Keep CALM And Embrace DevOps – Culture

Keep CALM And Embrace DevOpsThis is my first blog post at AppDynamics, and I have to say that it’s great to be aboard. It’s been a hectic first couple of weeks, but the energy, enthusiasm and friendliness of everyone I have met has made me very excited about 2015! AppDynamics has a market leading APM and analytics platform but it also takes great people to make a great company – and AppDynamics has a wealth of talent!

So to start my blogging life at AppDynamics I want to focus on something that is a red-hot buzzword in IT at the moment – DevOps! For the last couple of years, every conference I attended and nearly every call I had at Forrester had a discussion on DevOps. There is a good reason for this, because from my perspective, DevOps promises that the software-powered business can deliver quality app-fueled business services rapidly, to delight customers.

I would also say that the term DevOps is not encompassing enough as it’s not just about development and operations. It’s also about the business, because in today’s digital business, every function is accountable for software strategy success. Take a look here at this blog by my colleague Anand Akela for our view on BizDevOps.

The CALMS Framework For DevOps

In most discussions I have had with ops professionals, one question came up again and again in regards to DevOps, and this was “Is there a framework for DevOps adoption?” Now there are good reasons for this question and one is that many enterprise ops folk are aware of frameworks such as ITIL. But rather than a framework, ITIL morphed itself into a whole, daunting library of books. This is something, which I hope never happens with DevOps!

But there is one framework that has emerged which was originally coined by Jez Humble (@jezhumble), a pioneer in DevOps. Jez devised the CALMS framework, which makes perfect sense to me (Ok I know the title of my blog says ‘Keep Calm’ but I am in marketing now ☺):

C – Culture
A – Automation
L – Lean
M – Measurement
S – Sharing

Let’s Start With Culture

Culture – One of the most used words in business today. “It’s all about the culture…”,Culture is how organizations ‘do things;…“, “Culture is about rituals….”, etc., etc. Well, that clears up what culture means?!?!? The reality is that culture is such a fluffy term that it means something different to different circumstances, people, businesses, industries, countries, etc.

To define culture and what it means for DevOps you have to understand the starting point, or the challenges that your enterprise’s operating model currently faces in regards to software strategy and what the end, new ‘DevOps’ operating model looks like. Here are a couple of examples:

  1. Shift from a fear of failure, to a fail-fast, fail-forward approach. DevOps is about speed. If your operating model today promotes zero failure and employees are scared of failing then you will stifle the ability to innovate, to promote new ways of doing things, to move fast. Failure can be good so long as we learn and improve. This is all part of innovation, which is central to DevOps.
  2. Shift from a tech obsession, to a customer obsession. In today’s digital world, it can be so easy to get caught up with tech buzzwords such as mobile, wearables and cloud. But the rules of business have not changed. Deliver what your customers want, delight them, and hopefully they will help to promote your brand. This means that every employee has to think about the external customer, their needs, their wants in order to guide strategic decisions. It’s about moving from an inside-out to an outside-in operating model.
  3. Shift from organizational silos to a collaborative model. Let’s face it, the desire for collaboration across different business functions has always been a goal. But collaboration is never as good as it can be. I could write a whole book about why, but largely this is because business = people = different agendas = politics = failure to collaborate. To move fast, deliver quality software rapidly, and then it’s essential we get collaboration right. This is not just about collaboration between Dev and Ops, but an operating model that promotes collaboration across business functions (e.g. digital teams, marketing), development and operations.
  4. Shift from big data confusion to real-time information driven insight. In the fast moving world of DevOps information and insights in context will be your business lifeline. This means that having application data such as engagement, technical and business data (revenue etc.) changed quickly into information that can be consumed by different business audiences is essential to making fact-based strategic decisions. So we have to move away from the current confusion around big data and analytics and shift to an operating model that makes an analytics solution that focuses on applications, a core part of making strategic decisions in regards to software strategy.      

