Are you getting the most out of your Cloud infrastructure? Here is a pitch from an application performance monitoring proponent.

In this year of need, cloud computing has helped many industries to remain operational.

As reliance on online collaboration tools and data management platforms skyrocketed due to lockdowns, industries from banking and finance, to healthcare and supply chains in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) turned to cloud-based solutions. 

But the Cloud is not an easy win or one-size-fits-all solution. Deployment requires careful planning and it is likely that management boards will want to know their return on investment. Many businesses have rightly turned to cloud for answers, but they may be missing a trick: in a dynamic business landscape, real-time application monitoring is the most effective way of getting the most out of a cloud-native customer application.

While cloud technologies have spurred digital transformation, they have also resulted in even more complex and distributed application architectures and configurations. With complicated, multifaceted tech stacks, IT teams may face a seemingly insurmountable challenge of keeping track of what is happening where and why when problems occur.

Real-time application monitoring provides insights that can be used to optimize your apps by ensuring customer experience is as optimal as it can be, and providing agility by not just identifying issues, but automating resolution. Firms need the ability to move, evolve, and pivot quickly. But despite the clear and critical need for these real-time insights, global IT teams, including those in APAC, are still reporting a lack of unified visibility into tech stack performance and its impact on customers.

With more application requests finding their way to IT teams, how can they get the most out of cloud-native apps and increase productivity while proving real business value?

The business case for cloud-native

While new cloud technologies have brought flexibility and digital innovation to businesses eager to embrace these solutions, gaps and a lack of alignment between business functions and IT teams are proving to be barriers to adoption. As businesses face ongoing pressure to reduce costs and develop efficient cloud implementation and management strategies, the right processes must be installed to reap the cloud’s full benefits.

The demand for new applications continues to grow quickly. IDC had observed that organizations on average have 127 applications in their portfolio and intend to grow that by nearly 40% over the next five years. These are meant to improve operational efficiency, customer experience and drive innovation across the organization, and optimizing is crucial to business competitiveness. One way to do this is through cloud-native deployment, allowing enterprises to be fleet of foot.

Cloud-native application development allows organizations to capitalize on the full power of the cloud by delivering faster time to market, increased scalability, improved flexibility, and better consumer experiences—all while reducing cost. It enables organizations to develop and deploy applications quicker. Cost savings and efficiency have initially been the main drivers for using cloud-native methods, but more recently, so has the need for increased speed and agility.

While cloud-native development has grown, it has failed in some organizations because of the lack of an effective cloud strategy in place. Keeping track of all cloud-native applications can be difficult, particularly in a multi-cloud environment; showing its value to your business therefore becomes even trickier. That is where monitoring comes in. Although IT teams clearly understand the potential benefits that cloud deployments can bring, convincing, getting commitment and securing funding from business leaders is a whole other challenge. 

Making sense of the complexity

With the right monitoring system in place, users have an end-to-end understanding of how their cloud-native and traditional technologies correlate application health to business outcomes in real-time.

This corrects many cloud adoptions that have not been strategy or insights-led, because suddenly it becomes obvious as to how application issues can translate into areas for business improvements. Cloud monitoring can also identify end-user issues before they proliferate: the use of AI can proactively address and resolve problems before they turn into damaging incidents.

All of this is part of a strategy that welcomes IT teams into the wider business and ensures they are baked into business growth, not just roped in to remedy issues. Unified cloud monitoring removes siloes, creates better-integrated thinking and speeds up innovation.

Despite the disruption of the pandemic, many industries are seeking ways to create better digital experiences for their customers and identify opportunities for growth. Cloud-native application development opens the door to swifter business impact and smoother user experiences across the board. But without the insights and intelligence that show firms the effect of applications on the business and how they can be improved, there will always be a missing puzzle piece.

It is therefore critical to take the next step and go from cloud complexity to cloud innovation, driven by real-time insights. By making sense of multi-cloud environments and introducing application monitoring systems, apps can be optimized to be more productive, useful and profitable.