Why Monitoring You Application Is Important?

In this digital era, applications have become the lifeblood of modern businesses. From web-based services and mobile apps to enterprise software and cloud platforms, applications power nearly every aspect of our daily lives and organizational operations.

The global application performance monitoring (APM) market is on a remarkable growth trajectory, set to double from $12.2 billion in 2022 to an estimated $24.4 billion by 2028, according to MarketsandMarkets. With a staggering 67% of IT professionals recognizing the critical role of application monitoring in their organization’s success (Datadog), it’s clear that the need for robust monitoring cannot be overstated.

Moreover, application monitoring has been proven to positively impact the bottom line, as reported by 78% of IT professionals (Dynatrace). Application failures are a leading cause of IT outages, responsible for a significant 70% of these disruptions, according to Gartner. The financial implications of such outages are substantial, with an average cost of $5,600 per minute, as reported by ITIC.

These compelling statistics underscore the pressing need for effective application monitoring, as we delve into its significance in the following sections.

Let’s explore why monitoring your application is no longer a choice but a strategic necessity in today’s competitive and technology-driven business environment.

Observability vs. APM vs. Monitoring

The Consequences of Inadequate Monitoring

Inadequate monitoring of applications can have far-reaching consequences that affect both the performance and security of these crucial software systems. Here, we delve into the significant issues that can arise due to insufficient monitoring.

A. Performance Issues:

  1. Slow Loading Times: In fact, a one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, according to data from Google. Slow-loading applications can lead to customer dissatisfaction, lower user engagement, and ultimately reduced revenue.
  2. Downtime and Unavailability: Research by Gartner indicates that the average cost of IT downtime is approximately $5,600 per minute. This demonstrates the dire financial consequences of application unavailability, including lost sales, productivity, and customer trust.

B. Security Vulnerabilities:

In the absence of robust monitoring, security vulnerabilities can remain undetected, posing a grave risk to an organization’s sensitive data and customer information. According to Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report, 60% of businesses that experience a security breach had insufficient monitoring in place.

  • Unauthorized Access: Hackers and malicious actors can gain unauthorized access to an application, potentially compromising sensitive data, including customer information and intellectual property.
  • Data Breaches: A study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach is $4.24 million, with each lost or stolen record costing an average of $150. Inadequate monitoring can lead to such costly breaches.
  • Malware and Ransomware Attacks: Inadequate monitoring may not identify the presence of malware or ransomware. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the global damage costs from ransomware attacks are projected to reach $20 billion by 2021.

C. Data Loss and Corruption:

Inadequate monitoring can result in data loss and corruption, which can be catastrophic for organizations. According to a report by EMC, data loss and downtime cost organizations an estimated $1.7 trillion each year, further emphasizing the financial impact of inadequate monitoring.

  • Loss of Valuable Data: The average cost of data loss is approximately $3.86 million, according to a study by the Ponemon Institute. Inadequate monitoring can lead to the loss of valuable data that can have devastating financial consequences.
  • Data Corruption: Without monitoring, data integrity issues can go undetected, leading to corrupted files and databases. The cost of resolving data corruption issues can be significant, affecting business operations and decision-making based on inaccurate data.

Quick overview to Best Applications for Monitoring

Screenshot of monitoring software
Application Monitoring ToolBest ForPaid or FreePriceSpecific for Any Field
AppDynamicsEnterprise applications, cloud applicationsPaidStarts at $5,000 per monthGeneral-purpose
New RelicWeb applications, mobile applications, cloud applicationsPaidStarts at $0.005 per vCPU per hourGeneral-purpose
DatadogInfrastructure monitoring, application monitoring, cloud monitoringPaidStarts at $5 per monthGeneral-purpose
PrometheusOpen-source infrastructure monitoring and alerting systemFreeN/AGeneral-purpose
GrafanaOpen-source visualization and analytics platform for Prometheus and other data sources, i.e Selling onlineFreeN/AGeneral-purpose
ZabbixOpen-source monitoring system for infrastructure and applicationsFreeN/AGeneral-purpose
NagiosOpen-source monitoring system for infrastructure and applicationsFreeN/AGeneral-purpose
SolarWinds AppOpticsApplication monitoring for cloud and on-premises applicationsPaidStarts at $2,500 per monthGeneral-purpose
DynatraceApplication performance monitoring and observability platformPaidStarts at $10,000 per monthGeneral-purpose
AppSignalApplication performance monitoring for Ruby on Rails, Elixir, Phoenix, and Node.js applicationsPaidStarts at $9 per monthRuby on Rails, Elixir, Phoenix, Node.js
SentryApplication error monitoring for all programming languagesPaidStarts at $9 per monthAll programming languages
RollbarApplication error monitoring for all programming languagesPaidStarts at $29 per monthAll programming languages

Best Practices in Application Monitoring

A. Choosing the Right Monitoring Tools

The first step in effective application monitoring is to choose the right tools. There are many different monitoring tools available, so it is important to select one that meets your specific needs.