Why APM And Analytics Is Key To DevOps Culture

Having worked with many enterprises and APM solution vendors in my time at Forrester, I believe that a great APM solution can support all four of my points above. We are at a turning point in the APM market as APM is no longer just about incident management and response but is about making sense of application data, turning it into insight to support business decisions. A great APM solution today has analytics baked in and it has to be simple to use i.e. simple to turn data into information, simple to display information to different audiences. At AppDynamics, we uphold three core principles for our application intelligence platform:

  • See – Our platform is able to safeguard and optimize application performance from the end-user (customer or employee) through to the infrastructure workload and database/data store backend. This means that we can detect potential issues before they impact the customer. This supports a fail-fast, fail-forward operating model in a customer-obsessed business.
  • Act – Our platform includes automation features meaning that the business can respond quickly to potential problems that could impact the customer. So for example, if an application server is being maxed out, we make it easy to automatically spin up another server before a performance or outage issue. On top of this our war room feature makes it simple for the business, development and operations to collaborate looking at the same information in real-time, to resolve issues quickly.
  • Know – Our integrated application analytics makes it easy to display information in context of the audience. We collect all application data and make it simple to for technical or non-technical audiences to change this data into information so that strategic insights can be made.

In my next blog I will tackle Automation but for now I would love to hear your comments on DevOps and culture.

Anand and IDC Vice President, Stephen Elliot, the author of the “DevOps and the Cost of Downtime: Fortune 1000 Best Practice Metrics Quantified” report will be speaking on and upcoming webinar about DevOps best practices. Register now!

 

Bugs: The Secret Killer to 5-Star Mobile App Reviews

Bugs. Once upon a time – and not so very long ago – that word had only one meaning: annoying little critters that crawl, sting, bite, and can generally make your life a misery.

But in today’s modern technological age, the word bug has a new meaning: flaws in software applications. Though the word is the same, the two meanings are quite different. However, both terms represent a common theme: annoyances.

Bugs can wreak havocOptimized-iStock_000013467170_Small

The little bugs that infect computer code may not have wiped out millions of human lives – at least not yet (a computer bug reportedly nearly triggered World War III in the 1980s). But software errors certainly have caused deaths on a smaller scale through incidents such as aviation, traffic, and medical accidents.

For the most part, though, death isn’t a likely consequence of bugs infesting the code of modern apps. But other forms of devastation? Absolutely. In a recent study we conducted with IDC, we found downtime costs Fortune 1000 companies between $1.25 billion and $2.5 billion every year. (Interested in the full report, click here)

There’s also NASA, whose $327 million Mars Climate Orbiter disintegrated entering orbit around the Red Planet, the result of a coding error. Or check with Intel, they released an entire line CPUs in the 1990s containing a bug that caused an arithmetic error. Lots of red faces and an epic PR fail in addition to the cost in cash.

The point of these examples is to show no matter how small the issue, the results can be catastrophic.

When bad news can be good news

Sure, it’s bad to have bugs and issues in your application, however, they’re nearly unavoidable. Your home may be spotless, pristine, and clean as clean can be. Even so, there are bugs in your home. You can count on it. Same goes for the computer code your developers craft to power your app. It’ll contain bugs.

You can turn the bad news into good news by finding those bugs during the development process. Solving the most critical issues in the development and QA process is imperative.

However, once in production, it’s vital to be able to monitor your application and react accordingly to performance issues. In the same IDC report mentioned above, we found 13 percent of application failures last more than a full day. Doesn’t sound that terrifying until you realize the hourly cost of these downtimes ranges from $500,000 to $1 million PER HOUR.

The half-life of bad app reviews

Nowhere in the world is a review so prominent and vital to success as in mobile apps. Imagine if before you went to any restaurant you had to see their Yelp rating — it would probably affect your decision, right?

These aforementioned bugs now become nasty when they’re affecting your App Store rating. The success of your app hinges on this. In a different study we conducted with the University of London, we found 86% of users deleted an app after a poor performance (Read this report here). As we’ve been told countless times, “you never get a second chance at a first impression.”

