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Want to win in the app economy? Here are some tips

Posted: 27 Aug 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:apps? application economy? IT?

The "application economy" is driving a software revolution as the delivery of business value is increasingly taking place in digital interactions facilitated by applications. It's a fundamental business shift that needs to be on everyone's agenda. Success in the application economy and getting it right will be the difference between growth and decline.

Application success is not just about writing application code. It's about making sure that code runs magnificently in production. IT leaders who want to ensure their company's success in the application economy must therefore completely rethink infrastructure management.

Here's why:

  1. The job is tougher. Applications run in hybrid environments that encompass conventionally provisioned back-end systems, virtualized on-premise infrastructure, external cloud resources (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc.) and any number of external networks. Monitoring and troubleshooting application delivery across these hybrid environments is extremely challenging, because they have multiple parts moving across multiple domains. Traditional approaches to infrastructure management are incapable of delivering the end-to-end, real-time insight necessary to successfully safeguard application delivery 24/7 in this new world.
  2. Expectations are greater. Today's user has a "Google mentality." That is, they experience a site every day that distills a search result from the entire web within a fraction of a second!and that is never down. These users have little patience for anything less. Most IT organisations are not equipped to fulfil those kinds of expectations. So things obviously have to change.
  3. Resources are limited. No company has unlimited resources to throw at the new challenges of hybrid environments and Google-based expectations. In fact, companies are less inclined than ever to invest in infrastructure management!which is perceived as a low-value "keeping the lights on" activity. This makes it essential for IT to radically improve the resource-efficiency with which it manages infrastructure.
  4. The stakes are higher. Once upon a time, the only consequence of subpar application performance was some lost productivity. In the application economy, however, downtime or poor performance!even briefly!means you will lose revenue, alienate customers and damage your brand. These are not acceptable outcomes. But they are what companies will suffer if they stick with the status quo.

These factors and others make it imperative for IT to reassess their approach to infrastructure management. Key questions to ask include:

  • Are we trying to force antiquated management tools to address the requirements of a hybrid, virtualized future? Is this sustainable?
  • Will the economics of our current approach to infrastructure management!including the costs of skilled staff, management software licence, etc.!scale as our application delivery requirements continue to expand?
  • How long does it take our current management model to respond to new and/or upgraded applications? Is this tenable as our company moves to DevOps and continuous delivery?
  • Are your processes and tools able to scale to meet the increased quality of experience expectations for a rapidly increasing estate of business critical applications?
IT leaders who ask these questions now will be in a superior position to compete in the application economy later. Those who don't will find themselves overspending and underperforming!with potentially disastrous results.

About the author

Stephen Miles
VP, Service Assurance, Asia Pacific & Japan
CA Technologies
Based in Singapore, Stephen is responsible for strategy development and growing the revenue of the Service Assurance portfolio across the region. In this role, he ensures that the service assurance strategy for CA Technologies is well executed to help customers optimise their business service performance across physical, virtual and cloud environments. In addition, Stephen drives the service assurance business for communication service providers (CSPs) for Asia Pacific and Japan, helping CSPs proactively manage and monitor all parts of their operations with CA Technologies service assurance solutions.

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