. This includes installing the necessary software components and configuring them to work with your applications. It may be helpful to engage an outside consulting firm to assist with implementation, to provide not only additional capacity but the experience that comes from performing similar installation and configuration in a variety of environments. 

This is an area where Windward has been able to assist many of our clients, providing that extra set of hands and wider net of experience which can be the difference between a smooth, successful launch and a protracted, painful one. 

Step 6: Monitor & Measure

Once the deployment is complete, it is important to monitor the performance of your APM solution. This will ensure that it is working correctly and providing the desired results.

If you follow this simple APM checklist, you can be sure that your application performance management solution will be successful. By taking the time to scope out your needs, test different solutions, and deploy the chosen solution correctly, you can avoid many of the common pitfalls associated with initiating an APM tool or platform.

Windward has experience working with complex IT environments, for clients in a variety of specialized industries such as finance, telecom, and federal agencies. Set up a time to talk to learn more about how we can help you solve your performance management challenges.

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