AppDynamics: Complex software drives the IoT, but needs careful navigation

AppDynamics: Complex software drives the IoT, but needs careful navigation

AppDynamics: Complex software drives the IoT
(Credit: AppDynamics)

Internet of Business looks at AppDynamics’ strategy for IoT, which focuses on helping companies to manage the complexity of software that might underpin a single business process. 

Acquired by Cisco in a deal that closed in March 2017, AppDynamics specializes in software tools that enable IT administrators to monitor, manage and maintain distributed software architectures.

As AppDynamics CEO David Wadhwani has discussed many times before, every action by either a user or a machine can initiate many lines of code, running in many systems and often across multiple data centers.

Today, these connected systems increasingly underpin IoT device networks – but many companies still rely on outdated technology and brittle interconnects between them, according to Wadhwani.

But application complexity is growing, even as customers increasingly insist on simplicity and ease of use in their digital experiences. The challenge of the AppDynamics team is to show that the company’s technology can help organizations to bridge this gap.

Read more: Cisco swoops to purchase AppDynamics for $3.7 billion days before IPO

AppDynamics core tools

It is still early days for IoT. Many companies are still experimenting – but one of the biggest reasons that they run into problems is that they don’t address the complexity of systems-wide deployment. 

This is where AppDynamics positions its Business iQ product. It’s a line of application- and business-centric dashboards that can be used (as a higher level platform in its own right) to track the performance and health of all the different ‘chunks’ of software, in different systems, that work together to underpin a single business process.

According to an AppDynamics strategy statement, “In a world where hardware is a delivery mechanism for software, optimizing for the user experience must be ‘Priority One’. Digital businesses must ensure that these complex, interconnected applications are performing at the highest level and the massive amount of data generated by these apps are being monitored, managed and analyzed in a way that will continuously optimize business decisions.”

This is not a plug-and-play technology; there is a certain amount of work involved in implementing them. In practice, analytics must be isolated and baselined for customer-critical issues and serve as a guide to prioritizing fixes before the customer service department hears about issues.

Monitoring the customer experience with real-time awareness is the goal here and that job has never been more difficult, or more critical, according to AppDynamic’s executives. 

Read more: Three signs deal with Cisco Jasper for IoT

Device impact

So what are the main IoT offerings in Business iQ? Here, it helps to look at what the company calls “device business impact”; in other words, it’s about ensuring that Business iQ proves visibility into how IoT devices are affecting business processes.

The company also points to what it calls “device application visibility”. Here, we see that AppDynamics’ new IoT visibility functions provide an aggregated view into device uptime, version status and performance. This is intended to help IT administrators drill down into data, in order to get a clearer view into the status, condition and performance of a device, in order to simplify troubleshooting.

“Every company measures success differently. With custom dashboards in IoT visibility, companies from any vertical can quickly build new visualizations to measure the business impact of IoT devices — from the revenue impact of a slow check out for a brick and mortar retailer to the customer impact of a software change in a connected car,” said the company, in an IoT briefing statement.

So what does AppDynamics feel the future of IoT will hold? Will the company’s role change going forward? For its part, AppDynamics insists that future use of IoT technologies will see customers thinking “more holistically” about total application performance, in a world where company survival may be largely impacted by the health of its core customer-facing organization. 

The bottom line here – arguably – is that application infrastructures need to become more intelligent, more performance-aware, more ‘autonomic’ in terms of their ability to self-heal and more inherently aware of how effectively (or not) they are delivering processing power and data access to the users and devices that they exist to serve.

It’s almost as if applications are becoming more dynamic and someone chose to name a tech company accordingly. 

Read more: Live from Las Vegas, Cisco Jasper announces Control Center 7.0


I am a technology journalist with over two decades of press experience. Primarily I work as a news analysis writer dedicated to a software application development ‘beat’; but, in a fluid media world, I am also an analyst, technology evangelist and content consultant.

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