I cover the APM market for I&O professionals, and it seems that every week I am briefed by yet another vendor entering the APM market. I wonder “What’s the attraction? Why is APM so hot?” Maybe it’s the mess.

I’m weird. I like cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner. Why? Because it’s a huge mess. A little effort produces the dramatic result of a clean kitchen, ready for the next attack:  leftovers.

In September Forrester published The Forrester Wave™: Application Performance Management, Q3 2016. For vendors entering the APM market, it’s your guide to be a contender. For clients seeking an APM solution, it’s your guide to what’s available.

The Wave evaluates fourteen vendors on twenty-eight criteria.  We selected these fourteen as key players based on their functionality, market presence and the fact that they are most frequently mentioned in our conversations with clients.  Of course there are more than fourteen APM vendors in the market.   

For a bigger list of vendors, see the Forrester report Vendor Landscape: Application Performance Management, Including Mobile APM, Q2 2016.It includes twenty-six vendors, and even that isn’t all of them — more vendors enter the APM market every week.

The “mess” that attracts vendors to this market is that I&O teams face an eternal battle to deliver…

  • faster service
  • to more users
  • by improving monitoring and management
  • of software, hardware, virtual-ware, and cloud
  • that grows more complex daily through:
    • virtualization,
    • containerization,
    • hyperconvergence,
    • software-defined-everything,
    • Internet of Things.
  • …and do all of this on a smaller budget please. 

Many of the clients I speak with have too many management tools, too many alerts, too many applications, too many metrics, and their monitor/management challenge is expanding like a supernova.

Meanwhile, executives want more than just SW/HW technology management. They want a trusted advisor on how technology is affecting the business, and how their company can lead the next wave of industry disruption. I&O teams would love to be that trusted advisor — and they could be — if they could just get on top of the mess.

That’s why APM is hot.

Vendors are pouring into the market because the opportunity to be a hero is huge. Not just taming the expanding techno-universe, but exalting I&O from technology wranglers to C-suite advisors. And the organizations they serve desperately need the consulting that I&O is best positioned to deliver. I&O just needs the right tools. APM vendors are delivering.

What do YOU think?  Why are you interested in APM? Are you still working on the mess, or are you on your way to the C-suite? Comments please!