Connect the Dots and Supercharge Your Digital Applications With DevOps
Learn how continuous monitoring and Application Performance Management can help your digital transformation to DevOps succeed.
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Digital Transformation Failures – An Analysis
Recent analytics and research say that IT complexity and performance challenges are killing digital transformation initiatives and causing significant digital performance problems in organizations as often as once every 5 days. A Forbes study report says that 84% of digital transformation initiatives fail; this number is 70% as per McKinsey & Company and 67% as per Genpact.
Worried? Excited? Interested to see the analytics? Here it is!
Now, let’s see the recent application architecture trends and the tips to make it more successful.
Current world has been dominated by the need for change brought on by digital disruption. To be successful in this shifting IT world requires that you think about the performance and user experience of applications differently. There are two key elements in the changing nature of applications.
- Applications are no longer designed as monolithic business processes. Instead, applications are being designed as a modular set of services such as microservices stored in containers. Each service includes a set of well-defined application programming interfaces (APIs) that are used to link these elements together to create new applications based on new customer demands. These applications may be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or across both resulting in highly dynamic and distributed touch points that need to be monitored. Therefore, what’s most important is that the resulting applications behave and operate in a consistent and predictable manner.
- These applications need to provide a seamless customer experience in terms of fast performance and customer satisfaction with their interactions. If applications perform in a way that meets customer expectations, your application will be successful. To create success, organizations have to adopt the DevOps model with the ability to manage the performance of the applications.
Then there arises another question!
How many business leaders spend any time thinking about the performance of the application? The answer is probably very, very few. Business leaders are concerned with creating new products and services that are competitive and will bring results. Improving the bottom line is the primary interest of business leaders. So, why would they care about application performance when many leaders assume that IT will take care of those details?
It is important for IT leaders to educate business leaders on the importance of managing the performance of applications. IT leaders have to explain the connection between the performance and management of applications with the impact on the customer experience. When business leaders understand the impact on revenue, they will become more engaged.
Digital Transformation Failures – Causes
Ok! Let’s go back to the research details and see what can be the possible reasons for application failures. Studies and researches say Applications mainly fail on three reasons:
- Application dependencies
- Application delivery and management process
- Usage pattern
Let’s see how Application dependencies affect failures.
- As you all know, applications have dependencies on a huge variety of underlying systems infrastructure and application services.
- The application may leverage multiple types of middleware and various databases. Each of these elements includes configuration files and settings that can impact the performance of the application.
- In complex application environments, it’s common to have to support multiple client operating systems and networks.
- Many applications run on infrastructure services such as virtual machines, containers, and components running in both public and private clouds.
The complexities of managing these dependencies, if not handled in an effective way, can bring disasters.
Most application management failures can be traced to the following issues:
- Applications are designed without considerations for changing deployment models or changing endpoints.
- There are inherent differences between the development, test, staging, and production environments and lack of coordination among the teams.
- Application functional testing isn’t enough. Organizations may fail to include performance testing, pre-production testing, and testing for both staging and production.
- Applications aren’t updated when a new feature or integration is needed to support changing customer needs.
Let’s see how Application Usage Patterns can bring an application down.
One of the complexities of applications development and deployment is that it is almost impossible to anticipate exactly how an application will be used over time. The assumptions about how new customers will want to interact with the application can often be wrong. For example, a product that’s buried within a website may suddenly become a bestseller while the highly profiled product is no longer of interest. The developer of an application may not know that there will be a sudden surge of web traffic for a feature/product/service, and therefore, performance slows.
Developers may not have built an application to support a variety of mobile device form factors. So it is important to provide the organization with the tools needed to be able to monitor the performance of the overall applications environment. Through this constant monitoring, the organization can react quickly to make the required changes to support customer expectations.
How to Overcome Digital Transformation Bottlenecks
Until now, we have been talking about digital transformation, application architecture trends, and application failures on digital platforms and the causes. Now let’s see what could be the solutions and how these bottlenecks could be handled.
Most of you might be aware of DevOps culture and practices, but are we really familiar with all key aspects of DevOps. Let's see all the key aspects.
- Continuous Integration
- Continuous Testing
- Continuous Delivery
- Continuous Security
- Continuous Availability
- Continuous Monitoring
- Continuous Insights
When it comes to Continuous Monitoring and Continuous Insights, there we have Application Performance Management Systems and tools (APM) available, that supercharges our applications and it is a winning combination with DevOps.
The Main Functionalities of APM
1. Identifying an application problem proactively
- Synthetic monitoring
- Real-user monitoring
- Resource and infrastructure monitoring
- Events and alerts
- Business insights
2. Isolating where the problem is
- Automatic discovery and end-to-end transaction tracking
- Deployment analytics
3. Diagnosing the root cause of the problem
- Code-level diagnostics
- Log analysis
- Virtual war rooms and ChatOps
- Cognitive recommendations
Advantages of APM and How APM Supercharges DevOps
APM can help break down the Chinese wall between Dev and Ops and eliminate finger pointing that happens during outages. Here are 5 APM best practices to enable a smooth DevOps working environment:
1. Use the same APM tool in Dev and Ops
2. Isolate and fix performance problems sooner with Code Level Diagnostics
3. Detect changes with Deployment Detection:
4. Analyze Pre and Post Deployment Performance Trends
5. Automate actions on failures
APM let your developers focus on writing code rather than spend time fighting deployment catastrophes and enable a healthy collaborative working environment between Dev and Ops.
Would you like to explore more on APM? Would you like to identify different tools available? Would you like to refer documents from APM gurus? Please check out these links:
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