ResearchHG Insights highlight the key findings from research exploring performance management strategies and the evolving role of Application Performance Management (APM) in achieving business goals and customer value delivery.

The survey entitled Driving Business Performance Through Application Performance Management from SolarWinds also suggests a need for organizations to refocus priorities to address customer experiences versus what can be easily fixed first.

Executives from organizations categorized as proactive, reported using performance management strategies to deliver innovation and meet broader business goals, and implementing APM tools with advanced monitoring features such as real-time user experience monitoring, and providing a composite view of log and performance data.

“Robust APM tools presents opportunity to transform any business”

“Technology professionals that leverage performance management and monitoring tools to achieve high-level business goals—surpassing downtime, poor connection, and slow performance to create a truly customer-centric user experience—enjoy better chances of keeping pace in ever-changing markets and achieving overall business success,” said Denny LeCompte, general manager, application management, SolarWinds. “Integrating robust APM tools presents the opportunity to transform any business and create a strong competitive advantage.”

However, the report also revealed another trend – the majority of business leaders set priorities based on what can be easily fixed versus what matters most to customers. For 61 percent of business leaders surveyed, the primary driver of performance management strategies is to diagnose and resolve problems as quickly as possible, followed by managing the complex application environment (57 percent). These organizations were categorized as reactive, driven by managing day-to-day tasks and troubleshooting application issues, rather than a focus on end-user experience.

“To remain competitive in today’s business landscape, organizations must deliver not only top products and services, but also a customer experience that rivals competitors and exceeds expectations. But we believe complexity and expense are hindering many organizations from doing that,” LeCompte continued.

Key findings

By surveying executives from both proactive and reactive organizations, the report has revealed how performance management strategies can give organizations a competitive edge.

Primary driver of Application Performance Management tools and strategies

  • The primary driver, according to 61 percent of executive decision makers from reactive organizations, is to diagnose and fix problems; this is followed by managing complex application environments (57 percent).
  • Both criteria are seen as a higher priority than delivering the best possible customer experience (52 percent). While it’s important to troubleshoot issues, this suggests that priorities are set by looking at what can easily be fixed first, versus prioritizing what matters most to customers.

Prioritization of criteria related to customer experience

  • 66 percent of proactive organizations see customer experience criteria as important, compared to only 34 percent of reactive organizations.
  • Proactive respondents were nearly twice as likely to value customer experience criteria as important. All criteria matter, but for the proactive group, customer-related criteria matters the most.

Most important features of APM tools

  • 65 percent of proactive organizations have comprehensive performance monitoring coverage of the DevOps toolchain, compared to 18 percent of reactive organizations.
  • Proactive organizations consistently value more advanced APM features (54 percent), such as measuring user experience in real time (44 percent); providing a composite view of log and performance data (35 percent); and having a ‘live tail’ feed of logs and other data sources (32 percent).
  • Contrarily, reactive organizations value advanced features by under 30 percent.

Methodology
The findings the report are based on a survey fielded in March 2019, which yielded 358 responses from business professionals including direct/department heads, CIO/CTO, VP/assistant VP, CEO, general manager, president, SVP, CFO, partner/chairman/board member, COO, and CDO, operating in organizations that have between 500 – 10K+ employees from various vertical markets. Respondents answered several context-setting questions to categorize their organization as proactive or reactive, regarding digital transformation, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, or public cloud-first strategies, maturity of IT operations, and if/how their line of business drives technology change.

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