Application performance monitoring (APM) tools are necessary because internal applications are so complex. That’s why the market is expected to nearly double by 2026.
There are many application performance monitoring tools that will notify you if there are performance issues. You’ll have increased productivity, a better customer experience, and more revenue.
You’ll realize the benefits only if you choose the right APM tool. Keep reading because this article tells you everything you need to consider when you’re looking for the best APM tools.
1. The Business Needs
Who needs to use application performance monitoring tools? The most obvious answer is the IT department. Now ask yourself who the other stakeholders are.
There are managers within the IT department and outside of the department who depend on apps that function. Who are the end-users?
Now look at the issues they face and the challenges they need to solve. What kind of troubleshooting do they require?
For instance, if your end users are your customers, you need to identify issues before they do. It’s a bad look on your company to have your customers inform you of problems.
You’ll be able to go deeper into simple app performance and connect it with business performance.
A great example of app performance monitoring is on ecommerce sites. The IT and marketing teams and customers are the key stakeholders.
If a high number of customers abandon their carts, the marketing team will raise the issue. They might assume that customers see the cost of shipping and abandon their carts.
The IT team realizes that there’s an app performance issue that impacts conversions. That gets resolved and things are running smoothly again.
2. Language Support
What programming language does your company rely on? Odds are, you use a number of languages from Java to Python. You also have everything on the .NET framework.
The tools that you use have to support the programming languages that you use throughout the enterprise. Ideally, it supports all programming languages. This way you don’t have to switch providers when you implement a new solution in a different programming language.
3. Cloud Support
What is your IT infrastructure like? Do you have some things on-premises, while other apps are SaaS?
You should have a solution that offers a hybrid approach. You might need AMP solutions that offer multi-cloud support.
Check to see which cloud-based services the tools support, whether it’s Google, AWS, or other cloud service providers.
4. Intuitive to Use
You don’t want to waste time trying to figure out how to use the APM tool. It should be easy to use and set up without a lot of time and research.
This is a great time to test the customer support of the provider. Check to see how quickly you can reach a live person to get your questions answered.
5. Agent or Not?
You have a choice between agent and agentless monitoring. Agent monitoring means that you install an agent onto your server which monitors performance. Agentless solutions don’t have this requirement.
If you do use agent monitoring, make sure that they only use a limited amount of resources. There are times when agent monitoring requires additional licenses, so be aware of this when you look at various APM tools.
The AMP tool that you work with needs to be flexible. That’s not always possible with proprietary software solutions. You can’t always make the necessary customizations that fit your organization’s needs.
You may decide to go with an open source solution for that reason alone. On the downside of open source solutions, the technical support options are often limited.
This is a huge consideration when looking at APM tools. Every time you work with a third-party vendor, your data becomes more and more vulnerable to attack.
APM tools need to have robust security protocols in place. For instance, they need to have regular security updates to stay ahead of hackers.
Look for APM solutions that provide high-level encryption to keep your data secure. You should also have the ability to adjust permissions to allow only the necessary stakeholders access.
7. Key Metrics
The reason why you uncover your business needs in the first step is so you can come up with a set of metrics to monitor. Make sure that the application performance monitoring tools offer the metrics you need.
Some of the common metrics include the number of uses. That lets you gauge if the app meets user demand or not.
You should be able to record errors, CPU usage, and uptime. Response time is a key indicator of overall performance and impacts conversions. The marketing team will want to have metrics that monitor the user experience.
In the end, your APM tools should let you understand your system, the end-users, and the impact on business outcomes.
How much do application performance monitoring tools cost? It depends on your business needs. Small business tools cover basic features such as uptime and performance metrics.
If you need enterprise-level APM tools, then expect to pay more. Pricing models vary between solutions providers. Most will give you a customized quote based on your needs.
Others offer a flat monthly rate. There are some providers jumping on the CPU-core pricing trend. This is where you pay a certain amount based on the number of CPUs that need monitoring.
The most important thing to look for is flexibility. You want to be able to scale as your business needs change.
Key Considerations for Application Performance Monitoring Tools
How can you pick the best application performance monitoring tools? Go through and analyze your business needs and stakeholders.
Look for features like enhanced security, language support, and cloud support. The tools need to be easy to set up and use and they need to be within your budget.
For more tech tips, take a look at the other articles on this site.