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Why Monitoring Your Application Is Important

Lucia Cavero-Baptista

Lucia Cavero-Baptista

Application performance monitoring is of utmost importance for business continuity and for delivering the expected customer experience. As an app owner, you never want to be the last one to know about an outage so don't worry, there are application monitoring tools to help you out.

Software applications are now more complex and dynamic than ever before, even their formats have changed from standalone to cloud-based solutions or mobile. The last two have also changed the way in which applications are consumed by the end-user, making them available anytime and anywhere, on any device.

This means that application monitoring has moved beyond the application development phase, where it was just used to check that the application met a specific set of requirements at the time of deployment. Now, real-time monitoring on native devices across the world is necessary for software health and ultimately business continuity.

What is application performance monitoring?

Application performance monitoring (APM) is a practice that ensures that software applications perform all processes as expected. This is done by identifying, measuring, and evaluating the app performance and then providing the necessary information to isolate and resolve any abnormalities.

This monitoring process is enabled through application performance monitoring or management software.

As defined by Wikipedia:

Application performance management (APM) is the monitoring and management of performance and availability of software applications. The purpose of APM is to detect and diagnose complex application performance problems to maintain an expected level of service. APM is the translation of IT metrics into business meaning or value.

For successful application performance monitoring and management, you have to focus on the 4 Ws: what, when, where, and why. Not only it is necessary to track an application's performance, but also identify when and where along the journey an abnormality was found and why it happened. That is the reason why reporting is key in monitoring an application's performance and overall back-end health. Some of the most common metrics to track are:

  • Transaction time
  • System response
  • Transaction volume
  • Error rate

Why application performance monitoring is important

Application performance monitoring has now become an integral part of any company's day-to-day operations. Why? Because customers won't stick around on applications that don't work or provide a poor user experience.

Every company that owns or makes use of an application that is important to their cashflow wants their software to respond to requests as accurately and quickly as possible. And the only way of ensuring that is by monitoring that application 24/7.

You can think of a software application like a human being; there are a million ways in which an application can become unhealthy. Not only can they have major outages, but also partial outages or even intermittent performance problems.

On top of that, an application can respond to all requests correctly but do so in an extremely slow manner. Therefore, just like human beings, they require constant, intelligent monitoring to ensure they stay healthy.

APM tools work just like a human's brain would. They continuously monitor performance and send alerts whenever an abnormality has been found. This way, decision-makers can rely on this data to make well-grounded decisions that will make or break a company's business performance.

Now that we understand how complex and unique each application can be, these are three of the most important reasons why application performance monitoring is essential for an application's health.

Benefits of application performance monitoring

Ensuring business continuity

Any disruption to business processes can cost an organization money. Therefore, business continuity is highly dependent on application performance. As mentioned before, APM data serves as the basis for real-time analysis of a business's operations.

Maintaining customer experience

Users have high expectations when using applications and just like in any other business, you want to understand your customers so that you can keep them happy. Keeping a close eye on key metrics will give you a better overview of your business's user satisfaction.

Enforcing security and mitigating risks

Unfortunately, hackers are an increasing threat to digital businesses. By monitoring your applications, you can identify any unwelcome intrusions and promptly act upon them.

Application Performance Monitoring Best Practices

Once you have identified your core business functions, make sure you follow this set of best practices when setting up your application performance monitoring:

Choose the right tool for your application

Is your application available across technologies? Do your chosen processes run through integrations? Understanding your business processes will allow you to make an informed decision when choosing an automation tool. And in case you were thinking of building your own APM tool, be wary. The premise of APM is that anything you build can perform unexpectedly, so if you build an application to monitor the performance of your other tool, you will most probably create the 'double trouble' effect. It is better that you rely on trustworthy vendors.


Make sure the automated processes you build using an APM tool are easy to maintain. Businesses are continuously evolving and so do an organization's processes, so this is not the time to choose complicated automation that is hard to troubleshoot, hard to re-use, and impossible to update.

Set up alerts

Don't rely on checking it up yourself. Once you have set up the performance monitoring automation, do not wait to find out how the application behaved yesterday. It's called real-time monitoring for a reason, so set up alerts to stay up to date with any abnormalities. This way you'll be able to act upon them as soon as they are identified by the tool.

Create internal processes

It doesn't matter how many alerts you set up if you are not able to act upon them immediately. Create an internal process on how alerts are resolved and to whom.

Test and verify

No news isn't always good news. Applications, more often than not, fail. So if you haven't had any alerts for months, it's worth having a look at your APM tool. Be proactive and test and verify your alerting and escalation protocols often.


Setting up good reporting will allow you to provide important data that can be used to better forecast and justify any future decisions. It is much easier to fix a problem when you're able to deliver solid evidence of where and when an abnormality was found.

Ask for help

Don't hesitate to seek support, especially from your tool vendor. A good vendor will have great resources and support available to you.

In a highly digitized world, where most businesses – if not all – use applications for their core business functions, application performance monitoring is more important than ever. Application monitoring tools have become available in the market to allow for real-time and continuous monitoring to make the process more efficient.

Looking into no-code automation for your application monitoring efforts?