5 Reasons To Visit AppDynamics at the 2017 Gartner Symposium in Barcelona

What an incredible year it has been so far at AppDynamics. From our almost-IPO to our $3.7 billion acquisition by Cisco, and most recently – the unveiling of our vision to enable CIOs to drive business strategy and growth (read more here). It has been the most exciting year of my career.

And the excitement continues this upcoming week as the AppDynamics team and I will be at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo from November 5th-9th in Barcelona, Spain. If you’re attending, we would love to have a conversation around your IT and digital business initiatives.

Our stand is number 919, located in the Data Centre and Operations area. Come visit our stand and we promise that in 5 minutes you and your team will:

#1 – Learn how we help the largest enterprises in Europe with their digital strategy

Enterprises such as ABN AMRO, Tesco, Nasdaq, UBS and easyJet are all using the AppDynamics App iQ platform to help them drive innovation, as well as improve application reliability and customer experience. As Paul McEwen, CIO, Technology Services at UBS stated:

“AppDynamics platform helps us achieve some of our strategic IT goals – updating our platforms, increasing stability, boosting operational efficiency and agility, and creating a consistent user experience across all of our services.”

One of the guiding principles of our platform has always been to make sure that adoption is easy and that we provide fast return on investment. In order to this, we start by taking the time to listen to your priorities to figure out how we can help.

#2 – Know why milliseconds matter when it comes to app performance in production

No one likes to wait, right? We live in an increasingly time-poor society and our tolerance for delays continues to diminish. When it comes to the speed of web or mobile applications, it is often stated that the sweet spot for transaction response times should be between 2 to 3 seconds. But it’s not that easy. Our perception about performance is formed by those digital services that we use everyday. In fact, Google found that 250 milliseconds is the magic number for competitive advantage on the Web.

One of the unique abilities of AppDynamics is that we monitor every user and all of their actions. We combine this data into a consistent unit of measurement – the Business Transaction, and this means that you always have clear visibility of how application performance aligns to user expectations.

#3 – See how easy it is to visualize digital metrics that your business will care about

One of the primary and critically important metrics for the digital business is Mean Time To Repair (MTTR). Simply put, if your applications are down, you are closed for business.

We have numerous stories to share about how we have helped enterprises around the world reduce MTTR from hours to minutes. But as a digital leader, you have to think more broadly than this. It’s not just about metrics that show how well you’re supporting the business, but also how you’re driving it. This means you need to be able to easily show how applications are driving business outcomes such as revenue, how every release is increasing user engagement, etc. With Business iQ, we make this easy and provide you and your team with the ability to report these metrics in real-time, and to make insights that drive further innovation.

#4 – Understand how to improve collaboration between Business, Dev, and IT Ops teams

One of the keys to digital business success is to move fast and fail fast – and this is a major driver of DevOps initiatives. This doesn’t mean breaking things in production, but making sure DevOps teams can spot emerging application issues quickly before they have widespread impact on user experience or business performance.

Our App iQ platform has rich diagnostic capabilities that pinpoint the root cause of performance problems down to the code level. We make this easy to achieve within 3 clicks, and we can show you exactly how!

What’s also important is that we provide context as to how the emerging issue is impacting business performance (e.g. revenue, types of users impacted, location, etc.). We also make it simple to create dashboards that display information for different audiences within the enterprise, allowing for seamless collaboration so that the next appropriate action can be taken.

#5 – View one single source of truth to digital performance in the enterprise

“Now every company is a software company” is a much used, famous, and true statement. The rapid pace of technology innovation over the past decade has resulted in simpler, more convenient access to services via applications (e.g. mobile, IoT) but conversely the back-end application architecture has become more complex with cloud platforms, container technologies, and microservices.

The result is that the smallest performance issue originating from back-end architecture can have the most dramatic impact on your business. In the digital enterprise, having multiple monitoring and management tools only serve to compound this issue. However, with AppDynamics, we provide real-time, unified application and business performance monitoring through one UI. This includes the monitoring and performance visibility of microservices, containers, databases, public/private cloud and with our latest release, IoT services.

So please stop by our stand – we look forward to chatting with you. If you’re an existing AppDynamics customer and are attending, we’d love to catch up and hear how you’re using our platform and share recent product updates. We’re at stand number 919 in the Data Centre and Operations area of the Expo. 

The Analyst Take: Gartner Data Center Conference 2016 Preview

Now that another successful AppSphere 2016 has come and gone, we’re already on to planning the next major event in which AppDynamics is participating. Held in Las Vegas, the Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference is the oldest consecutively running event in the Gartner portfolio, and this year marks its 35th year. The easiest way to verify it is just add a year onto Mike Chuba’s tenure at Gartner — he’s been to every one of them!

