Applications

APM: The Secret to Digital Transformation

February 10, 2020

APM: The Secret to Digital Transformation

By now, we’ve talked about the findings of SolarWinds Cloud Confessions 2020 and recommendations for how tech pros can use APM for more than just the troubleshooting of their most critical applications. But we need to explore one more important area. This time, we venture out of the tech pro realm to look at APM’s benefits for the CIO—particularly APM’s potential as a great enabler of digital transformation.

The findings for technology executives reveal that despite widespread adoption of APM, troubleshooting still remains the top use case. This means APM tools are not being used to their full advantage. Valuable application and business performance insights are being missed. Tech pros and business leaders have an opportunity to bridge the gap by more fully leveraging APM tools in their digital transformation efforts.

What APM Means to CIOs

Tech execs should pay attention to what tech pros report about their needed skills development for APM. It’s particularly crucial to know tech pros see value in the business insights from APM tools, especially to: prevent outages (73%), prevent app slowdown related to performance and/or capacity (63%), and improve user/customer experience (62%).

However, as discussed in previous posts, tech pros are mainly confident when using APM tools for troubleshooting. CIOs should know this underutilization can slow the transformation they’re seeking. Leaders often envision digital transformation as the adoption of new technologies and solutions to help modernize, when, in fact, part of the solution is already in their toolbox. Leaving untapped potential in an IT tool is also akin to leaving money on the table.

Whereas, optimizing current initiatives within their existing environments advances the digital journey faster and makes room for the right new technology. Since APM can fully optimize IT environments across on-premises, hybrid, and cloud, empowering your IT department to be successful is a key to digital transformation success. From there, innovation will unfold.

Certainly, tech pros are open to the idea, but as mentioned, they need more confidence to get beyond what they know about APM. Thirty-four percent believe improving their current ability to track impact across key business metrics would lead to more confident management of their IT environments.

It’s up to tech leaders to endorse more ubiquitous use of APM by making sure tech pros know it’s cost effective and advocating around its ability to provide greater business insights. Then, tech pros need help becoming more well-versed in communicating to the business—the positive implications are endless.

How APM Begets Innovation

According to Gartner, complex, modern applications will produce disruptions due to infrastructure and operations skills gaps in 75% of enterprises. At a time when digital transformation efforts are no longer optional but a requirement for competitive advantage, these skills gap disruptions cannot be ignored. To address the issue, tech executives must identify common ground between the C-suite and IT department to achieve modernization, digitization, transformation, and yes, innovation.

APM-aware CIOs will realize their tech departments want to take part in digital transformation—which can be supported by ubiquitous APM. They will prioritize skills development and education, so tech pros can fully use their APM tools for more than just critical applications to deliver and communicate business insights. They’ll see APM as an opportunity to help bridge the gap between IT and executives.

This mindset will help push APM from reactive to proactive and pave the way for continued innovation in IT departments and businesses at large. After all, CIOs open the door to digital transformation, but the magic happens when tech pros have the confidence to monitor, manage, and innovate.


Jim Hansen is the vice president of products, application management, at SolarWinds, bringing over 20 years of experience building and delivering simple and easy-to-use software solutions. Jim is passionate about customers, understanding their needs, and delivering solutions that make their jobs easier and their infrastructures easier to manage and secure. He joined SolarWinds in August 2018 to help build the security portfolio, and has since been focused on growing the application management business—designed to help IT professionals and developers manage and monitor the health and performance of their application infrastructures.