Strategies to avoid downtime and maintain business continuity

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Strategies to avoid downtime and maintain business continuity

In March 2019, Facebook experienced a 14-hour outage that cost the company $90 million. In July 2018, Amazon lost up to $99 million on Prime Day after experiencing downtime.

While these critical financial crises greatly impacted these industry leaders, both companies were able to recover from them eventually; however, many smaller organizations may not have the means to overcome a similar incident. As per Gartner, downtime costs on average $ 5,600 per minute; since IT operations vary from business to business, downtime could cost $140,000 per hour on the lower end or $540,000 per hour on the higher end. 

As a result of IT downtime, companies lose $1.55 million annually and 545 hours of staff time on average. Considering that 51% of outages are preventable, companies should invest in application performance management (APM) and focus on preventing downtime rather than spending on damage control after downtime has occurred. With the help of an APM solution, businesses can provide a better end-user experience and increase customer satisfaction by improving application performance and avoiding downtime and lag.

What is application performance management? 

The aim of APM is to ensure that a business's important applications meet predetermined performance, availability, and end-user-experience goals. An effective APM solution does this by assessing the performance of the application, notifying administrators when performance targets aren't achieved, and offering insight into the fundamental causes of performance problems.

Business benefits of implementing an APM solution

  1. Increased revenue and sales - Poor performance, downtime, and unavailability have a significant impact on revenue. Without an APM solution to monitor the end-user experience, companies won't know if their customers have a poor experience, which could result in losing clients.

  2. Greater productivity - APM can help optimize IT performance by correlating data on application performance with insights on business outcomes. APM can aid in the alignment of IT and business success.

  3. Lower operational costs - One of the main advantages of analytics-based APM is that it enables you to perfect your business on a continuous basis, allowing you to limit the impact of poor performance and uncover hidden efficiencies that drastically reduce service costs.

  4. Higher customer satisfaction - Customer service and fulfillment are the most important aspects of APM. Consistently high performance is rewarded by customer loyalty and sales. APM helps track performance data and maintain high efficiency in a closed-loop system.

  5. Continuity of business - Downtime has a significant negative impact on a business, such as productivity loss, a tarnished reputation, lower revenue, productivity loss, and regulatory implications. APM has three major functions: ensuring rapid troubleshooting, verifying that vital services maintain anticipated levels of availability, and encouraging healthy upgrades. With an APM solution that can effectively carry out these functions, you can reduce MTTR or even lower the frequency of downtime. 

Why implementing application performance monitoring tools is a no-brainer

When business applications and services perform below par, it can lead to many different problems. For instance, if you don't perform regular monitoring and your application goes down, your IT team would experience a sudden flood of support calls and the MTTR will be high because they'll have to start with locating the source of the problem. With the support of application performance monitoring tools, your IT team will know where the issue is and start with fixing it rather than finding it.

Using an application performance monitoring tool, you'll know how the application is working, who's managing the application, and how they’re managing it. You will no longer need to designate staff to constantly monitor your organization’s systems and applications. You can also identify any issues on the code level and quickly fix them, ensuring systems and applications are running efficiently, resulting in high customer satisfaction and retention.

Which teams in your enterprise benefit from APM?

In an organization, application performance monitoring tools are most relevant to ITOps, quality assurance (QA), sysadmin, system engineer, database administrator, and DevOps teams.

The responsibility of the ITOps team in an organization is to ensure that the IT infrastructure is healthy and provide services that are essential for project management sprints and rollout of features. An APM solution in this case would help mitigate potential application issues and limit the damage from defects that occur in applications.

The QA team is committed to ensuring application performance and quality and verifying SLA compliance. Synthetic monitoring helps with this by ensuring adherence to SLAs and testing applications before they are introduced to the market. This type of monitoring can be easily carried out with the help of a good APM solution.

APM services enable DevOps teams to achieve their goals, such as quicker development and page loading times and fewer errors in critical business applications.

Monitor different layers of an application with an APM solution

  • Infrastructure monitoring - Monitor the performance of the infrastructure supporting the application, like servers, cloud services, database servers, and web servers. IT infrastructures are very complex these days, so leveraging a performance monitoring solution that helps with IT management is critical to minimize downtime.

  • Front-end monitoring - Monitor the performance from the perspective of the end user. Neglecting front-end monitoring will have a significant impact on customer retention. Synthetic monitoring and real user monitoring (RUM) are two techniques for measuring the front-end experience.

  • Back-end monitoring - Monitor the performance of the various services that support the functionality of your application. Back-end monitoring is useful to resolve issues such as hardware problems, software performance problems, code bugs, and system problems.

How to reduce MTTR using APM

  • Standard performance - Thresholds for application performance metrics help you determine what the standard performance is.

  • Automated alerts - With the help of an APM solution, alarms can be generated to notify staff about anomalies that deviate from the standard performance of an application.

  • Quick troubleshooting - Root cause analysis helps you swiftly troubleshoot problems identified in applications. With end-to-end visibility on applications, you can drill down to the root cause of any issue and quickly resolve it.

How to choose the right APM solution

Ensure that you invest in a high-quality application performance monitoring tool that can not only carry out complete testing of your applications before you release them in the market, but also monitor their performance and health after release. Here is a list of things you should look for in an application performance monitoring tool:

  • Infrastructure monitoring

  • Deep application performance monitoring

  • Digital experience monitoring

Why Applications Manager is the ideal choice 

ManageEngine Applications Manager is an application monitoring tool designed to ensure availability, high performance, and functionality of your IT infrastructure's various elements. It can track and monitor KPIs for over 150 different technologies, including cloud apps, databases, servers, virtual monitors, and web apps. 

The APM Insight agent in Applications Manager employs byte-code instrumentation to provide thorough insights into applications and monitor their performance. With synthetic transaction monitoring, Applications Manager ensures a consistent end-user experience for your web applications. You can also set a threshold for metrics and receive alerts when the threshold is violated. With application mapping, IT teams can easily visualize complex IT infrastructures. On monitoring your applications, reports such as forecasts, idleness of a server, and trend analysis are generated frequently for capacity planning, decision-making, SLA management, research, and more.

New to Applications Manager? Check out the free, live demo.