This year looks to be an impressive event as the traditional data center infrastructure is changing, with public cloud becoming an increasingly strategic investment for enterprise. This increasingly hybrid future is occurring far more quickly than originally anticipated. The concept of the data center is being re-imagined, which means the roles of the data center teams are transitioning. Software is becoming critical to every data center strategy, and managing complexity is a constant challenge with these software-defined infrastructures. Gone are the days of speeds and feeds, and instead the difference is being expressed with adaptability and programmability.

I’ll be presenting the session “Microservices & the Modern IT Stack, Trends of Tomorrow” on Wednesday, December 7th, at 9:45 AM in Venetian E, Level 2. I will be speaking about the trends of today, tomorrow, and a little about how AppDynamics can assist with some of these challenges.

The sessions I’m most looking forward to include:

Monday Highlight Sessions:

  • I’m excited to hear the interview between analyst Gary Spivak and Peter Levine, who is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, about how venture capital nurtures innovation — something I’ve had firsthand experience with as an analyst and an AppDynamics employee.

  • Katherine Lord will be presenting the IT Operations 2020 vision. The parts of her slides which really resonate address the current issues around “tunnel vision” and how the IT operations team must shift to digital business core philosophies.

  • During lunch, IBM is doing a session on blockchain in the enterprise. The speakers span both Watson Research fellows, IBM’s General Manager of z System, and the author of a blockchain book.

  • Cameron Haight is presenting “Your Digital Business Is DOA Without Application Performance Management (APM)”. Although his slides are not uploaded at this time, this is a relevant and pertinent topic for those digitizing more of their revenue in a time of growth and complexity.

  • Not to be missed, David Williams and George Spafford take the stage to outline “Seven Steps to Start Your DevOps Initiative”. They bring the hype down to reality in this session which hits on the key reasons these initiatives sometimes fail to meet their intended goals. They take a pragmatic but realistic approach to defining what will work for your organization given the constraints of your culture, technology, and processes. Pace layering is a key methodology to apply to a complex portfolio, and this will be touched on heavily, along with the balancing act of methodologies, including ITIL.

Tuesday Highlight Sessions:

  • The Tuesday keynote is about development and operations colliding, and it will be enlightening to hear the perspectives from both sides. There are two analysts co-presenting: Katherine Lord (I&O) and Jeff Schulman for dev.

  • The guest keynote is on data centers and presented by Sonu Nayyar, the Vice President of Global Operations at LinkedIn.

  • Sanjit Ganguli’s presentation, “The Impact of IoT on IT Operations and Bimodal Strategy” will have a good blend between the requirements and managing of IoT. There will of course be a heavy slant towards the networking side, but managing the complexity is real. The cultural impact is also something he’ll be speaking about.

  • The Town Hall for IT Operations and DevOps is one not to miss. It will be led by Cameron Haight, George Spafford, and Hank Marquis. This will be a good and lively discussion by three excellent analysts.

  • Finally, the Town Hall for Cloud, led by Tom Bittman, Neil MacDonald, Ed Anderson, and Dennis Smith looks to be a great discussion bridging infrastructure, applications, and security. I’m very curious to see where this one will go, given the analysts driving the discussion.

Wednesday Highlight Sessions:

  • The morning keynote will be delivered by the infamous Kevin Mitnick, a smart gentleman I’ve seen speak before. He always has a unique take on current events surrounding security. This intriguing session is dubbed a “Live Technology Magic Show”, so you won’t want to miss it.

  • As mentioned earlier, an AppDynamics session led by yours truly will be following the keynote.

  • An interesting customer session delivered by Raihan Zaidi, Principal of Infrastructure Technical Planning at Kaiser Permanente, should be a fascinating one as he explores storage performance of cloud providers in “Managing Storage Service Performance in the Age of the Cloud: Why You May Be Measuring the Wrong Things and What to Do About It”.

  • One of our wonderful partners, ServiceNow, has a customer case study presentation I’ll be attending, entitled “TransAlta Case Study: Reducing Service Outages by 80%”.

  • Cameron Haight is presenting a session which he has done before, but will include relevant updates. This one is good to attend if you’re looking to see how Gartner analyzes the monitoring market and where the market is going. His Wednesday afternoon session is titled “The New IT Monitoring World”.

  • Based on my customer sessions, I believe the last presentation on Wednesday is really going to hit home. Sanjit Ganguli is presenting on a very relevant topic in his session “Moving to the Cloud? Beware of the Visibility Gaps!” I look forward to hearing his take on this issue, as well as showing him some of our new capabilities in this space.

Thursday Highlight Sessions:

  • Thursday normally kicks off with the conference wrap up, presented by Dave Russell, Sheila Childs, and Mike Chuba. I look forward to the insights of the event, as I always learn about sessions I’ve missed!