What’s interesting, is the differences in tactics among the iOS App Store and Google Play. Since Google Play has fewer stringent rules on going live with an app — no intensive review process like the App Store — some independent developers can go live with their first iteration on their app and release new versions based on user feedback. However, they have this luxury because they’re independent devs and not major brands who’s image is reliant on a good product.

Major brands can’t simply iterate their product based on user feedback; they can’t afford that first wave of bad reviews. As a mobile evangelist, I’m constantly on the lookout for tools which can give me an insider’s perspective into my end-user’s behavior and how they’re using the app. These insights help me maintain a seamless app experience, react quickly to performance issues, and the most important part, preserve a good app store rating.

Interested to see how AppDynamics Mobile Real User Monitoring (RUM), can help you maintain your 5-star app? Download a FREE trial today!

Home to the Best and the Brightest

AppDynamics’ success in the marketplace and our growth trajectory have been just phenomenal. But for me personally, one of the most rewarding aspects of founding and growing a tech start-up is the opportunity to work with some of the smartest and most skilled people on the planet. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. And the fact that they chose AppDynamics — when many could really write their own ticket at almost any tech company — is tremendous validation of our concept, our culture, and our future.

Most recently, two of the leading visionaries and thinkers in our industry joined our team. Jonah Kowall comes to us from Gartner, where he was a research vice president and led the influential application performance monitoring and network performance monitoring and diagnostics magic quadrants. Jonah is our vice president of market development and insights, a newly created position, and he will play a lead role in defining our posture as “the application intelligence company” in this category that we are virtually creating. Few people in the industry have such broad and deep insight into application monitoring from both the technological and business perspectives. Jonah does a much better job than I can of explaining why he joined AppDynamics in his own blog post. (Read more about Jonah here.)

John Rakowski joins AppDynamics from Forrester Research, where he focused on strategic analysis of APM, IT operations analytics, DevOps, and digital business analytics — not coincidentally, all disciplines that are integral to the AppDynamics roadmap. John will play a key role as a product marketing strategist helping to define and strengthen our growing portfolio of IT operations management solutions. (Read more about John here.)

Also joining our team as vice president of product marketing is Kalyan Ramanathan, who most recently served as chief marketing officer at Crittercism, the mobile APM company. Kalyan has obvious expertise in mobile, which is or shortly will become a core discipline for almost every enterprise. But he also brings more than 20 years of experience in APM, DevOps, and automation with both industry giants and startups. He knows our industry from a number of strategic angles and will be invaluable in building our Application Intelligence Platform’s dominance in the market. (Read more about Kalyan here.)

Rounding out our executive announcements is a critically important player — Randy Gottfried, our new chief financial officer. Randy comes to us from Riverbed Technologies, where he was COO and CFO. He has a highly impressive track record for building and managing rapidly growing businesses, and valuable experience in the public markets. His expertise will be indispensable as we continue to scale up our operations worldwide and reach critical growth and revenue milestones. We’re staking our claim in the $30+ billion IT operations management and analytics markets. And we’re growing at a breakneck pace on every level — revenue, customers, staff. All of that requires astute, strategic financial management. We’re pleased to have Randy at our financial helm. (Read more about Randy here.)

Welcome to these new leaders. And welcome to the other 200+ colleagues who joined AppDynamics in the past fiscal year. Every day, week after week, the best and brightest engineers, product developers, managers, marketers, customer champions and more sign on to the AppDynamics team. Together, we’re redefining an industry and creating a new category to help the world’s software-defined businesses leverage technology to see everything that’s happening in their ecosystem, act quickly to optimize user experience, and know what it all means for their business.

