CIOs Uncertain They Can Meet Performance Demands
Cars.com is not alone in its desire to gain better visibility into the performance of its applications. A recent survey of IT executives by research firm Quocirca found that 82% of CIOs expect their business customers and users to demand better performance-faster page loads, checkout, etc.-from their websites and applications in 2012. And 43% of CIOs are not confident that they will be able to deliver.
"The research results were very clear: application performance is the primary concern of the survey respondents amongst the various issues they were asked about, and the majority accepted that measures must be taken over the next 12 months to address this and improve the end user experience," says Bob Tarzey, analyst and director at Quocirca.
"Ultimately, all IT delivery is about application delivery," Tarzey adds. "If the performance of applications that serve a business and its employees, partners and customers is sub-optimal, then so is that business' competitiveness. Although application delivery is complex, it is possible to get a holistic view of the transaction performance and the user experience, but only if an APM system is in place that is capable of achieving this."
Mapping APM Metrics to Business Metrics
The Quocirca report notes that businesses are struggling to map application performance to their business goals, and nearly 80% of CIOs are worried that the metrics they do collect on application performance don't map to business metrics. This, Quocirca says, points to a need for an APM system that allows organizations to combine a wide range of statistics in real-time about how well applications are meeting the requirements of lines of business alongside statistics on pure performance.
"What's happened in the last five years is that applications have gone from being the interesting thing that rode on our most important infrastructure to being the center point of IT," says John Van Siclen, general manager of Compuware APM. "It's the connection between the business and IT. The network isn't really a connection between business and IT; servers aren't really either. How an application gets performance from the eyes of your users matters to the business owners who are funding the apps. How we do our banking, book our travel, even manage our kids' education, everything is via Internet transactions. These applications are no longer the step child to the real business. It is the real business."
Where software architects focused on component health in the past, Van Siclen says they must now think of things as transactions: from a click in a browser all the way through the cloud to the data source and back again. Today's APM needs to sit inside an app and light up the whole path a transaction takes.
Applications Must Take User-Centric View