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Your App’s Performance: Why and What to Measure

Author: Tom Moore | | April 27, 2022


 

All kinds of ‘digital failure’ stories populate today’s IT news pages, and they should act as horrible warnings to every enterprise. Even large, well-funded entities suffer damage and loss due to technology gone wrong, and often it takes months or years to determine what happened and why.

 
In too many cases, an app failure buried deep within the stack that misdirects data and creates a devastating domino effect that impacts whole segments of the enterprise is the ultimate cause of the failure.

Datavail’s application monitoring and management services closely monitors your organization’s proprietary apps to reduce or eliminate unwanted risk of loss due to errant app behaviors.

Learning from Other’s Misfortunes

One real-life story that offers a good example of how any company can suffer from significant application malfunctions will highlight the need for application monitoring and management services. In 2021, employee leave programming at Amazon – yes, THAT Amazon – failed miserably, causing some workers to be fired for non-attendance even though they were on approved leave. Other staffers had to sell personal items to pay bills when their disability payments simply stopped coming.

The cause of the app failure was determined to be the disarray of legacy third-party vendor apps and systems used by Amazon to manage its employee leave systems. Ironically, rather than upgrading those apps over time to keep-up with corporate growth (and technological improvements), instead Amazon kept hiring more humans to oversee the processes, which resulted in last year’s embarrassing HR debacle.

The High Value of Application Performance Monitoring

The Amazon lesson mentioned underscores the significance of keeping organizational technology updated to avoid expensive and painful consequences. However, even those updated apps need oversight, which is accomplished by monitoring their performance over time and making repairs and upgrades as that data directs.

Application performance monitoring‘ is an added layer of oversight beyond ‘application success monitoring.’ Application success monitoring tracks how the functioning app fulfills its intended purpose – can customers connect with the appropriate service department, for example, or does the stock inventory app accurately reflect actual inventory numbers.

Application performance monitoring tracks how those apps facilitate their function: are ALL customers able to connect? Is EVERY inventory item included in the accounting? When the answers to these inquiries are ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know,’ then there may be an app performance issue somewhere within that stack of software that’s handicapping the entire system.

In any business, app malfunctions or failures can cause significant damage to both the corporate enterprise and its consumers and customers. In small companies, however, a malfunctioning application can create a disastrous calamity that may have the potential to close down the company altogether.

For the small business, apps are often the foundational business assets:

  • Website apps ARE (usually) the ‘face’ of the SME entity, being the first point of contact between it and its customer base.
  • The work done by the organization is often performed by its proprietary apps and functions – those digital assets are what set the enterprise apart from its competitors.
  • The type of work offered by the entity is also often highly dependent on well-functioning applications. Experts estimated the economic value of E-commerce – that body of merchants selling their wares online – at USD 9 trillion in 2019, with a projected growth rate of ~14% annually through 2027. The driver of that growth: the exponential usage of smart devices to access the Internet and its millions of vendor applications.

 
With all that competition, no single merchant or organization can afford any type of glitch in their digital services, which makes app monitoring that much more important to their ultimate success.

Which ‘Performances’ Need Monitoring?

Choosing which activities to monitor is as significant as deciding to monitor the apps in the first place. As a general rule, the apps that are the most closely tied to fundamental aspects of corporate performance are the ones that require the closest attention.

For example, consumer-facing apps should perform flawlessly from that consumer’s perspective. Every interaction with the corporate app should meet the consumer’s optimal expectation:

  • The system should respond swiftly with no latency or drags;
  • Query responses should actually respond to the query posed;
  • When additional functions are called – a payment app, as an example – the flow from one to the other app should be seamless, with demonstrable security activities on both sides and a swift return to the original site.

 
Apps that face employees, supply chain partners, etc., should be responsive to the specific needs of those entities, too. The Amazon example offers insights about what can happen when internally facing apps are left to decay unattended.

Measuring application performance also depends on the app, its purpose, and its scope, among many other things.

  • In some cases, the operating system used by the consumer can impede performance – an iOS device can’t connect while an Android device can.
  • In other cases, the speed of user interactions is as important as the substance – performance monitoring of apps that require immediate response times can reveal whether they are working optimally or creating production or customer response delays.
  • And obviously, measuring the causes and impacts of application crashes is a critical step in repairing the damage they caused and preventing another crash in the future.

 

A small-ish app serving a one-stop seller, for example, won’t require the complex analysis and evaluation of an app system designed to manage leave time for one of the world’s biggest corporations. However, the optimal functionality of both apps is equally critical to the success of those two entities.

Datavail’s application performance monitoring and management team can track the activities on your proprietary apps to ensure that they – and your entire organization – are optimized to provide peak performance.

Download the case study, Application Performance Management: Keeping the World Rolling, to learn how a manufacturing company with complex applications is able to benefit from ongoing application performance monitoring and management services from Datavail.

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