The application economy is here to stay, so expect to hear more of it as the Internet of Things (IoT) connects every aspect of our lifestyle, and every appliance and gadgetry that we own with it. To those who haven’t heard of it yet, the IoT is the ultimate digital ecosystem that links smart machines that track your behavior, habits, and consumer preferences, and then analyzes all that data to give you a customer experience that is designed to improve your life. Driverless cars that bring you from one location to another, smart alarm clocks that close your bedroom lights as soon as you sleep, and alarm systems that notify you if a fire breaks near your home – all that is just the tip of the iceberg of the wonderful things that await us in the age of the IoT.
As you might have guessed by now, IoT cannot exist without two things: Internet connectivity and applications or software solutions that link one system to another. Here’s how Howard Chen’s column in Seeking Alpha describes the application economy and its various components: “ … a hyper-connected and data-driven economy where software, mobile applications and other IT-related investments are critical to a company’s success. In today’s business world, firms in all industries are expected to have apps, websites and other online interfaces that provide seamless customer experience to remain competitive.”
There are two important operative words in Chen’s definition: “seamless” and “competitive.” Your customer will not know the ins and outs of your company’s IT system, but he will be the recipient of the quality of its performance. If your customer service application responds to his complaint ASAP, he will remain a loyal client. If your machines keep on breaking down on him, then chances are he will give his business to your competitor.
IoT and APM
The application economy cannot run by itself, and certainly not at maximum performance, without constant monitoring and maintenance. Delivery of services, responses to calls, and every other process in the supply chain depends on each online tool in your system functioning without delay or disruption. Remember Chen’s phrase: “a seamless customer experience.” But too often enough, sometimes, we are more reactive than proactive when it comes to running our own operations. We tend to respond to emergencies and put out fires, instead of improving our systems so that the crises never happen in the first place.
This is where APM or Application Performance Management comes in. It is a tool that constantly checks the performance of your IT systems, both as individual components and as one functioning organized unit. It looks at your pipeline to ensure that no one aspect of operations is being overloaded and overlooked, thus preventing a sudden breakdown. The APM calls your attention when certain parts of your IT infrastructure have to be repaired, replaced, or plain overhauled. It tells you if your web services and your messaging services are functioning at optimum performance or slowing down.
In a sense, your APM is your virtual coach when it comes to succeeding in the application economy. It makes sure that your organization’s IT structure and its various applications are in tip-top shape as they service the customer and maintain stability in your workplace. It advises you how to strengthen every phase of your business operation, while removing programming that are no longer helpful or relevant. Like a coach, the APM keep your application systems in tip-top health to prevent it from having a breakdown and going to the IT equivalent of a doctor, which can turn out to be very costly repair.
APM is not just about preventing disaster – more important, it is about reaping the rewards of constantly running and maintaining peak performance in your systems. A recent study says that businesses that deliver high-quality performance in this application economy enjoy a 100 percent increase in growth, a 68 percent increase in profit, and 50 percent increase in new customers.
The rigors of the application economy will weed out the unwary while opening a whole new world of opportunities to those who have prepared themselves. To maintain your system’s peak performances, the best bet is to invest in an APM.