No one was exempt from the effects of the global pandemic that has rocked businesses over the past year. Technology has emerged as an aid for businesses to get the upper hand, with cloud now a priority for IT leaders and decision makers. However, even in this turbulent environment, the approach shouldn't be ‘cloud at all costs'; unmetered complexity could be damaging. James Harvey, EMEA CTO, Cisco AppDynamics believes instead that businesses should focus on adequate planning in their use of cloud-native applications in the first instance and monitoring tools on an ongoing basis to track the value being generated
Over half of UK businesses (51 per cent) say that shifting to a cloud-based model has saved their company from collapse during the pandemic, according to Centrify. That's certainly good news for the companies that have deployed cloud solutions and for cloud technology in general as a way to showcase the benefits it can deliver. But it can do so much more. How much more it can deliver is part of the conundrum that some companies face.
It's likely that boards will want to know the scale of the return on investment that their cloud platforms have enabled. They will also want to know how they can get better and more efficient at doing the things they already do. Monitoring will help them to do just that.
The best insights are those delivered quickly - ideally in real-time. The beauty of cloud-native applications is that they lend themselves to constant evaluation based on how users are experiencing the service. Firms need to be able to react quickly to make sure apps are optimised for performance and high levels of customer satisfaction. When they master this, they don't just have a cloud service; they have a cloud service that they know is always evolving to reflect its user base.
That's the theory. In practice, not enough people are taking advantage of monitoring tools, despite widespread buy-in of cloud tools in general. According to research from Gartner, fewer than 15 per cent of enterprises implement holistic monitoring. The risk is that businesses could end up putting the $255 billion of investments in cloud-based solutions today at risk. For businesses that are already cloud-native, it makes sense to make the most of what they already have by looking at the topic in a bit more in-depth and finding out where the value is.
For all the benefits of cloud computing, it can very quickly become overly complex. Many enterprises already have a hybrid cloud strategy in place, typically including a mix of on-premise, private and public clouds, as well as containers and cloud-native applications. The web of complicated application architectures and configurations, which operators have to oversee as part of hybrid setups, makes things difficult in two ways. Firstly, when problems arise, it's hard to understand what happened where and why; and this, in turn, makes it difficult to access the information they need to improve applications for the future.
The complexity will only increase. According to IDC, organisations have an average of 127 applications in their portfolio, and intend to grow their application portfolios by nearly 40 per cent over the next five years. It will be crucial to optimise these mission-critical applications if businesses want to remain competitive.
Responding with clarity
Cloud-native application development allows organisations to capitalise on the full power of the cloud by delivering faster time to market, increased scalability, improved flexibility, and better consumer experiences - all while reducing cost. But without the right strategy and visibility, many firms haven't been able to make the best use of cloud-native approaches.
AppDynamics has responded to the challenge by developing a portfolio of cloud-native services for performance monitoring that helps users tame the complexity of the cloud. Not only are cloud applications growing in number, but there's also the added pressure on IT teams to respond quickly to the demands placed on them by COVID-19. There's no capacity for companies to waste the resources they have or be slowed down by the sheer scale of complex workflows.
Solutions like those from AppDynamics help IT teams build cloud-native applications with confidence by connecting hybrid cloud application performance to business performance in real-time. This enables IT leaders to reduce noise and surface only the most business-critical information and insights across their unique hybrid environments.
The power of cloud-native + monitoring
Many businesses across the board are looking at ways to carry out a successful digital transformation strategy. The focus should always be on business outputs, otherwise projects lose their way and become an unnecessary exercise that don't achieve what they set out to do. Cloud-native application development is opening the door to swifter business impact and smoother user experiences.
But cloud-native on its own isn't enough. It has to be coupled with the insights and intelligence that show firms the effect their applications are having on the business and how they can be improved. Companies no longer need to be stymied by cloud complexity. By introducing monitoring, they can optimise the applications they already have in order to be more productive than ever.
As businesses experiment with new ways to modernise the digital experience through containers, serverless, and more cloud-native services, how can you connect these increasingly distributed architectures to the end-user experience and business results? How can you innovate with confidence that your cloud investments drive real customer and business value? Sign up to AppDynamics' webinar on Wednesday 2nd December to find out.