Gartner Q&A: Jonah Kowall Talks About APM - Part 1
April 22, 2014
Share this

In Part 1 of APMdigest's exclusive interview, Jonah Kowall, Research Vice President, IT Operations Management at Gartner, discusses Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (APM), and APM hot topics including SaaS and Mobile.

APM: What do you see as the most significant changes in the market between the release of Gartner's 2012 and 2013 Magic Quadrants for APM?

JK: We have seen increased acceleration and investment by some of the smaller players in the space. In addition, the use of analytics technology has further differentiated offerings in the Application Performance Monitoring (APM) market.

And, of course, we have seen a greater importance on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery. We definitely see more end-user organizations implementing SaaS. I think that trend will continue, hence the relative weighting of SaaS and analytics will be increasing year over year for the APM Magic Quadrant.

APM: Is the growth of SaaS APM living up to the expectations many of us set for it a year or two ago?

JK: SaaS is not for everyone. It is definitely a subset of the market today. Solutions which offer differentiation because of the delivery model, or solutions which give you a choice of the same product in both delivery models, appeal more to buyers.

Additionally, SaaS helps shorten the buying cycle, meaning POCs can be executed much more efficiently, and customers can see value quickly, even if they decide longer-term that they may want to move on-premise.

APM: The requirements for Gartner's Magic Quadrant for APM continue to say "some features of the APM offering must be available via a SaaS delivery model" rather than requiring full feature SaaS. At some point, do you foresee the APM Magic Quadrant requiring every vendor to offer the full product as a service?

JK: We require that vendors have a least some functionality in SaaS. In 2012, we allowed a third party to provide the SaaS, and in 2013 we required that the vendors themselves provide SaaS.

Looking forward, we definitely do see most of the players in the APM Magic Quadrant offering more of their full solution as a service, so I wouldn't be surprised to see that requirement continue to expand.

APM: Do you have any stats on how much productivity can be increased by using APM SaaS?

JK: There have not been any studies conducted and I think that it would be hard to determine what that number is. It also depends on the complexity of the product.

Some solutions are very straightforward to implement, in terms of infrastructure requirements, meaning the server that collects the data from the agents. Other solutions can be more complex and require many components, especially at scale. It really varies on the vendor solution in terms of the complexity of the infrastructure requirements.

APM: But you do see an advantage to APM as a service?

Yes. There is no question upgrades may be painful. One area of complication is when customizations or integrations have been made with other products. By offering APM as a service, the customer is automatically upgraded without having to deal with the upgrade process. The agents are normally backwards compatible, but at least the user interface and functionality will remain current without putting in the extra work.

The other piece is that SaaS products integrate with well-formed APIs because they have been designed that way, since they are remotely delivered. When you have on-premise software, customization and integration often takes the form of either custom code or integrations that are not as well formed in terms of the APIs that are available.

SaaS providers have to keep some level of API compatibility in order for integration. That is definitely not the case with on-premise, and we have seen that be an issue with keeping customers on current revisions of software. If the software is not kept up to date, the customer eventually gets disgruntled with the fact that it doesn't support the new technologies or there are bugs that do not get fixed. It ultimately ends up reflecting poorly on the vendor, even if the solution, in its current version, fixes a lot of the issues that the users dislike. SaaS solves these issues.

APM: It seems like a lot of these productivity issues are maintenance oriented?

JK: Yes, it is the work that the ops guys need to do to keep current on the versions of the software. Enterprises often skip a major version of software and go to the next one. That is something we see a lot. For example, with Windows, many enterprises deployed Windows XP and then Windows 7, and skipped Windows Vista. We are seeing a lot of the same type of approach to APM. But the vendors don't expect enterprises to skip major versions. If you try to upgrade from version 5 to version 7, for example, it can cause problems because there is a pretty significant gap between those major versions.

APM: Your 2013 APM Magic Quadrant says "Mobile APM is the next wave of innovation" but it seems to be taking longer than we all expected.