Why I Joined AppDynamics

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a role with AppDynamics as VP of Market Development and Insights, helping AppDynamics expand into new markets both in terms of addressing buyers and in additional areas where technology can be applied. At the same time, I will be running much of the public insights we’ll be focusing on as we expand. If you’re unfamiliar with my work, I’ve been a research VP at Gartner within the IT operations management team for the last four years, leading much of the research focused on availability and performance monitoring including leading both the APM Magic Quadrant and the Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics Magic Quadrant. After having spent my first week at AppDynamics, there is a lot going on to say the least. Things are moving very quickly here, and the amount of autonomy and free thinking is great. I was fortunate enough to know most of the executive and senior management well from my time at Gartner, making the transition easier than expected.

Continuing off of my blog post at Gartner, I was excited to have been following AppDynamics closely since the company was created, and have gotten a much deeper view into the company over my four years with Gartner. Being a technologist at heart, this posting is going to delve into some fundamental problems within monitoring. The fundamental issues I see with monitoring, both from my personal experiences and that I have heard regularly in discussions with end users, are these:

  1. Why do I have so many tools?
  2. Why do each of these tools only focus on one domain or silo?
  3. How come users tell me about service issues before I can detect them?
  4. Why does problem isolation take so long?

AppDynamics is the only company in the market today which seems to be interested and actually able to execute on solving these issues. Today, APM tools are helping with problems three and four when deployed properly (this is a topic for another blog post), but they clearly do not help with one or two in fact, they make it worse. They do solve short term pain easily, and when used strategically can prevent problems three and four. The vision and strategy of AppDynamics, if executed upon correctly, solves these issues. I’m here to help make that happen, not only because it needs to, but because the complexity in software and infrastructures will get much worse than it is today.

Today’s infrastructure monitoring tools are dated, hard to use, and detached from the business and application. By merging together unified monitoring and APM and creating a way to recognize and trace the business transaction across infrastructure, a tie from the end user through the components is finally possible. This not only means looking at transactional performance, but also component health. Other vendors in monitoring today focus above the infrastructure line (APM) or below the application line (infrastructure monitoring). That needs to change.

Using an advanced analytics engine, underpinned by open source technologies, which can run in the data center or in the cloud (SaaS), is a winning architecture. This will allow the solution set to have a common technology base leveraging a common data store, something industry analysts have been writing about for years, and yet allow it to be extensible beyond the specific data the monitoring tools generate and require to be analyzed. Analytics are only useful with context, and the most important context for digital businesses is the user. This is something CIOs are having trouble handling today —  trying to move closer to that user —  and providing the business context is what the movement towards digital business is all about. I look forward to this journey, and will be writing more often both for the technical APM users, and the CIOs who are struggling to handle our fast moving industry.

Another year. Another 100% growth.

It’s been another outstanding year at AppDynamics! Our fiscal year ended January 31st, and I’m happy to report our amazing growth trajectory continues. Annual bookings doubled to more than $150 million. We closed more than 20 deals worth $1+ million each. Our client base grew to over 1,600 customers, and our staff grew by more than 50 percent to 550 employees and growing.

Quarter after quarter, year after year, the marketplace is enthusiastically embracing the AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform. The world’s largest financial institutions, consumer product brands that are household names, academic institutions, travel, healthcare, e-commerce and entertainment companies — our client list reads like a who’s who of the world’s most well-known and respected companies. They all recognize the critical role that software plays in their business operations, and in their interactions and ultimate success with customers. And they recognize that AppDynamics is the most effective platform not just to keep their software performing at its best, but to harvest data from it that can drive critical competitive insights. It’s extremely gratifying to see the list of companies that have chosen AppDynamics, and to watch that list grow.

AppDynamics technology continues to raise the bar

Our Application Intelligence Platform ceaselessly grows and evolves. This past year, we’ve added support for more platforms and more complex transactions; expanded our mobile solution and added free-forever crash analytics; created a Virtual War Room and other collaborative tools; released our powerful Application Analytics solution;  added a massively scalable data store, new data visualizations, big data behavioral learning; and on and on — more features and functionality than I could possibly list here.

