Sector Roadmap: application-management solutions for distributed and cloud environments

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. The history of APM
  3. New challenges for APM
  4. Methodology
  5. APM disruption vectors
  6. Company analysis
  7. Key takeaways
  8. About Bernd Harzog


Massive and beneficial changes are occurring when it comes to how applications are built, deployed, and run in the cloud. The benefits of these changes include dramatically increased responsiveness to the business (business agility), increased operational flexibility, and reduced operating costs.

Applications development is fundamentally changing in order to be more responsive to business constituents. The most visible parts of this change are the agile development and devops methodologies, which result in the rapid deployment of new functionality into production and the frequent updating of applications in production.

The environments onto which applications are deployed are also undergoing a fundamental change. Virtualized environments offer increased operational agility, which translates into more responsive IT operations organizations. Cloud computing offers the owners of applications a complete outsourced alternative to internal data center execution environments. IT organizations are in turn responding to public cloud with IT-as-a-service initiatives.

Taken together these changes replace a monolithic, dedicated applications environment that did not change very quickly, with rapidly changing applications running on dynamic, distributed, and cloud based environments. The combination of these changes at the application layer and the changes at the infrastructure layer create new imperatives for users and vendors of application performance management solutions.

Key highlights from this Sector RoadmapTM include:

  • For organizations building and supporting rapidly changing applications in production, APM is now an imperative. Application management (APM) solutions should be deployed against every instance of every application that automates any portion of a business critical process.
  • Users of APM solutions must learn to evaluate APM solutions differently than in the past. Trusting the legacy vendor of infrastructure management tools to have an acceptable APM solution is no longer either the optimal or an acceptable strategy.
  • Vendors must address a range of new requirements, including new languages, ease of deployment, ease of operation in production, the ability to trace transactions across distributed systems, mapping of application topology, and monitoring of actual end user experience.




  • Number indicates companies’ relative strength across all vectors
  • Size of ball indicates companies’ relative strength along individual vector

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