As 2018 draws to a close, experts are looking to 2019 and predicting the trends we are likely to see in Application Performance Management. As part of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for December 2018, we are proud to have our finger on the pulse of the industry, future-focused and aligned with customer needs. With that in mind, here are our 5 predictions for APM in 2019
IT ecosystems are increasingly complex, so having an accurate visualization of your infrastructure has never been more important. Most organizations have varied dependencies, from legacy systems that are often too expensive or integral to replace, to newer investment in hybrid cloud services. This year will see increased reliance on adoptions such as containers and virtualization platforms, like Docker, a container orchestration system. Production environments are responsible for continuous updates and deployments, and a problem behind the scenes could grind business to a halt. The best APM tools will be able to quickly isolate problems by whichever area you choose, including granular parameters such as IP, user, application or tier, and not be slowed down by a heterogeneous IT environment.
Increased Need for Analytics
The drive towards agility means that businesses need to be able to make smart decisions quickly and under pressure. Hierarchies are changing, and companies in 2019 will continue to make changes to their structure. This could be working in squad formation, or turning top-down bureaucracy on its head. This means that key stakeholders need to be able to share and collaborate on facts in order to embrace digitization.
It’s clear that data analytics will, more than ever, be integral for APM. Alerts and reports that are written in easy to understand language and can be shared between departments speed up decision making and enable all relevant parties to stay in the loop. Strong reporting can be used for compliance regulations, business buy-in, or to make optimization changes to increase revenue. For this to be truly powerful, analytics must be real-time, showing an accurate view of precise customer behavior, and be easily comparable to historical baselines so that reports show growing trends as well as any performance that’s unusual.
Continued Cloud Adoption
Businesses are increasingly moving services to the Cloud, to enjoy lower costs and new business models at a lower risk. But until now, meeting SLA requirements has been a struggle that has held back Cloud adoption for many companies. Cloud-transaction response times need to be managed at a granular level, especially when it comes to comparing them to baselines and on-premise response times.
The benefits of moving to the Cloud are becoming essential for any future-focused business. This means that APM companies will need to take strides in these areas, providing tools that can enable users to accurately stay on top of SLA requirements and monitoring in a hybrid reality. This was always more important for services such as banks or hospitals who have high regulatory expectations due to compliance audits. With the rise in new and stricter regulations such as 2018’s GDPR and a full update to PCI-DSS guidelines, being able to monitor for compliance is now everyone’s concern.
Renewed focus on UX
The importance for businesses of accurately measuring SLA proves how important UX and Customer Experience overall is going to be in 2019. While the pace of change in technology, and the IoT, has turned business focus from customer experience to security needs in the last few years, many businesses have adopted new security solutions, and are turning back to fighting the competition to provide the best experience possible.
We believe the answer to this is full transaction tracing. Whether you’re fighting slow-loading pages, a higher than average churn or bounce rate, undetected software bugs behind the scenes, or omni-channel disruption, having an accurate view of each and every hop across the IT stack puts you head and shoulders above the crowd.
Too many APM solutions expect their users to deal with gaps and blind spots, and we believe that in 2019 this will no longer be good enough. Stakeholders will expect to be able to trace from desktop apps and browsers, to Citrix servers, web servers and databases, third-party applications and SaaS deployments. Only with real user based and code-level detail on customer behavior and patterns will businesses be able to address their unique goals and ensure customer satisfaction.
Gone are the days where APM solutions could simply alert you that your applications were running slowly. In 2019, we will see topology mapping become much more in-depth, showing a whole array of analytics and actionable data that can be sent to the right member of staff for decisive and quick action. Proactive or contextual topology mapping will become far more in vogue. This should allow departments to see specific threats, such as a sudden anomaly which could suggest a cyber-threat, or alerting users to idle resources which could be used elsewhere.
Businesses will begin to expect to be able to use data from their APM to accurately map their IT ecosystem, including any software elements that communicate or interact with their own network or servers in detail.
What Do Businesses Need from APM in 2019?
In an increasingly complex IT landscape, providing this level of information is becoming essential, and is indicative of what customers are looking for in the future of APM, both in 2019 and beyond. Not simply to monitor key performance indicators, but also to provide the technology to enforce network policy, the tools to satisfy both customers and compliance, and the visibility to secure their environment overall.
About the author: Lanir Shacham is the Founder and CEO at Correlsense.