Business, Not IT, Now Driving Increased Focus On APM

According to a recent survey from InformationWeek,  application performance management is seen as less important than it was two years ago. However, another report from Gartner said the APM market will grow  9% in 2012 to $2.14 billion, which is 50% more than the 6% rate IT budgets are expected to grow this year.

“We’re definitely seeing demand grow,” said Jason Meserve, Senior Product Marketing Manager and Service Assurance and APM specialist, at CA Technologies. “Usage is exploding. People are buying more APM.”

This year the average APM investment was $475,000 and it is expected to jump 29% next year to $615,000. “CA terms it the new normal. Budgets are remaining flat while usage is going through the roof, so how do you deal with that?”

Some of the drivers include mobility and bring your own device, but outages is another key concern, said Meserve. In a yet-to-be-released study from EMA, outages average $75,000-$500,000 per hour, so spending on APM is very cost-effective, he said.

IW isn’t sure what’s killing APM, such as the cloud or cash- strapped IT teams whose application portfolios are changing rapidly and can’t give APM the time and resources to do it right, but something is. The October survey shows the technology is now seen as less important than it was in the 2010 survey: APM has fallen from 50% thinking it was crucially important in 2010 to 42%. The top reasons given for not implementing APM are a lack staff time, followed by a dearth of expertise and the cost.

Of the 14 vendors in Gartner’s APM Magic Quadrant report, released in August, CA was included in the bottom of the Leaders’ Category, behind Opnet Technologies, Compuware, AppDynamics, New Relic, IBM and BMC Software. The participants in the other categories were Quest Software, Microsoft (Challengers), ManageEngine, Nastel (Niche Players), and Oracle, HP, Precise (Visionaries).

Gartner attributes the acceleration in the APM market to three factors: the growing number of parties who have a stake in APM, including application development teams and business executives; the increased fragmentation and modularization of infrastructure, which, in turn, bolsters the role of the application as an organizing principle even for IT operations; and the rapid expansion of the submarket for APMaaS.

Quoting data from a CA-sponsored IDG CIO survey, Meserve said the movement towards APM as a service is more hype than reality. Over half of the respondents (61%) aren’t using it all, 15% will implement it, and only 6% are monitoring certain applications.

Gartner estimates that 20% of the Global 2000 are trying to reconstruct the whole of their IT operational process frameworks in a way that accords the monitoring and management of applications, rather than infrastructure, a central place. What’s driving the increased attention now being paid to the APM process and the tools and services supporting it comes from the business side of the enterprise, which has, during the past decade, fundamentally changed its attitude toward IT in general. Line-of-business and C-level executives now generally recognize that IT is not just infrastructure that supports background workflows, but is also, and more fundamentally, a direct generator of revenue and a key enabler of strategy.

Meserve said some of the trends impacting enterprises and APM include big data, mobility and IT groups strapped for budgets and time. IT groups spend most of their time firefighting, and APM can help organizations get ahead of problems and devote more time and resources to innovation.

He said his company is going beyond APM, starting to see an uptick on how APM can work with other tools, like service virtualization and capacity planning. “The capacity planning tie-in is getting a lot of interest from customers.”

Author: Steve Wexler

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