Using Gartner’s Peer Insights to Evaluate APM Providers

Application performance management (APM) companies are quickly becoming some of the most important players in the IT landscape as enterprises strive to deliver best-in-class customer experiences.

Last year, the application performance management market was valued at $4.6 billion, and that number is projected to nearly double within just a few years, reaching $8.7 billion by 2023. But as the APM market continues to explode, it’s becoming harder than ever to navigate the APM vendor landscape.

With so many options, where do you start your search for an APM vendor that can meet your needs? And how do you narrow the increasingly large and complex field of APM providers to find the right solution for your organization?

The Role of Peer Reviews in the APM Buying Process

Just as you might look to Yelp for a new restaurant recommendation, or wouldn’t dream of purchasing anything on Amazon without at least a 3-star rating, peer reviews have dramatically changed the way we buy things—both in the consumer and business worlds.

Research shows that 63 percent of B2B software buyers already use reviews to help them create a shortlist of products to evaluate, and 62 percent of B2B buyers say that today they rely more on peer recommendations than they did in the past. And it’s easy to see why tech buyers are putting more stock in peer reviews: utilizing peer insights when evaluating technology providers can reduce business risk and optimize the final purchase decision.

For these reasons, it makes sense that relying on the insight and real-world experience of fellow IT professionals is a great place to start when it comes to creating a shortlist of APM providers to consider. And with Gartner’s new APM peer insights report—based on nearly 1,000 reviews and ratings published by real APM end users over the last year—enterprises now have access to the data they need to improve and streamline the APM vendor evaluation and selection processes.

APM Peer Insights Vetted by Gartner

Filled with peer review data that has been rigorously vetted, verified, and analyzed by Gartner, the report can be used to inform your APM buying process with authentic, trustworthy customer feedback.

Here are just a few of the invaluable insights the report dives into detail on:

  • How your peers rate APM vendors on each step in the buying process: evaluation and contracting, integration and deployment, and service and support

  • Which vendors APM technology buyers typically evaluate alongside each other during the consideration stage

  • The only 5 APM providers to receive the coveted 2018 Customers’ Choice distinction (spoiler alert: one was AppDynamics)

  • What percentage of each vendor’s customers are willing to recommend their chosen solution to other organizations

  • Reviewer demographics—such as industry and company size—so you can prioritize feedback from peers that may have similar goals and challenges to yours

Ready to dive in? Get the free Gartner report now to access the peer review data you need to navigate the APM technology landscape, make better shortlisting decisions, and simplify the vendor selection process.

Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’: Application Performance Monitoring Suites Market, 9 October 2018

Cisco (AppDynamics) is Named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the Sixth Consecutive Year

Today, Cisco (AppDynamics) was named a Leader in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring Suites for the sixth year in a row. We were also positioned highest among 15 vendors for ability to execute – something we’re incredibly proud of.

Since joining AppDynamics over a year ago, one of the things I love most about the team is how closely we listen to customers.  Whether it is about cloud migrations, digital transformation, or improving the speed of doing business, our customers’ feedback inspires us to keep innovating faster every day.

We believe Gartner’s recognition is a reflection of the innovations we’ve made over the last year that are dedicated to helping customers achieve more visibility, confidence, and agility.

Take, for example, our introduction of the next generation of Business iQ, Business Journeys, which links multiple, distributed business events into a single view that shows the way customers actually interact with a business. Businesses can now shape their digital experiences to match the real-time needs and expectations of their customers.

And as more connected devices continue to spread in both the consumer and enterprise worlds, we also launched IoT Monitoring to give businesses the ability to glean insights into end-user behavior across any number of devices.

Then there’s the massive task of drawing real-time insights from the high volume of data we collect. We needed help here, and we got it with Perspica Technologies. We doubled down on our machine learning capabilities with the onboarding of Perspica to help advance the domain-expertise needed to quickly turn data into business-aware insights.   

