5 Questions You Need to Ask When Evaluating APM Solutions

5 Questions You Need to Ask When Evaluating APM Solutions

Solutions Review lists five important questions your company needs to ask when evaluating application performance monitoring (APM) solutions.

An application performance monitoring solution helps your business ensure that its critical applications are performing at satisfactory levels. APM vendors offer tools that track application performance metrics over time to provide a full account of how your applications are behaving. Each APM provider brings its own unique capabilities to the table when it comes to monitoring application performance. That means when it comes time for your business to evaluate solutions, it can be difficult to know which tool is right for you.

To help businesses narrow down solution providers, we listed five critical questions your company needs to ask when evaluating APM solutions and vendors. Your business should have an answer to these questions as it starts evaluating companies in the APM space to know which solutions fit its bill for application performance monitoring.

Maintaining application performance is critical for ensuring that your applications are working at the required levels. Our Application Performance Monitoring Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top application performance monitoring vendors, as well as questions you should ask providers and yourself before buying. We also offer a Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide if you’re in the process of evaluating or buying network performance management solutions.

What critical business applications need performance monitoring?

Before you even think about which APM solution is right for you, you need to understand your application infrastructure. Specifically, you must know which applications are critical for your business — that is, what applications will harm your business if they aren’t working properly. It would also be helpful to know how widespread your application infrastructure is by determining how much of your enterprise uses specific applications.

Are my applications currently suffering from poor performance?

You may have already identified that one or more of your applications isn’t performing at the levels you require. Even if you haven’t, it’s still imperative that you understand A) how well your applications are currently performing and B) how well your applications should be performing before choosing an APM solution. These two factors will help determine the scale of your application performance problem and what monitoring features you need to look for.

Is my company losing business value because of slow/non-functioning applications?

Companies rely on their applications working well to perform essential business tasks, and any company whose applications aren’t up to snuff will inevitably lose business value. If your IT department has already received complaints, either internally or externally, about the state of your business applications, then investing in an APM solution should be expedited. Even if your company isn’t currently aware of performance complaints, an APM solution’s benefits shouldn’t be ignored.

How much visibility do I currently have into application performance?

It might be easy for your company to tell that there’s a problem with one of your applications, as you may have already received customer or internal user complaints. However, without proper visibility into specific application performance metrics, you can’t determine the actual scope of the issue and how you can solve it. APM solutions provide the deep dive into those metrics for you, delivering actionable and reliable insights into your critical applications’ performance.

Does my network monitoring tool or vendor already cover application performance?

If your company already uses a network monitoring solution to help mitigate network performance issues, it may also come with APM features that your company isn’t using. Alternatively, the vendor that provides your network monitoring tool might also have a separate APM solution, potentially offered with network monitoring as a bundle. It doesn’t hurt to consult with your network monitoring provider on what support it has for application performance and what APM solutions it can offer.


Looking for a solution to help you improve your network performance? Our Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top network performance monitor vendors, as well as questions you should ask providers and yourself before buying.

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Daniel Hein