What we offer, though, is so much more than a list of features that’s longer than our competition’s. What we’ve done and are doing goes far beyond “APM.” AppDynamics has reached the critical mass to become a single, comprehensive Application Intelligence partner. Performance, user experience, data and analytics. Web, datacenter, mobile. Consumer and enterprise. CIO, CTO, CMO. IT, marketing, business. We bring it all together, making the connections, giving everyone visibility, powering the insights, optimizing the business outcomes.

One way to think of what we do is “BizDevOps.” Another way is as a powerful platform that keeps the applications running, the users delighted, and the business growing.

A year’s worth of kudos

Validation comes in many forms: A growing list of A-level clients. A team stacked with the best and brightest. Stories from the field of our product saving the day. Triple-digit growth. But “the industry” bestows its own recognition of excellence, and we’re proud to be the recipient of a host of those distinctions. Here are some that we’ve received in the last 12 months:

Strategic partnerships and partner enablement

Our president, Joe Sexton, likes to sign off his emails with “T(ogether) E(everyone) A(chieves) M(ore).” That’s a philosophy that applies to our relationships with technology partners as well. We recognize that AppDynamics is part of an ecosystem, and that everyone in that ecosystem can achieve more when everyone works as a team. To that end, we’ve initiated some key partnerships and partner programs this past year.

We’ve partnered with IBM to provide cloud migration analysis services for the IBM Cloud Marketplace, and also to support the IBM DataPower messaging appliance. We became certified on the Verizon Cloud Marketplace. We have integration certification from ServiceNow for service management workflows.

For our own partners, we’ve launched an OEM partner program, and introduced first-of-its-kind profit-sharing levels for solution partners.

Our engagement with the open source community continues to be strong as well. We joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation this past year to support standards for platform-as-a-service. And our client developers have created and made available more than 100 open-source extensions to enhance integration with the Application Intelligence Platform.

A new year of surprises in store for you

Each year has been amazing for us, but this coming year may just prove to be the most incredible yet. We’ve made some great strategic hires on our leadership team. And we’ve laid the groundwork for some great leaps forward for our platform and for every aspect of our organization. I can’t wait to be writing this report for you next year. Stay tuned!

How Black Friday and Cyber Monday Were Saved with Performance and Monitoring Tools

Ah, the holidays. A great occasion to spend quality time with your family, eat a little too much, and indulge on the fantastic shopping deals. Online shopping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday account for a critical chunk of a retailer’s yearly revenue. Any downtime or abnormal slow performance will directly impact the bottom line of the business. So how should these e-commerce companies protect this increased income by preparing their site and applications properly to handle the drastic increase in load?

We partnered with InternetRetailer.com to conduct a survey of senior retail executives to see how e-commerce sites prepared for the holiday season, and how these preparations were crucial in surpassing their revenue goals. We went into the survey looked for specific answers, such as: If these sites invested in performance monitoring tools did they fare better through the holidays with less downtime? Were sites with a performance troubleshooting process in place more likely to exceed their goals? How has mobile e-commerce traffic grown year over year?Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 11.00.25 AM

Download the full report here

The results were quite surprising. We knew performance mattered as every minute of downtime these e-commerce sites would be losing money. However, we didn’t realize exactly how crucial having monitoring tools and a troubleshooting process were.

Some interesting facts:

  • 92% of retailers that had a site performance troubleshooting process were more likely to have met or exceeded their revenue numbers
  • 70% of retailers who exceed their revenue goals added new site performance and monitoring tools prior to the holidays
  • 24% reported their holiday mobile traffic increased by over 41% from the year before

The mobile piece is quite interesting. Though we know the mobile experience is a crucial stage in the buying cycle — notably for discovering and browsing — it still isn’t typically the final device used for the purchase stage. However, as the mobile traffic increases, the user experience still remains an absolutely vital cog in the purchase decision. In a previous study we conducted with the University of London, we found 86% of customers who have a bad first experience on a mobile app will never return to the app for a second chance.

