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Three Tips to Gain Executive Buy-In on APM

Critical Success Factors in APM Adoption

Convincing the astute executive who is cautious in not making an impetuous decision on an APM investment can prove to be challenging. Consider the amount of due diligence that is brought to bear in the decision making process. The wide array of APM technologies that need to be reviewed can be intimidating.

The selection criteria for application monitoring doesn't have to be an arduous one, lending credence to the idea that an APM solution can be simplified, understood, and implemented. I'm suggesting that the critical success factors in the adoption of APM center around the End-User-Experience (EUE) and the integration touch points with existing ITIL/ITSM processes.

Focus on highlighting the simple metrics, ease of use, and positive impact that this investment will make to the business.

The following are three points to consider when presenting APM's panoramic view of the enterprise and articulating its benefits.

1. Highlight the Simplicity

Dial it down, and fine tune the message to how the application is performing from a business perspective. The second generation of APM comes with a myriad of metrics, gauges, and dashboards, which can be overwhelming at first glance.

Steer clear of flashy dashboards with dozens of metrics and animated icons that have little true meaning. Present a dashboard that answers critical performance questions in one click or less. Focus on showing basic, easy to understand real-time monitoring metrics.

2. Show Value with Existing Tool-Sets

It is important to show how the APM solution can tie into systems that are in place today, by articulating the big picture, so that IT leaders can conceptualize the value coming from the new solution.  How you articulate the Manager of Managers (MoM) concept and how it will support the overall solution is essential for buy-in.  For more insight into this overall concept read: APM and MoM.

3. Get Your Priorities Straight

Begin your quest to clear up the cognitive dissonance your sponsors may have with the need for purchasing multiple technologies in order to provide application monitoring (real business value), and start the process of first understanding what’s important to them.

Don’t let the technical dogma of the APM Model cloud the overall vision you are trying to create. For help on this, read The Anatomy of APM. You want to create the most accurate picture possible and show how an APM solution can complement the existing technologies that are in place today.

Conclusion

How extensible will your APM solution be? If it is flexible enough to integrate ubiquitously, and dynamic enough to be configured rapidly, then you will be poised for expansion and ready to begin monitoring anything that comes your way. This is the essence for APM adoption to become successful by being an integral part of the overall IT solution.

More Stories By Larry Dragich

Larry Dragich is actively involved with industry leaders, sharing knowledge of Application Performance Management (APM) technologies, from best practices and technical workflows, to resource allocation and approaches for implementation. He has been working in the APM space since 2006 where he built the Enterprise Systems Management team which is now the focal point for IT performance monitoring and capacity planning activities.