JK: In 2013, we didn't really see mobile APM products that were actually giving “true APM”. We have had synthetic testing products that do mobile for quite a while, but that is a completely different value proposition from APM, which lives inside the application. So when I say "mobile APM", I am really talking about the same type of APM that looks inside applications, not the type of synthetic end user experience that just tries to emulate a user.

So even a year ago from today we just started to see early versions of true APM products for mobile coming out. This market has not been around very long. Solution providers typically have a revenue goal in mind when they release these products, and most of the mobile APM solutions out there exceeded any of the goals that were set.

APM: When do you feel Mobile APM will become truly mainstream, to the point where it drives the APM market?

JK: The demand is there because of the growth and diversity of mobile applications themselves. There are a lot of mobile apps out there, so it is going to take a while to actually proliferate through enough of the development organizations to be what I would call "mainstream". I would say that true Mobile APM is probably a couple of years off from being mainstream by any stretch of the imagination, but it is definitely growing in adoption and we are seeing new and interesting solutions coming to market.

Gartner Q&A: Jonah Kowall Talks About APM - Part 2

In Part 2, Jonah Kowall discusses Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (APM), complexity in today's product offerings, and the market's move to simplify APM.

Related Links:

Gartner Analyst Profile: Jonah Kowall

Download a complimentary copy of Gartner's 2013 APM Magic Quadrant from AppDynamics

Gartner's 2013 APM Magic Quadrant for Gartner clients

Share this

The Latest

November 22, 2017

As the 2017 holiday shopping season gets under way, with sales expected to hit $682 billion, this year could be the first that consumers spend more online than in stores. As more people flock to e-commerce sites than ever before, the potential threat to retailers from hackers increases exponentially ...

November 20, 2017

When you say "DevOps" one of the first words that comes to mind is "collaboration." But exactly how do we make this collaboration happen? This epic DEVOPSdigest list – posted in 7 parts – intends to find the answer. DEVOPSdigest asked experts from across the industry for their opinions on the best way to foster collaboration between Dev and Ops ...

November 17, 2017

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, APMdigest asked experts from across the industry for their opinions on the best way to measure eCommerce performance, in terms of applications, networks and infrastructure. Part 3, the final installment, covers the customer journey ...

November 16, 2017

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, APMdigest asked experts from across the industry for their opinions on the best way to measure eCommerce performance, in terms of applications, networks and infrastructure. Part 2 covers APM and monitoring ...

November 15, 2017

As the holiday shopping season looms ahead, and online sales are positioned to challenge or even beat in-store purchases, eCommerce is on the minds of many decision makers. To help organizations decide how to gauge their eCommerce success, APMdigest compiled a list of expert opinions on the best way to measure eCommerce performance ...

November 14, 2017

More than 90 percent of respondents are concerned about data and application security in public clouds while nearly 60 percent of respondents reported that public cloud environments make it more difficult to obtain visibility into data traffic, according to a new Cloud Security survey ...

November 13, 2017

Today's technology advances have enabled end-users to operate more efficiently, and for businesses to more easily interact with customers and gather and store huge amounts of data that previously would be impossible to collect. In kind, IT departments can also collect valuable telemetry from their distributed enterprise devices to allow for many of the same benefits. But now that all this data is within reach, how can organizations make sense of it all? ...

November 09, 2017

CIOs trying to lead digital transformation at the speed needed to succeed need a mix of three scale accelerators, according to Gartner, Inc. The three scale accelerators include: digital dexterity, network effect technologies, and an industrialized digital platform ...

November 08, 2017

While the majority of IT practitioners in the UK believe their organization is equipped to support digital services, over half of them also say they face consumer-impacting incidents at least one or more times a week, sometimes costing their organizations millions in lost revenue for every hour that an application is down, according to PagerDuty's State of Digital Operations Report: United Kingdom ...

November 07, 2017

Today's IT is under considerable pressure to remain agile, responsive and scalable to meet the changing needs of business. IT infrastructure can't become a bottleneck, it must be the enabler. But as new paradigms, such as DevOps, are adopted, data center complexity increases and infrastructure constraints can block the ability to achieve these goals ...