Real-time visibility into the customer journey and business-critical applications deliver significant strategic value. You need insight into your internal and external customers and their behaviors, as well as the health of your business-critical applications. That’s why application performance management (APM) is a critical element of any digital business strategy.

Although APM is naturally centered on technology and data, the most effective APM practices are adding concepts from design thinking and agile development to keep the focus on your customers’ and end users’ experiences. When you apply these five best practices for your digital enterprise’s APM strategy, you can keep pace with the digital revolution and ensure that you have flexible, scalable systems that drive meaningful change and deliver new insights to the business.

  1. Set clear goals and communicate them throughout your organization. Transparency will keep executives, operations managers, IT and developers engaged and supportive of expectations and achievements for application performance. For many organizations, ‘best possible performance’ has been an ongoing, but vague goal. By setting metrics around uptime, transaction failures, performance speeds, and more, the entire organization will know what to expect of their email, VoIP, CRM, sales, HR, call center, and other business apps.
  1. Create baseline KPIs before launching your initial APM project. Identify intelligent, achievable KPIs by setting baselines of individual application performances. By consistently tracking and monitoring application performances, you will easily recognize the metrics that will allow your business to run smoothly without interruptions. Knowing these critical milestones will give the team concrete, achievable goals.
  1. Start applying your plan to the right applications. To test your APM strategy, select applications that have moderate use and generate a significant amount of data. However, that may not be the most important for generating revenue or performing crucial business operations. Consider concentrating on a web-based application that sees consistent traffic, but that has little potential for creating bottlenecks in your workflows. Once the strategy is working consistently for these types of applications, roll more critical apps under the APM umbrella.
  1. Remain agile and open to outside input. The whole purpose of implementing an APM strategy is to gain insights into how your applications perform within a real environment, and to proactively improve user experiences. As you learn more about the apps, the users, infrastructure and business performance, your expectations may change, and you may need to make surprising adjustments to the way you deliver service. Often, neutral third parties can offer recommendations that internal team members may have missed.
  1. Remember the power of people and processes. When you set your APM strategy into motion, you may be surprised by what you learn about how customers, partners and employees use your applications. You may want to apply agile development techniques that allow you to respond quickly to user feedback with updates and improvements. Both internal and external customers and their behaviors are critical to understanding your applications’ health, primarily because these stakeholders have high expectations of their apps.

Trianz and AppDynamics are combining their industry-leading consulting services and application performance solutions. Their unique expertise and technology will help you prepare your organization for emerging technologies and better support the apps, systems and platforms already in place.