  • Always worth hearing, Joe Skorupa will present on data center networking. He will be talking about the Gartner Magic Quadrant. I normally learn things from his sessions, and I expect to be brought up to speed on a rapidly evolving market.

  • Hank Marquis is presenting a session on a very relevant topic, “Renovate Your CMDB to Improve Business Outcomes”. This is often a project to attempt to move the CMDB from being infrastructure-centric towards something more connected to the business, a passion Hank and I share. I look forward to hearing his insights on the topic.

If you’d like to meet with me or my AppDynamics colleagues, visit us at booth #461 and please reach out via social media if you want to have a one-on-one conversation. I can be reached @jkowall or jonah.kowall@appdynamics.com.


Visit AppDynamics at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Barcelona

It’s that time of the year- Gartner’s next Symposium/ITxpo is taking place in Barcelona this week, and the AppDynamics team is onsite attending again. Last year we were impressed by discussions with CIOs and senior IT executives around how important application performance is to driving business performance – and we are looking forward to even more conversations this year.

Our booth 818 is located on the main show floor near ITxpo stage C. Please stop by to enter our competition to win a race day with a car of your choice and see how our App iQ Platform has helped CIOs and senior IT execs accelerate their careers through ensuring that applications drive business outcomes. Also hear how G2K retailers and retail banks in Europe, such as Tesco, are using AppDynamics to drive their digital transformation activities:

“The roll out of AppDynamics will play a major part in allowing us to ensure customers receive the best experience every day” – Luke Fairless, Technology Director at Tesco.

We’re also particularly excited to explore this year’s theme, Lead 360: Drive Digital to the Core. Today, in order to keep up with the pace of digital business and scale of growing customer demands, we’re seeing organizations invest more to accelerate their digital transformation and IT is being called on to lead the charge.

Tying into the overall event theme of digital transformation, AppDynamics is exhibiting its App iQ Platform, built to help ensure enterprises can deliver peak performance across any application, user engagement and business transaction. As Gartner stated in its latest “Critical Capabilities for Application Performance Monitoring” report: “With every industry undergoing transformation for the new digital age, APM technology becomes increasingly more critical to business.” We can certainly attest to this. Compared to the other vendors evaluated for the report, AppDynamics received the highest score in each of the use cases:

  • Application Support: Involved with the end-to-end behaviors of applications. Focused on problem detection, isolation, and remediation. End-user experience monitoring and mobile APM are important capabilities.
  • Application Development: Code-level visibility and “the ability to compare and profile code in production environments” are important criteria for this use case, as is the ability to address native mobile applications.
  • IT Operations: Focused primarily on infrastructure efficiency, while also monitoring the application technology that runs the business and impacts profitability.
  • Application Owner or LOB: Focused less on technical performance details and more on business metrics and end-user experience data.
  • DevOps Release: Requires the ability to quickly assess new releases and detect and diagnose any issues, leveraging multiple, integrated tools; also encompasses future requirements planning.

Again, we hope to see you here at ITxpo and would love to give you a demo of our App iQ Platform to highlight these use cases or just to say hello.

Learn More

To learn more about critical capabilities for APM, read the complimentary report.

What CIOs need to take away from Gartner Symposium

Gartner Symposium is the high level CIO conference to attend. In this venue Gartner unveils new thinking including new predictions, surveys, and other insights into how people and technology will solve the problems of the future.  


Introduction to the algorithmic economy

The kickoff keynote by Peter Sondergaard the SVP leading Gartner’s Research business begun by imploring businesses to invest and create algorithms as the key unlocking insight into the vast amounts of data collected and generated. Peter went on to say how algorithms describe the way the world works, but in software, this is key to allowing systems to exchange data with one another (otherwise known as M2M). These algorithms will be used by agents such as Google Now, Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft), and Alexa (Amazon). These are highly advanced algorithmically driven agents which use vast amounts of data both publicly and privately to provide an interactive and intuitive interface allowing them to predict what a user would want. These types of agent systems will define the post app world. Peter went on to describe how these opportunities are the future of computing, and represent a $1 trillion business opportunity.

The Robots Are Here

Darryl Plummer presented the trends for 2016 and beyond. They included the movement towards automated agents or robots. This includes what Gartner calls the digital mesh (devices, ambient experiences, and 3d printing) along with the application of smart machines (information, machine learning, and autonomous agents and things). These major changes will underpin the new reality IT must exist within. The cultural issues which I’ve seen transpiring in the media is the relationship between people and machines, right now this relationship is cooperative. The future holds codependency and ultimately competitiveness says Darryl.