The report doesn’t only highlight interested facts derived from the survey, but also insight from some of the top e-commerce companies in the world. Charles Hunsinger, CIO at Harry and David, details their troubleshooting process, “ We have several different tools in place, and they give us a lot of information to understand, if there is an issue, where it is coming from.”

On the mobile angle, Heather Dettmann, Digital Business Manager at Finish Line, states, “We know that customers will continue to explore and purchase products through a variety of touch-points, and we’ll continue to be everywhere that they are …. and deliver the best possible customer experience.”

Interested in checking out the full report, click here for your FREE copy!

If You’re an APM Customer, You Might Be Missing Out On a Powerful Combo

Peanut butter and jelly. Love and marriage. Horse and carriage. Coffee and cup. Batman and Robin. Some things just belong together. It’s even a little bit magical the way that certain things can be combined to form a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts. That’s certainly true of the classic combo examples above. And it’s also true of the combo of Application Performance Monitoring and Application Analytics.

It’s a shame, then, that many of our customers deny themselves the power of combining APM with Application Analytics.

Not Your Father’s Business World…

The role that software plays in the world of business has changed dramatically in just a few short years. Not so long ago, software was simply an aid to running a business. Just a tool. But now, in a very real sense, software often is the business. These days, many businesses are built upon a foundation of software.

That’s because software-based businesses offer many advantages over traditional brick-and-mortar business models. In fact, you can probably think offhand of many examples in which an upstart software-based business dethroned a long-entrenched industry leader. The obliteration of Blockbuster by Netflix is a classic example. But the many advantages offered by software-based businesses have also come with some challenges, such as monitoring the performance of software and getting business insights into business information that is represented in 1s and 0s inside software.

How Well Does Your Software Perform?

Understandably, AppDynamics Application Performance Monitoring (APM) has become very popular. Because keeping tabs on the performance of applications has become integral to success in today’s business climate. After all, an under performing or misbehaving application can wreak lots of havoc in a little bit of time.

But in order for AppDynamics APM monitoring to be effective in production environment, where it really matters, it needs to monitor intelligently while keeping the overhead to a minimum. AppDynamics intelligently captures transaction details of only those transactions that are not performing well; performance metrics of the ones that are behaving as per expectations are just aggregated into rolling averages. The downside of this is that the granularity of those transaction metrics is lost, which is by design.

It should be noted that this is NOT sampling; it’s really smart monitoring.

The Power of Analytics

Often times, organizations want to have detailed business information on who visited their website, what business they conducted or couldn’t conduct. Analysis of this data is invaluable as it can help organizations improve their customer engagement and experience, or optimize conversions and revenues.

AppDynamics Application Analytics automatically collects all the data generated by software-driven apps. It collects every data point – both performance as well as business – giving you the power to evaluate business as well as IT performance of every single business transaction. It gives you the power to drill down into the level of details on every transaction that has flown through the application.

Application Analytics preserves the granularity of data generated through business transactions, permitting assessments of the smallest details of any business transaction. As opposed to the snapshot or rolling aggregates of application performance that APM provides, Application Analytics provides a holistic view of business transactions.

You Need Both APM and Analytics. If You’re Only Using One, You’re Missing the Complete Picture

APM tells you how well your applications are performing. Application Analytics delivers business insights through data gathered in real-time as your applications run. APM goes hand-in-hand with Application Analytics. It’s a natural combo that provides you with unprecedented power in getting the most out of your applications and the insights gained from business transactions.

All due deference to the classic combo of Batman and Robin – but the combo of Application Performance Monitoring and Application Analytics? That’s the new Dynamic Duo.

Interested to see how the powerful combo can work for you? Download a FREE trial today!

Don’t Let (Application) Performance Ruin Your Valentine’s Day

It’s almost Valentine’s day. Are you a believer or a begrudger who categorizes the day as commercialism merely designed to empty our pockets?

