The future of information technology is happening right now. And, as the IT industry continues to change at a rapid pace, the decisions that enterprise companies make today will have the potential to establish them as leaders in the space tomorrow.
As part of the recent AppDynamics U.S. Global Tour, we had the opportunity to connect with customers and IT leaders in both Boston and Chicago to hear more about what they’re doing to drive digital transformation, optimize DevOps, and make the most of cloud investments in response to the changing technology landscape.
1. The need for faster — and more — innovation.
EBSCO Information Service is the leading discovery service provider for universities, libraries, and other research institutions, serving millions of end users in over 100 countries. EBSCO solutions enable researchers and clinicians to quickly find the content they need to find answers and accelerate time to discovery.
Like many other organizations, EBSCO has adopted a DevOps model to help the company innovate faster and better serve its users. But this approach is only successful if there’s a high level of accountability within an organization. And, according to Dipankar Biswas, Agile Development Director of Enterprise Engineering and Operations for EBSCO, that accountability comes in the form of team ownership.
“We have service level dashboards where every department team is responsible for a given set of software components and are accountable for the health of their own releases and services. We don’t have dedicated standalone QA teams. So it’s all DevOps. It’s all development teams releasing and being accountable for their code. They won’t be successful if we don’t enable them with the observability and measurability they need,” Biswas explains.
Innovation happens as a result of empowering teams to own their work, and leveraging tools like AppDynamics to provide accountability and measurement of key KPI.
“AppDynamics was successful in helping us drive cultural change around these initiatives. The platform made it possible to make our goal a reality,” he says.
With AppDynamics, EBSCO development teams can quickly pinpoint issues early on in the development process.
“The development teams are now able detect things earlier, which lowers costs and speeds up development cycles. And those are huge wins for us,” says Biswas.
2. The desire for cross-functional visibility.
In the world of tax and government reporting, there’s a lot at stake when systems go down and deadlines are missed. That’s why Sovos is on a mission to protect leading global brands from the burden and risks associated with compliance. But the team could only do that by first ensuring total visibility into performance of its own software platform.
That’s why Amit Venugopal, Vice President, IT Cloud Operations, at Sovos turned to AppDynamics.
“Performance is obviously crucial to delivering world-class customer experiences with our software,” explains Venugopal.
“So when we had a customer who experienced performance issues for six months, we decided to evaluate AppDynamics with their situation in mind. We ended up putting them on AppDynamics to evaluate the platform. Lo and behold, we were able to identify the specific long running transactions, and more accurately locate the exact functional code logic associated with the transactions. We had been trying to resolve an issue for months and were able to identify the cause, and have a fix in production by the end of the week,” he explains.
Service teams use AppDynamics to provide cross-functional visibility, rally around customer issues, and quickly reach resolutions.
“We have several service teams, so for us, the desire for visibility really drove our adoption. And AppDynamics was pivotal in identifying hotspots and activating the right teams, at the right time,” he explains.
3. The ubiquity of cloud migration.
Agero provides roadside assistance solutions for leading auto manufacturers and car insurance providers. They’re driving the next generation of vehicle and mobile technology forward, and that means embracing digital transformation that includes a full IT migration to the cloud.
“Moving to AWS, we did a big lift and shift migration last year and we started using AppDynamics just before the lift and shift move. It was incredibly important to us to have a tool like AppDynamics to ensure the move was going smoothly,” explains Karen Hutchison, Director Information Risk and Security Management.
Hutchison and Agero aren’t alone in this regard — migration to the cloud is still an area of growth, with many enterprises still in the process of determining the right strategy for approaching it. That’s where tools like AppDynamics play a significant role in helping to ensure a seamless process.
“Agero couldn’t have made the migration without a tool like AppDynamics,” explains Hutchison.
4. The ability to reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR).
During an outage of any type, every minute counts. That’s why reducing the time it takes to resolve a service-impacting issue — or lowering the “mean time to resolution” (MTTR) — is an important goal for many enterprise companies.
That certainly was the case for JLL, a leading global professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management and runs a complex IT environment.
“We’re running close to 300 Tier 1 applications all tied to different business verticals to different applications teams, processes, and owners. AppDynamics helped us wrangle in that dispersion,” explains Mike Phillips, Manager Cloud Tools and Automation, IT Operations, JLL.
“Most developers will need to write some fairly complicated code that interacts with many points in several systems, but can now determine what ‘this line of code’ is actually calling and doing from an operation standpoint. It’s a lot easier for us to engage the right folks and teams to drive down MTTR in the process,” he says.
Geoffrey Mecoy, Vice President, IT Operations at JLL, says he’s not only able to run a more efficient and productive team, but he’s able to demonstrate measurable wins to executive management with AppDynamics.
“Measuring the hours, measuring time that we’re saving — when you roll that up to the CIO, [AppDynamics] becomes an easy pitch. We can save thousands of hours of developer time per year,” Mecoy explains.
5. Identifying problems before they become system-wide issues.
American Hotel Register is a leading global supplier of hospitality products. Matt Pacholek, Manager of eCommerce IT, and team are charged with ensuring that customers can purchase supplies to run their businesses seamlessly.
“We run a very lean IT organization, so we needed something we didn’t have to monitor all the time. So with AppDynamics, we’re able to set up alerts based on thresholds that tell us something’s going wrong before it actually becomes an issue for our customers,” explains Pacholek.
Pachelok shares, “Being able to see those trends and how they’re trending over time helps us be proactive about resolving potential issues.”
6. The need for a common language across groups.
Discover is one of the most well-known brands in U.S. financial services. Kurt Schneider, Senior Manager of ESM Tools at Discover, shared insights around how AppDynamics has helped his organization drive business value and team unity around solving issues.
Schneider explains, “A few members of our team are on many critical rapid response calls (RRT). AppDynamics gets people aligned by sharing the screen with all people in RRT, so we all speak the same language and see the same data. AppDynamics became a great visibility tool between peers, between teams, and between different organizations,” he says.
Making Digital Transformation Possible With A Powerful APM Platform
Digital transformation isn’t possible unless your entire organization can get behind the change. Often that means identifying the trends that are influencing adoption across your company, and highlighting how a potential solution meets the needs and can drive value for each and every stakeholder. When evaluated from this perspective, it’s possible for enterprise companies to deliver a powerful customer experience and drive value with the right APM solution.