This was just a glimpse of our milestones in over the last year. We believe being named as a leader for APM Suites in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the sixth consecutive year is a big honor, but we’re nowhere near slowing down. So stay tuned – you’ll want to see what we have in store.

Learn more

Download your complimentary copy of the 2018 APM Suites Gartner Magic Quadrant report now.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring Suites, Will Cappelli, Sanjit Ganguli, Federico De Silva, 19 March 2018. Cisco (AppDynamics) was included as AppDynamics from 2012-2016. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Five Years of Listening: AppDynamics is a 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant APM Leader Again

How great are winning streaks? You get validation for hard work (which is, of course, the only way you have long term success. I’m not talking lucky streak, here.). It draws attention to the good work you’re doing. And it lends credibility.

And as the world continues to speed up, attention spans get shorter, and competition gets stiffer, staying on, or near, the top year after year has become even more gratifying and rare.

Think about it. We’ve always lived in a world of one-hit wonders, flavors of the month, and fads. But most of us remember a time when at least the brands and companies we’d always known remained stable. Now not even the enterprise world is safe from our wavering interests. We’ve witnessed multiple once-mighty corporations taken down, unable to survive the era of the customer.

So, in these fickle times, it felt particularly great to hear that we’ve hit a special milestone, being rated among the leaders in Gartner’s 2016 APM Magic Quadrant five years in a row. The Magic Quadrant’s reputation is well earned, as it is one of the most thorough and meticulous pieces of research and analysis in the enterprise world. Being recognized by Gartner as a leader in our industry for five straight years is a testament to the team’s hard work and talent, and there’s a lot of people to thank for it.

But we’ll keep it about the customers. We’re very proud of the high quality of our products and our people. But “high quality” is just a short way to say, “Customers find that your products are very helpful for them and their business.” And our employees are high quality because they realize that, and enjoy moving down the customer-centric path as a team.

Innovation is a conversation

Customers have always been the best guide. I mentioned their short attention spans earlier. Short attention spans have gotten a bad rap, but I’m hesitant to tag that customer trait in negative terms. For one, what is a short attention span really? It’s evolving wants and needs, and that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s difficult to keep up with, but not bad. Also, more often than not, customers’ moving gazes have really good judgement. That’s why it’s a good habit to figure out what’s distracting their attention. The aforementioned once-mighty corporations didn’t.

The most consistent innovators are actually the best listeners. It’s as important a skill for a company as being technically savvy. Innovation is a conversation. Customers tell us what they think of current products, we use that information to make things better, we ask them if they like this new thing we made for them, then we listen some more.

What’s that? You want APM to help you drive better business outcomes? We’re on it. And thank you for letting us know.

Keep listening, and apply your skills and creativity to what you hear, next thing you know, you’ve got a nice winning streak on your hands.

Learn more

Please be sure to download the 2016 APM Gartner Magic Quadrant report. We’ll certainly be listening to what it has to say.


Gartner [Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring Suites], [Cameron Haight, Federico de Silva], [21 December 2016].

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner Ranks AppDynamics #1 in all 5 Use Cases in New Research

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is a branded research methodology which ranks technology providers ability to address a specific technology market as defined by the analysts. This means the company’s ability to execute and vision for the market is the focus of the research. This research is extremely well regarded, but extremely time consuming to craft. Within a specific Magic Quadrant, a provider would have a single dot placement, but may have several solutions in any given market.

In 2009, analyst Mark Nicolett created the Critical Capabilities. Over time this document became branded, but not mandatory for each Magic Quadrant. That policy changed in 2014 when Gartner began to mandate Critical Capabilities be paired with each Magic Quadrant. This research is designed to be a deeper look at product and fit of the product for specific use cases.

