Averting Apps' Collapse

By Bob Violino  |  Posted 2005-12-07 Print this article Print

Are your business applications not living up to expectations? You may need application performance management software.

If vital business applications do not perform the way they're supposed to, information-technology departments will have some explaining to do. A critical application for handling customer transactions on the Web that acts flaky for even a few minutes can mean lost sales, as well as dissatisfied clients and a bruised reputation.

Application performance management tools aim to head off such problems by continuously monitoring how applications are functioning. Their ultimate value depends on a given application's importance to a company and how complex the application is to maintain.

"For an application where you can calculate something like revenue per minute, there's an incredibly obvious hard-dollar ROI [return on investment]," says Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of consulting firm Application Performance Management Experts, when software helps keep revenue-generating applications up and running.

For a hotel that uses an online reservation system or a retailer with an Internet sales site, say, the payback from a tool that effectively minimizes or eliminates application downtime or poor performance would come quickly.

Some performance management tools drill down into customer or consumer transactions, giving companies insight, for instance, into whether slow Web site response meant lost customers.

Another potential benefit of managing application performance—keeping internal applications running well—isn't as easy to measure, Harzog says. For example, if an enterprise resource planning application fails, a company may have difficulty figuring out the impact on employee productivity.

Application performance management software can help companies better manage critical, revenue-generating applications, such as those that support online purchases by customers. In this example involving a $1 billion clothing retailer with $31.7 million in online revenue, Baseline with help from Wily Technology calculates the impact of using APM software to improve a business-to-consumer e-commerce application.


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