In 2014, as organizations look to do more with less, IT performance management will be measured by business value. Organizations are initiating many IT transformation projects to become more nimble, agile and cost-effective. For the success of these projects, organizations will need performance management solutions that are aligned with their IT strategy. Therefore, performance management solutions that enable IT agility, end-user satisfaction and operations efficiency will be in demand.
Here are our predictions for the top-10 trends in IT performance management in 2014
- End user experience will be a key success factor by which IT success will be measured. Businesses will expect IT to find problems before their users do, pinpoint the root cause of the problem and solve the problem at the earliest. IT organizations will seek solutions that will allow them to provide great user experience and productivity.
- Application Performance Management (APM) will become virtualization-aware. Virtualization adoption will continue to grow in 2014. At the same time though, enterprises are beginning to realize that virtualization is not just yet another infrastructure silo that can be operated and managed independently. In 2014, we will see enterprises start to include virtualization as an integral part of their application performance management initiatives. Monitoring and management tools will also need to do the same – performance management and root-cause diagnosis tools will need to understand virtualization and its related dependencies to be effective.
- Virtualization vendors will seek to become application-aware. In 2014, mission-critical applications like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics will be virtualized at a faster pace than they have been in the past. Along with this trend, will be the need for faster and more accurate diagnosis and troubleshooting so administrators can quickly understand where the bottleneck lies – whether a slowdown is in the application or in the virtualization platform. Virtualization vendors will feel the need to provide tools that enable faster, deeper and better correlated performance visibility. IT will be challenged to go beyond a hypervisor-centric view and basic virtualization metrics and will need tools and processes that will help them ensure user satisfaction and productivity.
- Domain-specific intelligence will grow in importance for performance management. For many years, the “how” to monitor has gained credence over the “what” to monitor. Enterprises have often focused on how management products work – agent or agentless, what protocols, etc. We expect this to change in 2014. As IT organizations come under pressure to do more with less, they will seek management tools that are more intelligent, can find problems without human intervention and in a proactive manner. To address this, management tools will need to embed a greater degree of domain expertise than they have done in the past. Collecting the key metrics, setting the right thresholds, and displaying the right reports out of the box will be some of the capabilities required from performance management tools.
- Enterprises will prioritize management tool consolidation over new acquisitions. Enterprise customers will want to invest in new tools only if they absolutely have to. In that sense, enterprises will want to look for solutions that can address several of their needs so that they do not have to acquire multiple tools and look at integration between them. The ability to cover multiple areas of management (performance, configuration, availability, etc.), to support multiple technologies (e.g., application tiers), and to operate across multiple platforms (Unix, Windows, virtual), will be important criteria that enterprises will use to assess what management tools will work for them. When procuring new tools, customers will also focus on how these tools can be integrated into their current systems and processes.
- Flexibility will be a key when it comes to performance management. Enterprise infrastructures are being changed constantly and that will continue to be the case in 2014. From a performance management perspective, enterprise will want to look for solutions that can allow them the flexibility to manage different types of environments, so they do not get locked in to a specific hypervisor or application type, but have the flexibility to reuse their existing management system for their new environments without a lot of additional investment.
- Management has always been about big data – now, it will be about automation. IT managers and their management tools have always had to deal with lots and lots of metrics and event storms. In 2014, the focus will shift to intelligent analysis of the collected data. There will be pressure on IT organizations to do more with less and enterprises will seek tools that can help them make efficient use of their IT operations teams. Proactive alerting, predictive reports, accurate and automated root-cause diagnosis, single click problem isolation will all be capabilities that will help enterprises lower their total cost of operating complex IT infrastructures.
- Return on investment will dominate discussions around management tools and processes. The success of IT will hinge on the impact to business. The same will be true of IT performance management tools. Performance management tools will need to help IT better serve their business by providing proactive alerts on business impacting issues before users notice, by highlighting sub-optimal utilization situations, or identify optimization scenarios that will allow IT to do more with less.
- New technologies will create new opportunities. Mobility, BYOD and virtual desktops will all continue to gain a foothold in the enterprise. The success of these new technologies will be closely tied to the performance that users can experience when using these technologies. Performance management will therefore grow in importance in these areas, providing scope for innovation and new solutions in the areas of mobility management, VDI management and so on.
- Enterprises will make the shift from silo to collaborative management. In 2014, IT organizations will feel increased pressure from their lines of business. To meet the expectations of their lines of business, IT organizations will have to ensure that there is less finger pointing and that they are working together for the success of the business. Collaborative management will be the theme and organizations will be looking to provide a greater degree of performance visibility across their individual silo tiers to the help desk, so it is easier and faster to troubleshoot problems and identify the tier that is responsible for a problem.
To a successful 2014!