Spring is just around the corner. And since we're at home a lot right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's all the more worthwhile to take some time for spring cleaning. But it's not just in our own four walls that the winter grumpiness should disappear; the IT landscape is also in need of a digital spring cleaning.
The options for making a company's IT environment cleaner and more efficient are as diverse as IT itself. But instead of turning individual screws to increase efficiency, IT professionals should focus on the further development of their digital strategy and set out on an important new direction. In the following, Sascha Giese, Head Geek™ at SolarWindsshows what role application performance management (APM) plays for IT professionals and how it can improve team performance:
- Optimizing the "Next Normal:" IT pros should start by reflecting on the challenges of the past year and thinking about how the "next normal" will evolve. For collaboration among IT teams of all sizes, for example, DevOps offers great added value and can be crucial to a company's transformation efforts—whether it's digital transformation or simple survival. At the same time, DevOps doesn't have to mean a huge financial burden: all it takes is creating a new stream through shared metrics and ensuring straightforward, empirical feedback for all team members.
- Rethink multi-cloud strategies: The multi-cloud approach offers numerous advantages in terms of flexibility, reliability, and cost-effective performance optimization. However, delivering data and workloads across multiple clouds is not a no-brainer. According to a IDG® survey in 2020, 55% of all enterprises use two or more public clouds, but 79% struggle to leverage cross-platform synergies. Many companies also question what a successful solution looks like. The answer usually depends on two critical things. For their multi-cloud strategy, enterprises need either a capable, DevOps-oriented IT team or the budget to outsource the technical aspects and monitoring of their multi-cloud solution.
- Focus on APM: To proactively manage such multi-cloud performance, an application performance management solution makes sense. APM can be used to monitor application availability, performance, and throughput across the complete cloud application and infrastructure stack, and to measure the error rate of transactions in the application. As a minimum solution, one APM solution should be standardized per cloud environment. Optimally, a single APM solution can be deployed to monitor all apps across cloud platforms consistently, rather than using one solution for Google Cloud and another for Azure.
- Eliminate silos: Allowing all team members to monitor application performance across all components and lifecycles can prevent insights from being patchy. And if the specific characteristics of technologies, vendors, architecture, and operating styles take a back seat to overall quality of service and change, silos dissolve. This can benefit the entire enterprise, especially for applications with multiple components that span multiple teams.
- Promote data-based decision-making processes: Collaboration between teams is almost always improved when there is a shared objective view of reality. When everyone agrees on metrics and event analytics, it makes a big difference. Improved access and uptime for critical applications is now becoming the norm, with more administrators using performance monitoring for important objective operational data. The flexibility to quickly customize and share production performance data contributes to effective team interaction.
Conclusion: Methodologies focused on flexibility and continuous process improvement, such as DevOps and APM, can become very useful when the future of technology is full of new opportunities. And spring is also a good time for IT pros to examine their environments for the aforementioned recommendations—and act if necessary.