Regardless of where you fall on the skeptical scale, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey, we’re going to spend almost $19 billion painting the day red. Over 25% of us will head online rather than trudging the streets. And we’re going to want to find and order our gifts fast.

The greatest differentiator an online retailer can offer its customers – short of incredibly low prices that few can sustain – is blazing fast, reliable service. When we click on an image of a prospective gift, the product and purchase information should display instantaneously. No matter what day or time it is — and regardless of where in the world we happen to be.

We’re working with some of the largest retailers worldwide to help them assure their online performance and secure their customers’ business. In our latest customer roundup, we share how three of our retail customers went about doing this.

Overstock.com, one of the top most-visited mass merchandiser sites in the US, dramatically reduced the time it took to find the route cause of outages and fix them in a matter of minutes rather than hours — or even days. During 2014’s Black Friday weekend, Overstock reported a 23% increase in their sales over the same period a year earlier.

The Container Store, the US’ original and leading retailer of storage and organization products, realized speed was vital — particularly for “stocking-stuffer” gifts — and that customers could experience entirely different website performance depending on their location. Deciding to be proactive in assuring a consistent, lightening-fast response time to all customers, they used AppDynamics to locate website bugs and fix them before the customer is even aware of a potential problem. Even a 100-fold traffic spike on Cyber Monday holds no fear for The Container Store’s quality assurance team.

And not only did Wowcher — a popular daily deals site in the UK — reduce the time it took to repair faults to just 10 minutes, it also used AppDynamics to ensure their customers did not experience a degradation in performance when they migrated to Amazon EC2. That’s good news for all the men and ladies out there looking for a last-minute romantic experience, at a pocket-sparing-price.

Check out our FREE ebook, How 3 Global E-Commerce Companies Maintain Optimal Performance.

The New Modern Family: Business + Development + Operations = BizDevOps

Hello, from a new member of AppDynamics team! I recently joined the team to lead application performance management (APM) product marketing.

Last month, when I was talking with Jyoti Bansal, CEO of AppDynamics, he shared his vision for the company. Where the market is heading and how application performance and end-user experience insights can influence business outcome. This conversation not only cemented my decision to join the company, but also I came back with a quest to learn more about a term he used – BizDevOps.

I learned more about BizDevOps during the last few weeks and yesterday when I read a blog by Larry Dragich. After reading some of the comments about the strategic importance of APM for Line of Business, I thought of sharing some of my thoughts about BizDevOps here with all of you.

UntitledCompanies everywhere — both small and large — are now factoring DevOps it into their business models. However, in today’s agile and increasingly software-defined world, Development (Dev) and Operations (Ops) have to collaborate with Business (Biz) at a very rapid pace. In order to maximize the efficiency at the enterprises, the process of BizDevOps is emerging to utilize DevOps practices that further drive the overall business agenda. BizDevOps isn’t just another fancy buzzword either. DevOps started the collaboration among teams but adding in the business unit provides the actual context and insights from the software.

Software is no longer part of the business, it is the business.

Historically Dev, Ops, and Biz have focused on a different set of priorities, even though, the end goal for everyone is the same — building a successful business. Dev is looking at how to write the best code and how their code performs. Ops is looking at operational monitoring to make sure performance and availability are good. Biz is looking at Business KPIs like “Orders Processed” and “Revenue”, etc.

In the new agile world where Dev, Ops, and Biz have to work together at a very rapid pace, and you need a common language to collaborate. Focusing on a business transaction – an application transaction like “Place Order” or “Deposit money” with business context, can be that common language and is key to BizDevOps.

Dynamically tagging and following a business transaction, that flows through highly distributed application environment, helps address the needs of Dev, Ops, and Biz with unified monitoring. Starting from the user experience, the application performance, how the application interacts with infrastructure, and then finally, how is the business performing. As the business world has become increasingly more software-defined, BizDevOps offers an extremely productive process that integrates the core organizations of IT to push forward business goals and requirements.

