Is Consensus Killing Your Business Transformation?

LightbulbA new Forbes article doesn’t tiptoe around the effect Groupthink has on an organization: “consensus thinking is devastating to all things productive.” The article continues by saying that such thinking “stifles innovation, discourages candor, disdains dissenting opinions, and mutes the truth,” which is a recipe for disaster if you are an organization that wants to harness disruptive innovation to transform your business.

I couldn’t agree more with the author Mike Myatt’s assessment. In fact, I believe Groupthink was created by the people who invented vanilla and beige – it’s bland and watered down.

Fortunately, I work in the Application Performance Management (APM) market, where there is consensus (the productive kind) on only one very important issue: The end user is king!

With a direct correlation to customer acquisition, satisfaction and loyalty, proactive end-user experience management is the ultimate driver of revenue growth and competitive advantage. By continuously monitoring, measuring and resolving problems before they affect end-users and revenue-generating services, organizations can deliver higher service levels to achieve business objectives and help control IT costs by reducing mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR). It’s simple: An exceptional end-user experience helps you transform IT into a strategic asset that drives business performance gains and positive business outcomes.

How do you create an effective APM strategy that delivers an exceptional end-user experience? This is where the consensus ends. While there are many options (too many to count or cover in this blog post), I see vendors in the following areas:

  • Niche vendors – Last year, Business Transaction Management (BTM) became a popular and often misused term to describe transaction monitoring capabilities that are a part of APM. For many organizations, this can be confusing because BTM is not a new capability or a new market, but rather a subset of APM that has been around for more than 10 years. BTM point products are limited in that they can tell you when there is a problem, but they are not effective at identifying the root cause and linking it to the exact component in the infrastructure that is causing the failure. Why would you spend budget, time and resources on a product that doesn’t tell you the root cause of the problem?
  • Freemium vendors – With the growing interest in SaaS, a new crop of no/low-cost vendors have caught the attention of organizations that want limited and less-comprehensive monitoring. The challenge is that most enterprise-class organizations are facing greater demands on IT to deliver new, revenue-generating services that are critical to achieving business and end-user experience objectives. Couple this with the exponential growth in applications, end-users and hybrid-cloud infrastructure complexity, how do you scale a “freemium” product to manage billions of transactions across your environment? Sometimes, even free is too much.
  • Multi-product vendors – Industry analysts agree that effective APM solutions are feature-rich with multiple capabilities, including end-user experience monitoring, business transaction monitoring, application deep-dive problem diagnosis, infrastructure-aware application monitoring, cross-enterprise performance monitoring, cloud application monitoring, database performance monitoring and application lifecycle optimization in a single solution. While many vendors offer solution packages composed of an amalgam of products that peacefully coexist, they are not unified in a single solution. As a result, you must purchase and deploy multiple products, and incur expensive and time-consuming professional services that dramatically increase total cost of ownership. Sometimes, more is just more.
  • Next-generation vendors – Unlike the multi-product vendors, these solutions unify application, infrastructure and network performance management in a single solution that delivers a complete, 360-degree view of the end-user experience. By linking business transaction performance to the dependent application, network and infrastructure component, you can rapidly isolate, diagnose and resolve problems across disparate technology silos and throughout the application lifecycle, identify high-value transactions that may be at risk and prioritize incidents based on business impact. This transformative, business-centric approach delivers the vital visibility required to optimize the performance of revenue-generate services – and put you firmly in control of the end-user experience.

Let’s face it, business demands are changing and IT must change to meet this demand. Next-generation APM solutions empower you to unleash a transformation in your organization by improving service quality, increasing IT productivity, controlling costs and accelerating innovation. That’s the kind of change we can all agree upon.

What are your thoughts on how consensus thinking affects business transformation and innovation? Tweet me @mhsargeant.

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Melissa Hamilton Sargeant

About Melissa Hamilton Sargeant

Melissa Hamilton Sargeant has been developing and marketing IT management software products for nearly 20 years. She has worked for CA Technologies for over five years in senior product marketing roles in Application Performance Management, IT Governance and Security. She currently serves as Sr. Director of Product Marketing for the Service Assurance Customer Solutions Unit where she focuses on CA Application Performance Management. Prior to joining CA Technologies, she was Vice President of Marketing for Digitalsmiths and Bluefire Security Technologies. Mrs. Sargeant also has held senior marketing positions at Mercator Software, Guardent, Digex, Landmark Systems Corporation and COMSAT.

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  1. Finding the Right Solution for your Application Performance Needs | Service Assurance Daily - April 27, 2012

    [...] Sargeant outlines the various options –freemium, niche, multi-product and next generation – in this post. While some of the niche or freemium options may seem attractive for those balancing price over [...]