APM: When to Switch to a New Provider

December 5th, 2019

Nearly a quarter of Application Performance Management users are thinking of switching products within the next 1-3 years, according to a recent TrustRadius survey. This seems like a relatively high number of unsatisfied customers. What is driving this high propensity to switch?

Companies are looking to eliminate point systems

Among the respondents considering switching to a new product, almost a third of them are considering switching to a tool that offers a more comprehensive set of capabilities, including support for cloud environments. For example, some are looking for system comprehensiveness or full-stack coverage:

  • “Support for all of our languages and services, dashboards, alerting, monitoring of App plus infrastructure, including custom metrics.”
  • “Converged view of Metrics, Logs, and Distributed Tracing”
  • “Main and foremost criteria was to select one tool by which we can monitor everything and find the performance root cause.”
  • “End to end monitoring from the end-user and application perspective.  Integration with other monitoring and ITSM platforms.”

The pain that respondents are pointing to here is the fact that many organizations have a broad range of point tools for IT monitoring, often reflecting specific silos within the IT organization. Modern IT environments frequently use a variety of monitoring and management tools providing insight from different perspectives, such as endpoints, network infrastructure, or applications. 

IT Operations teams no longer want point products, but instead comprehensive platforms that integrate easily with other products. 

Tip #1 for APM Users

If you are using multiple different point systems, ask vendors to explain in detail how many of these systems can be eliminated by switching to a more comprehensive enterprise platform. Also, if multiple monitoring systems remain in place, ask about integration so that critical data can be seen in a single dashboard without having to look in multiple different systems simultaneously.

Buyers want support for cloud-native apps 

In addition to looking for more comprehensive tools that function as centralized monitoring platforms used across the entire IT landscape, buyers are also looking for tools that are effective at monitoring cloud-native applications. 

Typical cloud support comments include:

  • “Moving from On-Prem to Cloud and we need 3rd-party tools which can be easily integrated with the cloud as well.”
  • “Web-based APM platform that can integrate well with underlying infrastructure (both on-premise and cloud) and legacy applications. Also, it should include AI and ML features to enable smart monitoring and quick revival in case of failure”.

The ubiquity of cloud-native systems like Salesforce and Dropbox, pose a problem for APM. Most APM tools were originally designed to instrument and visualize simpler, on-premise monolithic applications. Cloud-native applications though are built with dozens or even hundreds of microservices and potentially thousands of short-lived containers spread across multiple clouds. This microservice approach is highly efficient and encourages developer agility, but it has also made it much more difficult for the IT operations team to ensure the performance, uptime, and security of these systems. A completely new approach to APM is required to handle the complexity of this microservices/native cloud app world.

A new generation of APM solutions is finding ways to deal with this complexity with a range of technologies designed to monitor container/microservices health and transactions. But not all vendors have made the same degree of progress in this direction.

Tip #2 for APM Users

Ask vendors about their support for microservices and cloud-native apps. Ask to see cloud-native app monitoring in action and request detailed roadmaps on the evolution and release of this critically important new capability. Reading product reviews by real users is also a good way to assess how products perform in different scenarios. Before talking to vendors, it’s a good idea to browse TrustRadius APM reviews to discover the best, most pointed questions to ask vendors.