Implementing BizDevOps processes in software-defined businesses is becoming more and more vital to company success (or failure). Whenever a company encounters downtime or an outage, all business activities halt at a tremendous cost to the company. Understanding the business impact of any downtime or poor end-user experience, allows businesses to prioritize the resources to address the current issues and plan for proactive remediation and end-to-end optimization.

You can learn more about BizDevOps in a recent Diginomica article that quotes some of Jyoti’s thoughts on this topic.

Looking forward to sharing more of my thoughts on this blog in upcoming weeks and months.

See how AppDynamics APM can help foster BizDevOps in your organization, download a FREE trial today!

The Real Cost of Downtime, The Real Potential of DevOps

Hang around any IT department (or the AppDynamics offices) and you likely won’t finish a cup of coffee before somebody brings up the cost of downtime or the ascent of DevOps. And that’s a good thing, because these are two topics that are central to the value that IT brings to enterprises today and how that value will increase in the future.

IDC recently published research on these two topics in its report, “DevOps and the Cost of Downtime: Fortune 1000 Best Practice Metrics Quantified,” by IDC Vice President Stephen Elliot. (See the full report.) AppDynamics was happy to cooperate with the study, along with a select group of other enterprise software companies. The survey was conducted among a cross-section of IT personnel in Fortune 1000 companies.

The high cost of downtime

The research puts some dollar figures on what application downtime costs enterprises, and those numbers are eye-opening. An infrastructure failure costs $100,000 per hour, according to the survey respondents. A critical application failure costs a staggering $500,000 to $1 million per hour. A little more than a third of those outages last from one to 12 hours; 17 percent of infrastructure failures and 13 percent of application failures last more than a full day. All told, when you do the math, downtime costs the Fortune 1000 between $1.25 billion and $2.5 billion every year.

DevOps gaining momentum

According to the survey, more than 40 percent of the Fortune 1000 has a DevOps practice, and another 40 percent are actively investigating DevOps. Soon, the majority of Fortune 1000 companies will be employing DevOps practices. They’re expecting it to do great things for customer experience, productivity, costs and profitability, and speed of application delivery. They’ll deliver those benefits through increased capabilities in automation, continuous delivery, continuous integration, automated testing, and application monitoring.

Getting to DevOps isn’t an easy slam-dunk, though. Cultural inhibitors, process issues, and the need for executive support are just a few of the hurdles to putting together a DevOps practice identified in the research. And the same old tools aren’t likely to work in the faster-paced collaborative DevOps environment; those who try to fit old tools to DevOps have a failure rate of 80 percent.

A platform for the times

Looking at this survey data, it’s easy to see how the AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform aligns tightly with the needs of the software-driven enterprise, from minimizing downtime to supporting the new processes and dynamics of a DevOps culture. The platform brings a comprehensive, modern toolkit including new-generation APM, real-user monitoring on desktop and mobile, collaborative tools like our Virtual War Room, and Application Analytics, a powerful new solution for harvesting real-time data from applications.

Importantly, the Application Intelligence Platform adds an entire new dimension to DevOps. It focuses on the business transaction as the essential unit of measurement, and recognizes business stakeholders as essential members of the team. “BizDevOps” brings everyone with an interest onto the same page, looking at the way users interact with the applications and complete or don’t complete business transactions as defined by the team, seeing the impact of new releases, understanding fully what happens during an outage, and quickly seeing how to fix it. The business transaction is the common language for all the stakeholders, and ultimately the measure of both user satisfaction and business success.

So what are the key takeaways from this research? Do whatever it takes to maximize application and infrastructure uptime. And cultivate a culture and toolkit that supports the successful implementation of BizDevOps and all the benefits it brings for application and business performance.

The author of the report, IDC Vice President Stephen Elliot, will also be joining us on an upcoming webinar. Register now!

Also, be sure to download a complimentary copy of the entire report here.