For most big data enterprises, application performance management (APM) is considered an essential element of application-centric IT operations and a DevOps-enabling bridge between production and development on one side, and IT and digital business on the other. APM strives to detect and diagnose complex application performance problems to maintain an expected level of service, and in doing so, APM can reduce mean time to repair (MTTR), reduce IT maintenance and infrastructure costs, and improve business outcomes.
It’s been said that almost every business now is a software business in some form or another. That means that the reliability and performance of your software applications are critical to your success. From this perspective, APM solutions can deliver a significant return on investment (ROI) if used to their full potential. Strictly speaking, the ROI is the ratio between the net profit of an investment and what it cost to implement it. It is often expressed as a percentage, to represent how much profit was made compared to the costs.
ROI for IT Investments is Different
Traditionally, when IT professionals and executive management discussed the ROI of an IT investment, they were dealing primarily with hardware/infrastructure and mostly thinking of “financial” benefits. Financial benefits include impacts on the organization’s budget and finances, e.g., cost reductions or revenue increases.
With the rise of software-defined everything and cloud-based service offerings, business leaders and technologists also consider the “non-financial” benefits of IT investments, including impacts on operations or mission performance and results, e.g., improved customer satisfaction, better information, shorter cycle-time. These are the so-called “intangibles”, “soft”, or “unquantifiable” benefits of information technology. Unlike financial returns, there may be no widely-accepted metrics that can be applied. However, IT’s potential for producing positive impacts on business performance is undeniable. Both financial and non-financial benefits must be taken into account to fully assess the value of any technology solution, and APM is no different.
Enabling Big Data DevOps ROI with APM
Large enterprises typically run multi-tiered applications across a variety of systems and platforms. These can range from in-house systems to external clouds. With the accelerating use of cloud-based apps, the complexity of integrating these applications is a challenge for even the most sophisticated IT teams. Greater agility is the underlying business case for a DevOps approach. Leveraging increased automation, DevOps applies agile and lean practices throughout the software lifecycle. It allows IT to launch higher quality applications and deploy them faster than in the past.
As more organizations discover the efficiencies of adopting DevOps best-practices for application lifecycle management, they quickly realize that APM enables DevOps ROI. Similarly, IT operations teams are recognizing the value of APM to manage expensive cluster resources more efficiently and to better inform DevOps teams who depend on reliable and consistent infrastructure availability and performance.