Within APM, the first Critical Capabilities was published in 2014, and it’s evolved in the latest iteration as the team has evolved its thinking. Within APM buyers, Gartner has determined these as the main use cases:

  • Application Support
  • Application Development
  • IT Operations
  • Application Owner or LOB
  • DevOps Release

The ‘Critical Capabilities’ research report, provides a comprehensive and technical product analysis ranking APM suites on critical APM capabilities across five different usage scenarios. Fifteen vendor products were chosen and evaluated for each capability, and scored on a five-point scale. The capabilities assessed for each use case included business analysis, service monitoring, anomaly detection, distributed profiling, application debugging, and workload planning.

AppDynamics received the highest score all five use cases:

  • Application Support (4.24 of 5): Involved with the end-to-end behaviors of applications. Focused on problem detection, isolation, and remediation. End-user experience monitoring and mobile APM are important capabilities.
  • Application Development (4.11 of 5): Code-level visibility and “the ability to compare and profile code in production environments” are important criteria for this use case, as is the ability to address native mobile applications.
  • IT Operations (3.36 of 5): Focused primarily on infrastructure efficiency, while also monitoring the application technology that runs the business and impacts profitability.
  • Application Owner or LOB (4.21 of 5): Focused less on technical performance details and more on business metrics and end-user experience data.
  • DevOps Release (3.57 of 5): Requires the ability to quickly assess new releases and detect and diagnose any issues, leveraging multiple, integrated tools; also encompasses future requirements planning.

AppDynamics CEO, David Wadhwani, said “We’re very pleased with AppDynamics’ showing in the recent Gartner ‘Critical Capabilities’ report. As enterprises increasingly embrace digital transformation, it’s critical that they have an effective and unified application performance management solution and analytics solution in place — application intelligence is an essential pillar for success in this software-driven world. Gartner’s research further solidifies AppDynamics’ leadership across the board, by being named a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for APM and in the use cases that are paramount for every enterprise.”

With every industry undergoing transformation for the new digital age, APM technology becomes increasingly more critical to business. The report provides recommendations for IT planners on competitive products/services to be considered for further evaluation, dependent on the capabilities needed and the usage scenarios essential to their business.

Read the complimentary report here

Industry Insights: 2015 Gartner APM “Suites” Magic Quadrant

The 2015 edition of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for APM published this week. There were several interesting changes, the first being that the name of the research has been changed. The research is now titled “APM Suites” versus simply APM. The second big change is the lead author; the research is now being led by Cameron Haight, a 15-year veteran at Gartner. Having worked with Cameron for many years, I was glad when he took over to lead the APM research. He’s a progressive thinker at Gartner, having pioneered the DevOps research in 2010, and then going on to kick off Gartner’s Web-Scale research in 2012. Most of what he was writing about and taking client calls on were very progressive topics that were on the cusp of normality. DevOps has reached normality, and hence is positioned on the peak of expectations in the Gartner Hype Cycle. With all of Cameron’s progressive thinking, I was quite surprised to see the APM research have such weightings applied to legacy technologies and business models.

Most APM Tools Are Poorly Integrated “Suites”

Gartner identifies that most of the vendors, especially the legacy vendors, have broad suites of tools, which are poorly integrated. Gartner pointed out in the survey results earlier this year that APM tools are not as widely adopted due to lack of integration, which is the second most cited barrier after price. The fact that Gartner has adjusted the name of the research explains some of the changes in the model that affect relative positioning of legacy vendors. Gartner is saying that suites are okay here, even though they present a major barrier to those implementing and managing these tools.

The Legacy Lives On

While legacy software vendors exist within IT operations management, there is clearly momentum towards newer technology providers. Why is this shift occurring? Digital transformation is not an option. It’s a requirement to remain in business. In order for these companies to transform, Gartner recommends implementing a bimodal strategy; the net result is that model 1 manages legacy systems, while model 2 is the fast-moving group. Becoming innovative is not an option, Gartner states in “How to Achieve Enterprise Agility With a Bimodal Capability”:  “At the heart of the digital transformation and bimodal is the need for enterprises to become more creative, to break out of the business as usual and, in particular, to establish a stronger capability in technology-led business innovation.” The result of this is that legacy ITOM vendors existing in mode 1 teams will collect maintenance revenue, but fail to grow, while mode 2 is where growth and innovation is occurring.

