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Is Application Sprawl in Government Really a Big Problem?

When considering whether to add more applications or monitoring components to your IT system, the answer should always be quality over quantity. Agencies often fall into the trap of application sprawl by adding more and more to their systems—more applications, more tools—without realizing this actually has the potential to reduce system effectiveness. Instead of simply adding more apps, consider instead interoperable ones, or ones you can plug into a common platform. This approach can provide far greater visibility and accessibility across the entire environment. Now, we know network monitoring is essential for government IT pros to help ensure IT operations are running at optimal performance. In fact, the value of monitoring is sometimes the driver for over-monitoring or implementing too many tools. Some IT pros may think, “The more tools I have, the more insight I get.” It’s certainly tempting. Yet, having an excessive number of monitoring apps and alerts can result in conflicting metrics and data, overly complex systems, and significant management challenges—all working together to undermine an administrator’s ability to accurately identify true network problems. Agencies must make smart decisions; solutions that neatly aggregate an agency’s preferred metrics deliver better availability, security, and performance. Government IT pros can help themselves, and make far more accurate monitoring choices, by asking two basic questions:
  1. Who am I monitoring for? In other words, are metrics more important to the operations engineer, the project manager, or agency management?
  2. What metrics do I really need? Or, more specifically, what’s required to keep things running smoothly, without drowning in alerts and data?
Remember, monitoring is a means to an end and is meant to inform operational decisions based on collected data. This should be the driver of decision making and the reason to consider investing in a comprehensive platform, rather than implementing a broad range of tools and applications each focused on a different piece of the infrastructure. Read the full article in Government Technology Insider here.
Brandon Shopp
Brandon Shopp is the vice president of product strategy for security, compliance, and tools at SolarWinds. He served as our director of product management since…
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