The prediction is that by 2018 20% of all business content will be authored by machines. These machines will be fed by the IoT ecosystem of sensors, transport, and analytics. Gartner predicts that 1 million IoT devices will be purchased every hour in 2021. These not only create tremendous opportunity, but also incredible amounts of risk both in terms of personal information and security. Darryl goes with several daunting predictions around risk and security which will occur due to this digitization.

The final and most interesting trend which came up several times throughout Symposium is the use of smart agents as I mentioned above, Gartner predicts by 2020 smart agents will facilitate 40% of mobile interactions which will be the start of the post-app era.

2016 CIO Agenda and Survey

Dave Aron spoke about the freshly published 2016 CIO agenda and CIO survey. There was quite a bit of evolution here, Gartner introduced the digital platform:

The CIO survey included 2,944 CIOs managing $250B in IT spend. Clearly the revenue is already shifting towards digital today with CIOs estimating 16% of revenues are digital today. This is just the beginning of the journey, in 5 years the estimate is 37% of revenues will be digital. These digitalization changes are done to build efficiencies in operations, along with direct revenue generation.

The platform Dave laid out included aspects of bimodal delivery (on the bottom of the diagram above). The talent platform was one of the largest struggles CIOs mentioned in the survey. Skills shortages were the critical gap, and the talent shortage is being felt by CIOs. With fewer graduates in Computer Science over the last decade this shortage is likely to increase and continue.

The leadership platform also included insights into the chief digital officer. Dave touched on the fact that CDOs are being put into place, but at a slower rate than Gartner had predicted. This means that CIOs are taking on a lot of digital transformation responsibilities based on the survey data.

Private Cloud

I attended a session led by Donna Scott focused on private cloud. Based on Donna’s polling at Gartner infrastructure and operations management in June of this year 40% of respondents said they would put 80% of workloads in private cloud and 20% in public cloud. The main reasons were agility, speed, compliance, security, application performance, protecting IP, reducing costs, and dealing with politics. She then highlighted common use cases for hybrid cloud, or the use of public and private clouds at the same time. These can be split into more simplistic use cases such as running development in public cloud, while production is in private cloud or advanced use cases like active/active application resiliency.

Most successful private cloud implementations are done by type A companies who embrace hyperscale and web scale computing. Donna highlighted examples from companies such as Paypal, DirecTV, Chevron, McKesson, and Cox Automotive. The progression most companies make in cloud is highly tied to application maturity:

Jeffrey Immelt – GE CEO

The interview of GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt was quite interesting. GE has over 15,000 software engineers. GE is changing its business dramatically to build a platform for the industrial internet. Immelt believes that if GE can build and create the platform to use this data and the analytics to create greater efficiencies around industry (such as transportation where GE is one of the largest manufacturer of jet engines and rail locomotives) they can create a digital differentiator within their products, and allow other manufacturers to use their platform. He also outlined how the analytics will be used to create a “digital twin” for the physical assets within the analytics layer including all relevant data and metrics for each instance of machinery. One great quote resonated with me after seeing all of the M&A within the IT Operations space: “In 20 years of M&A, more value was destroyed than created by software acquisitions”

I also tried out the new Microsoft HoloLens, which was pretty nifty. We look forward to supporting that technology within AppDynamics as it matures and is brought to the enterprise market, which is where Microsoft has been focusing.

Symposium is a great high level conference, having spoken here twice but never able to attend the sessions I’ve gotten a new appreciation for this event both in terms of breadth and quality. I still believe that it’s often too broad for many vendors and attendees, but it’s a wonderful overview to what’s happening in our ever growing world of IT complexity and nuance.

IT Transformation At Upcoming Gartner Infrastructure and Operations Events

My previous alma mater, Gartner, is gearing up for two major events for infrastructure and operations professionals. These two conferences consist of IT Operations Management Summits in both Orlando (June 15th to 17th at booth #403) and Berlin (June 1st and 2nd at booth S1). I’m going to be attending both of these, but instead of my typical speaking arrangement, I’ll be attending with AppDynamics. We’re more than happy to meet with customers or prospects, just reach out to me on Twitter @jkowall or via email first.last at appdynamics.com

In this insightful infographic, Gartner explains how not only IT budgets are flat, but the demands from the business and spending in IT has increased dramatically by leveraging SaaS and other technologies without involvement of the centralized IT groups. Increased demands for high degrees of change and agility are forcing IT organizations to implement agile principles, and are trying to change culture and speed via DevOps.

“In 2017, 25% of I&O organizations will invest in business value dashboard tools as the primary means of communicating to the business.”

Gartner’s perspective on the business value dashboard is meaningful, but falls short of delivering business value or business execution. The concepts of business value dashboards focus on cost and service management instead of measuring the business execution as we do with AppDynamics Application Intelligence (link to the current blog for CIOs published shortly). We believe that business value dashboards will evolve to measure business execution over time as our analytics solutions are rolled out.