Favoring Legacy Software Revenue Models

Once again, in Gartner’s own words, software is transitioning to new consumption models. “As subscription-based alternatives and particularly software as a service (SaaS) are being adopted by organizations, a more predictable revenue pattern will emerge”. Modern software companies have shifted to subscription-based revenue models. What this means is that for subscription businesses, revenue comes during the lifetime of the customer, versus being paid up front as it is for perpetual businesses. Revenue is a lagging indicator for SaaS businesses, whereas bookings is an accurate measure. Gartner is using 2014 calendar-year revenues, which favors these perpetual businesses. The reason why Gartner is using this data is because revenue is reported by every public company; hence it’s easier to obtain for many vendors, but it also favors these legacy models. Every business is slowly transitioning to subscriptions, but many legacy providers cannot make this jump. For example, based on IDC data for systems management vendors, Dynatrace’s SaaS revenue declined 3.3 percent in 2014, as they continue to sell primarily perpetual software along with the other legacy vendors.

When analyzing the IT Operations Management market, the fastest growing companies in the space, and the most relevant to their respective markets, include AppDynamics, New Relic, Splunk, and ServiceNow. These businesses are almost entirely subscription revenue model, while the legacy vendors are primarily perpetual software models. This shows that ITOM has a massive legacy of companies that cannot transform and have failed to transition.

Private Equity

Private equity has been extremely active in the ITOM space, especially in monitoring. Thoma Bravo now has acquired seven public companies in this space. I was fortunate enough to sit in on Gary Spivak’s financial sessions at the Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference in December 2015. In Gary’s session and research note titled, “How to Re-evaluate Strategic Vendors Acquired by Private Equity,” he mentions the reason PE firms acquire these companies. “The company has a lack of revenue growth, accompanied by strong cash generation.” Clearly, these companies have large installed bases generating maintenance revenue. Additionally these leveraged buyouts require a large portion of financing or debt to execute, and with today’s low interest rates they can pay off the debt they accrue. As Gary states, “The company’s cash flows are sufficient to make interest payments on existing and new additional debt (commonly referred to as a debt burden), and still sustain business operations (to an extent).” With each of these acquisitions there have been immediate layoffs, reductions in sales forces, and typically a reduction in R&D. This translates to profits for the private equity firms, but these goals do not align with what end users expect. In this same research, Gary indicates that privatization of companies like BMC amassed a large amount of debt owed by the company; BMC moved from $1.8b to $6b in debt. When Dell went private, the debt swelled from $9b to $18b in order to fund the transaction. During privatization, Compuware raised an additional $2b of debt to fund the transaction. This debt or obligation is the responsibility of the company, not the private equity firm.


When analyzing the growth of these vendors, the picture for many is quite bleak. In a previous blog post I analyzed Gartner’s own market data numbers, and many companies included in this research who were scored with high marks in execution are failing to grow at the rate of the market expansion. This means that new business is not going to legacy players, it’s going to the new breed of company solving today’s new problems. The health of these businesses are in question, yet they are being rated as viable, well-executing companies.

No Visionaries

I was quite surprised that no vendors fell in the visionary quadrant. There are two ways to describe this:

  1. It’s very hard to build a fully capable APM tool, so most vendors do not want to compete with market leaders in this space.
  2. The market is mature, meaning there are fewer scrappy startups as there once were just a few short years ago.

Clearly the problem has not been solved. By most expert estimates, fewer than 10 percent of enterprise applications have APM tools in place, meaning there is a lot of work to be done to solve application problems. None of the challengers can build a compelling vision for how to solve these issues in a unique way?

One can hope this model evolves with progressive thinking to meet the demands of today’s digital businesses as they try to remain relevant in a time of disruption. In Gartner’s own words, “CEOs should assume that business model change will be forced by new digital entrants or an adjacent competitor within the next two years.”

