It’s no secret that there is a skills gap amongst many Business Picof the technical professions today. Perhaps few categories face the extreme shortage of IT professionals with Application Performance Management (APM) skills. Last year, nearly 80% of APM positions went unfilled due to the lack of qualified candidates available in the marketplace. Of the 20% that were filled, 80% of them were filled by candidates with less than 1 year of experience.  That gives you only a 4% chance of hiring someone with any appreciable experience when you post for an APM position!  This shortage has left enterprise organizations with tough decisions about how to mature their APM environments.

What are those options? Let’s take a look at each with pros and cons.

Rely on software vendors to provide expertise during implementations:

Pros Cons
  • These resources typically have good to excellent knowledge of their own vendor’s tools and recommended processes
  • At least a basic consulting package is included with the initial tools purchase with extended support available with fees
  • Limited knowledge outside of specific vendor tool with typically very little knowledge of the vendor’s other offered solutions
  • Limited to no knowledge of how to customize processes to fit the needs of a specific client’s environment
  • Costly to engage additional support hours, typically not economical or sustainable long term
  • Vested interest upselling additional vendor provided software and support services. These solutions may not be in the best interest of the client.
  • No knowledge of the client’s business objectives, IT organization or overall APM strategy

Hire and Train internal resources

Pros Cons
  • Long-term resource that will be knowledgeable of your environment
  • These individuals will be invested in the success of company initiatives
  • Very difficult to attract and hire top talent. Typically requires working with an expensive search firm or staffing company
  • Costly to train, and assumes you already have technical staff with the knowledge and time to dedicate towards training these new hires
  • Struggle to retain talent – clients often find that once trained, top talent is quickly recruited out
  • APM tools are constantly changing, making it difficult for your staff to stay current
  • Over time can get tunnel-vision in terms of tool use and application if not exposed to outside processes and tools enough

Engage APM Consulting Firm

Pros Cons
  • Tool agnostic consulting – no bias towards specific vendor tools
  • Capable of performing an assessment of current state of monitoring to make recommendations on tools and process to mature APM
  • Can be used to train current staff for a sustainable model
  • Knowledge of industry trends and best practices that cross vendor lines
  • Experienced in customizing event management and monitoring process to meet the needs of each clients’ business. Can ensure service level agreements are met.
  • Available to be re-engaged as needed
  • Few truly tool-agnostic APM consulting firms available
  • Difficult to identify firms that offer experienced consultants

Conclusion

So is engaging with an APM consulting firm the best option for you? Of course these decisions must be considered on a case-by-case basis, with your specific organizations’ needs in mind; however, if you’re looking for a comprehensive, unbiased assessment and maturation of your organization, working with a specialized APM consulting firm is the typically the best option. These consultants offer years of APM experience, with knowledge of how to implement most currently available tools; develop customized event management and monitoring processes; and ensure companies meet service level agreements related to application performance and availability.

About Tara Sharif

Tara Sharif has extensive experience in IT recruiting and sales.  She is consistently a top performer at every organization that employs her.  She is currently working as an Executive Account Manager at InsightETE where she partners with enterprise organizations to provide APM consulting services.  InsightETE is an Application Performance Management firm offering a full line of solutions to fortune 1000 and larger companies.  InsightETE offers APM consulting, IT staffing, and a proprietary and patented method to perform root cause analysis in 15 minutes or less. InsightETE’s software gives their clients the ability to measure and troubleshoot IT system performance on a granular level.  Additionally, InsightETE clients can measure true response time, track service levels, and reduce outages as they root out problems from their verified source. What’s more, they see an increase in their customer service satisfaction by eliminating service level disagreements.