Proactive Detection of Application Failures in Digital Era

Digital Enterprises today use a plethora of applications to cater to different segments of users and are dependent on applications for running their day-to-day business. Over the last few years these applications have become critical in the quest to conduct business with speed and ease.

With the advent of digital and cloud technologies, the application releases have become faster, integrations increased multi-fold and applications are decomposed into several layers / technology stacks making them more vulnerable to failure than ever. The reactive approach to manage application failures is not tolerated anymore and has become the thing of past. So, proactively identifying and managing application failures by use of application monitoring tools is the new norm. Today, application performance monitoring has matured to a point where it is a USD 5 Billion industry (and growing at ~12% CAGR).

Application Performance Management (aka APM) tools help in monitoring the entire enterprise landscape. They are capable enough to detect the issues related to user’s experience and have the ability to pinpoint where the likely problem is within the enterprise. It is here that judicious use of APM tools allow IT staff to detect problems, anticipate issues and eventually take some corrective action before the overall system is overwhelmed.

IT systems are tracked at different points (in the landscape). Some primary features used by APM tools that track/monitor are:

Real User monitoring - it gauges a user's experience against an application/website and captures these with respect to different channels.

Application Monitoring - identifies the application component from where an error is generated. Some tools also have the ability to drill these errors down to the code-level.

Infrastructure monitoring - monitors metrics of physical and /or virtual infrastructure (physical servers, VMs, containers, networks and cloud services).

Business Analytics or Business Performance monitoring - visualize how critical paths or critical business transactions are performing.

In addition to the above, different APM tools have a different set of features to enhance the tools USP. Most of the these APM tools now either provide a direct integration or API integration to all leading ITSM tools, for logging tickets based on identified issues.

One size wouldn’t fit all and hence the approach enterprises may have to take is to extensively evaluate over some time period to see how these are beneficial. Once benefits are identified, they can be maximized by identifying the common patterns of failure and using automation to resolve them.