(2015 CEO Survey: Committing to Digital, Mark Raskino ) digital transformation is not an option but an imperative for CEOs today, and this imperative is only addressed by innovative companies.

Market Insights: Gartner APM Market Share Analysis

This kicks off Market Insights, a new series of posts I will be writing, focused on thought leadership research coming from the press, bloggers and analysts covering the APM and other associated markets. Let’s start off by breaking down some market data from Gartner to understand where the growth is coming from in the APM market.

Gartner publishes market data annually, along with their assessment of the numbers. The analyst handling APM is Federico De’Silva, in the market data numbers for 2014 ( This document focuses on IT operations management software specifically in the distributed arena. Note that where you see “Compuware” actually now refers to  Dynatrace, since the company was renamed from the source market data document to this new assessment document. OPNET was renamed to Riverbed following its acquisition in early 2013, and Quest was renamed Dell after its acquisition in late 2012.

The Gartner report states that the APM market grew at a record high 15.8 percent in 2014, up from 13.8 percent in 2013. The chart shows the top vendors in revenue (over $50m).

Vendor Gartner 2014 APM Market Share Revenue
Compuware $326.9
CA Technologies $222.6
IBM $219.3
Dell $208.7
Microsoft $159.4
Riverbed $158.4
Splunk $146.1
HP $131.3
New Relic $96.8
Oracle $83.6
AppDynamics $79.0
BMC Software $59.7

Charts/graphics created by AppDynamics based on Gartner research. Source: Gartner, Inc., Market Share Analysis: IT Operations Management Software, Worldwide, 2014, Laurie F. Wurster | Ronni J. Colville | Federico De Silva | David M. Coyle | Michael Warrilow, May 26th 2015.

The growth rate numbers published in the same research show a different story, for those growing over 10%. In this case, you can see where innovators have clearly been capturing new market opportunity.

Vendor Gartner 2014 APM Market Share Growth
AppDynamics 246.5%
New Relic 71.3%
SolarWinds 65.1%
Splunk 47.0%
Microsoft 21.8%
Compuware 20.6%
CA Technologies 14.7%
IBM 14.0%
Other Vendors 11.8%

Charts/graphics created by AppDynamics based on Gartner research. Source: Gartner, Inc., Market Share Analysis: IT Operations Management Software, Worldwide, 2014, Laurie F. Wurster | Ronni J. Colville | Federico De Silva | David M. Coyle | Michael Warrilow, May 26th 2015.

Interestingly, these growth numbers hide a bigger story. The overall APM market expanded 15.8 percent in 2014, so the vendors who were not growing above this rate were not keeping pace with market expansion. If we take the Gartner data and subtract out the market expansion, it undermines the growth story for a number of APM vendor, even pushing some into negative growth:

Vendor (Gartner 2014 APM Market Share) – (Overall Gartner APM Market Growth Rate of 15.8%)
AppDynamics 230.7%
New Relic 55.5%
SolarWinds 49.3%
Splunk 31.2%
Microsoft 6.0%
Compuware 4.8%
CA Technologies -1.1%
IBM -1.8%
Other Vendors -4.0%

Charts/graphics created by AppDynamics

While there is no doubt revenue replacement and  movement between vendors, it’s clear that the overall market expansion is being driven by just a handful of vendors.

With more and more businesses being defined by software, and the continuing evolution of software along with the teams who create, manage, and invent the ideas behind the software, this market trend is likely to accelerate, causing a further gap between the technology providers who meet these new demands, and those who are focused on legacy infrastructure and applications.

Gartner recognizes AppDynamics as APM Innovator

It’s been a great start to 2012 for us at AppDynamics. Last week, we were recognized by Forrester Research in their APM market overview, and at the end of 2011, Gartner included us in their report “APM Innovators: Driving APM Technology and Delivery Evolution” which was co-written by Will Capelli and Jonah Kowall.

According to Gartner’s report, APM is evolving into four key market requirements:

1. Complex and varied End Points

2. Cloud Services

3. Packaged Applications

4. Big Data