Resellers will always be on the lookout for what is hot-to-trot with their customers. A recent Quocirca research report provides some pointers. Towards the end of 2011 Quocirca looked at what the priorities would be for senior IT managers in 2012. The research included 500 respondents from UK, Germany, France and USA. On many of the main issues there was little difference in the views expressed across these four markets.
In one question, which was central to the survey, we asked respondents to rank their top five out of 15 hot topics (see graph 1). The list included cloud computing, mobility, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), business transaction metrics (BTM) and application performance management (APM). Using a weighting system described in the report, each issue was assigned a percentage based on how well it scored against the highest possible score. By a long chalk, the highest priority issue for 2012 was APM.
Really this should come as no surprise and the sponsors of the report, Compuware’s dynaTrace division, were confident that this would be the finding from the start. After all, what is the point of IT if it is not about delivering applications? And all businesses are more and more dependent on these IT-driven applications to underpin business processes.
To this can be added the increasing demands of users; almost 70% of respondents said users would expect better performance, such as faster page loads, for applications in 2012. This figure rose to over 80% amongst CIOs, which were 20% of the sample. Only a couple out of 500 respondents said they would expect less (graph 2).
For many businesses these users are no longer just employees sitting at desks but customers and partners accessing applications online from a wide range of devices. Half the respondents were from the financial services and retail sectors, both of which increasingly deploy on-demand applications for handling customer transactions.
Because of this increasingly complex transactional environment, the respondents to the survey agree that it was ever more important to be able to tie application performance to business goals, for example looking at complaint resolution times and transaction conversion rates. To do this they need a unified view of application performance through a single integrated console.
The research showed that most businesses do not currently have adequate tools to this. Whilst the majority do have APM tools, about half had multiple tools for measuring different aspects of application performance and in many cases these would not be integrated.
The good news is that there was a clear willingness to spend (graph 3). About 40% had made investments recently but planned to spend more. In addition to this, over 10% confirmed they would be spending in the next 12 months. The figure for the UK was nearer 20%; few said there was an alternative to APM tools for addressing the issue.
For resellers there are two approaches. First they can turn to the suppliers of APM tools such as Compuware, CA, IBM and Ipanema and look to resell their products. The other opportunity is to invest in such tools for their own use and put in place managed services for APM, providing the added value that customers look to resellers for.
Quocirca’s research covered the mid-market and enterprises. Smaller companies with less than 500 employees were the most likely to be investing in APM over the next 12 months. This is prime territory for managed services. Smaller businesses will not have the resources in-house to deploy and use such technology, but they are as dependent on applications as larger businesses.
Resellers can scale the investments required across multiple customers and provide enterprise level services to small and mid-sized businesses. Even in tight economic times, the case for optimising the performance of the applications that drive core business processes can be made to any organisation that is worried about maintaining its competitive edge.
Quocirca’s report “2012 – The year of Application Performance Management (APM)” is freely available here: http://applicationperformance.dynatrace.com/2012_Application_Performance_Management_Outlook_Survey.html
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