Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Management Gaining Importance Among Executives

Application management--particularly solutions with built-in automation designed to help organizations monitor and manage performance and availability from a cohesive, end-to-end view--are becoming top concerns for both IT and business executives, according to a new study conducted by research and consulting firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). In fact, in 53 percent of the companies EMA surveyed, C-level IT executives, directors and managers are shaping application management their organization's application strategy, and in 42 percent of those surveyed, C-level executives are directly involved in planning, implementing or promoting application management, compared to 37 percent in 2008.  Director-level executives are involved in 29 percent of companies surveyed, versus 18 percent  in 2008. Moreover, application management acquisitions are increasingly being funded out of IT executive versus IT operations budgets, the survey found.

EMA conducted the survey in late 2009, querying more than 150 respondents that met certain criteria, including familiarity with enterprise application deployment, maintenance, monitoring or management as IT specialists, managers responsible for application support teams, or line-of-business professionals involved in application management. Potential respondents were also screened regarding the types of "enterprise applications" they were managing. Nearly half the respondents were from enterprise-sized companies, those with 10,000 or more employees. The remaining were fairly evenly distributed among smaller companies, varying in size from less than 250 up to 10,000.

Julie Craig, EMA's research director for application management, says the increased involvement of executives reflects the realization that monitoring and managing today's highly distributed and increasingly complex applications is getting tougher, and application performance and quality is being affected. "I've started researching end-to-end application management about three years ago. IT organizations are still, by and large, good at monitoring and managing infrastructure. Most are not that good at managing applications," Craig says. "And these executives are the ones talking to customers and partners and hearing if things are working, such as if a portal is down and that's affecting a line of business's ability to bring in revenue."

To address the more complex applications--some of which run in service-oriented architectures (SOAs) or on virtual servers, making them more loosely connected and more dynamic--organizations need tools that offer new levels of automation to discover and monitor all the systems, networks and devices. Simply adding more staff is no longer a solution. As Craig puts it, "the requirements are really beyond human capability," Instead organizations are seeking automated management solutions that improve application quality and boost efficiencies. "IT has to move to higher levels of automation because otherwise they want to be able to afford to manage their applications," Craig adds.

Not surprisingly, user calls are still the primary way that IT finds out about application-related problems. Thirty-two percent of those queried said user calls are the most common way they find out about application-related problems, down from 54 percent in 2008. Automation is helping: 25 percent said detection by monitoring centers is the primary way they learn about problems, while12 percent picked notification from application management products. Another 12 percent picked notification from domain-specific management products (i.e., network, database, etc.).

  • 1