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OPINION: Managing apps for business success

Brad Goddard | May 28, 2012
This challenge for organisations is compounded by technologies such as virtualisation, cloud computing and emerging trends such as mobilisation of the workforce and accessibility.

Accounting for about 46 percent of the global Internet population today, the Asia Pacific (AP) region provides businesses and organisations with the largest pool of potential customers to engage with.[1]

A ComScore study last year revealed that Southeast Asian countries experienced healthy growth in the online banking, retail and travel sectors.[2] This means that more and more people around the region are turning to the Internet to secure their purchases and access reliable information and applications for either business or personal needs.

A recent study by Compuware highlights that 37 percent of consumers find performance issues with websites and Web applications to be unacceptable and more than 86 percent are less likely to return to a company's website after a poor online experience.

It has thus become increasingly important for businesses and organisations in the region to monitor their Web applications and manage them to meet increasing end-user expectations.

One example of how corporations can be affected by poor website performance is the DBS service disruption in 2010 when the bank experienced seven hours of downtime that affected all of its consumer and commercial banking systems. In addition to financial losses suffered, its credibility as a reliable bank was compromised as news of the incident was covered on the pages of local and regional media.

Since then, AP organisations in key sectors such as banking, telco and government have invested heavily in application management solutions to help them manage their public facing websites and monitor the performance of their Web applications to ensure high availability, consistent quality of service as well as sufficient protection of critical data.

The challenge for organisations in 2012 to successfully manage applications on the Web, and ultimately the end-user experience, is compounded by technologies such as virtualisation, cloud computing and emerging trends such as mobilisation of the workforce and accessibility.

Viable virtualisation

According to Gartner, virtualisation initiatives were a key contributor to the growth of server shipments in Asia Pacific in the third quarter of 2011.[3] Gartner also predicted that by end 2012, about 48 million virtual machines will be deployed globally. Organisations are looking to virtualisation to gain cost savings by consolidating hardware as well as to have a flexible response to peak demands.

But what virtualisation really does to the application delivery architecture is to add another layer to an already complex IT infrastructure. All the gains can be quickly lost if applications slow down and perform poorly for end-users, or if applications become harder for IT to troubleshoot and fix.

An effective solution for application performance management in a virtualised environment will have to quickly pinpoint the root cause of any issue, no matter how elusive or intermittent, and determine its true business impact. This is done through an end-to-end analysis that starts from the end-user perspective, cutting across virtual machines along with insight on application and infrastructure components.

 

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