When choosing a monitoring tool, consider the following factors:

  • The type of application you want to monitor: Some monitoring tools are designed for specific types of applications, such as web applications, mobile applications, or enterprise applications.
  • The features you need: Monitoring tools offer a variety of features, such as performance monitoring, availability monitoring, and security monitoring. Choose a tool that offers the features you need to monitor your application effectively.
  • The budget you have: Monitoring tools can range in price from free to thousands of dollars per month. Choose a tool that fits your budget.

B. Setting Up Alerts and Notifications

Screenshot of microsoft app showing Setting Up Alerts and Notifications

Once you have chosen a monitoring tool, you need to set up alerts and notifications. Alerts will notify you when there is a problem with your application. Notifications will provide you with more information about the problem, so you can take steps to resolve it.

When setting up alerts and notifications, consider the following factors:

  • The types of alerts you want to receive: You may want to receive alerts for performance issues, availability issues, or security issues.
  • The frequency of alerts: You may want to receive alerts immediately, or you may want to receive them at a specific time of day or week.
  • The people who should receive alerts: You may want to send alerts to multiple people, such as your team members, on-call engineers, or managers.

C. Regular Monitoring Schedule

In addition to setting up alerts and notifications, you should also establish a regular monitoring schedule. This will help you to identify and resolve problems before they cause downtime or security breaches.

When establishing a regular monitoring schedule, consider the following factors:

  • The type of application you are monitoring: Some applications need to be monitored more frequently than others. For example, a web application that is used by thousands of customers every day needs to be monitored more frequently than a mobile application that is used by a small group of employees.
  • The criticality of the application: Some applications are more critical to your business than others. For example, an application that is used to process payments needs to be monitored more frequently than an application that is used to display news articles.
  • The resources you have available: Monitoring applications can be time-consuming, so it is important to establish a schedule that is realistic for your team.

D. Collaboration and Reporting

Application monitoring is a team effort. It is important to collaborate with your team members to ensure that everyone is aware of the monitoring schedule and that everyone is responsible for resolving issues promptly.

You should also establish a reporting process to track the performance of your application over time. This will help you to identify areas where you can improve.

Case Studies: The Importance of Monitoring.

Application monitoring is essential for keeping applications running smoothly and securely. By proactively identifying and resolving problems, organizations can avoid the costly and damaging consequences of downtime, security breaches, and data loss.

Let’s discuss two examples briefly, to describe importance and vital role of it. Through these case studies, we can see that monitoring is a critical investment for any organization that relies on applications. By monitoring their applications effectively, organizations can safeguard their reputation, protect their customers’ data, and ensure the success of their business.

Case Study 1: Netflix – Successful Applications with Effective Monitoring

Netflix, one of the most popular streaming services worldwide, boasts a subscriber base of over 220 million users. To maintain its reputation for seamless service delivery, Netflix relies on an extensive monitoring infrastructure that spans the globe.

Netflix’s monitoring tools are truly impressive, as they collect data from over 100,000 servers worldwide, generating an astounding 1 trillion data points each day. This wealth of data encompasses various vital metrics, including:

  • Performance Metrics: Netflix keeps a watchful eye on performance metrics, assessing critical factors like loading times and video quality. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that users enjoy swift and high-quality streaming experiences.
  • Availability Metrics: Ensuring uninterrupted service is paramount for Netflix. They meticulously track availability metrics, constantly monitoring the percentage of time their service remains up and running. This ensures that users encounter minimal service disruptions.
  • Security Metrics: In the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity, Netflix diligently monitors security metrics, particularly keeping an eye on the number of unauthorized login attempts. This vigilance helps protect user accounts and sensitive data.

Netflix’s monitoring team is a dedicated force, available 24/7 to respond swiftly to any issues that may arise. This round-the-clock vigilance is crucial in ensuring that any potential problems are nipped in the bud, avoiding downtime and preserving the seamless user experience that subscribers have come to expect from Netflix. With this robust monitoring infrastructure in place, Netflix stands as a prime example of how effective monitoring can be a cornerstone of providing a world-class service.

Case Study 2: Equifax – Consequences of Neglecting Monitoring

infographic image showing how Equifax data was breched in 2017

In 2017, Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States, experienced a data breach that exposed the personal information of over 145 million people. The data breach was caused by a vulnerability in Equifax’s website that was discovered in March 2017, but was not patched until September 2017.

Equifax’s failure to monitor its website effectively allowed the attackers to remain undetected for several months. This allowed the attackers to steal a massive amount of data, including names, Social Security numbers, and driver’s license numbers.

The Equifax data breach had a significant impact on the company and its customers. Equifax’s stock price fell by over 25% in the wake of the breach, and the company agreed to pay $700 million to settle a class-action lawsuit.

You can read detailed case study here.

Conclusion

In today’s digital world, effective application monitoring is essential for businesses of all sizes. Applications are the backbone of modern business operations, and their failure can have disastrous consequences. For example, a recent study found that 70% of IT outages are caused by application failures, and the average cost of an application outage is $5,600 per minute. Data breaches can also be costly, with the average cost of a data breach costing businesses $3.92 million.

By proactively monitoring their applications, organizations can identify and resolve problems before they cause downtime, security breaches, or data loss.

A variety of application monitoring tools are available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. It is important to choose the right tool for your specific needs and budget.

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