AppDynamics' big bet: Business, application, IT intelligence to merge

Summary:If every company is run by software why couldn't an application and IT monitoring player become a business intelligence player?

AppDynamics recently launched a new platform that aims to combine development and information technology operations with business analytics in a move to cater to "software defined businesses."

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In addition, AppDynamics launched a transaction analytics system to capture customer interactions in real time. AppDynamics' launches last month highlight how companies specializing in IT analytics are expanding into business intelligence. As every company is run by software, application intelligence is becoming business analytics.

We caught up with AppDynamics CEO Jyoti Bansal to talk about applications intelligence, how it impacts the business and the company's market niche.

Among the key points:

Why application intelligence is encroaching on business intelligence. Bansal said that almost every business runs on software. "Software records everything about a business," said Bansal. "And there's growth because companies are building more and more applications." As information technology departments struggle with the sprawl, they are melding business analytics with application intelligence. AppDynamics captures the health of the software as well as the data entered. "We capture every transaction and can give data to the business analysts," said Bansal. The working theory is that new applications — since intelligence is already installed — will use analytics from the likes of AppDynamics and New Relic. Traditional business intelligence systems will remain, but will be limited. "IT is moving toward the business because there are performance monitoring agents already into everything," explained Bansal. "We capture 100 billion transactions a month."

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The groundswell of application and IT analytics going toward the business. AppDynamics largely represents a broader movement as companies used for IT monitoring bridge to business analytics. New Relic is similar to AppDynamics, but is focused on smaller businesses. "We focus on larger enterprises," said Bansal. But beyond AppDynamics and New Relic, companies like ServiceNow and Splunk are also moving to business uses beyond their core IT monitoring. Bansal said Splunk is often a partner for his company since log files provide real-time data that blends well with application intelligence.

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Will there be dashboard sprawl? Bansal said companies will use various tools based on the business process involved. Ultimately, AppDynamics wants a larger part of the pie for application and IT intelligence and business analytics. "IT operations and business intelligence will converge more and more," said Bansal. "Data is the new currency and IT ops and BI have to merge." For now, there's a case for a two-tier BI strategy where companies like AppDynamics land in companies in new environments and then expand from there. Tableau is an example of one company benefiting because BI is too complicated.

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Competition. In application monitoring, AppDynamics competes with CA, Compuware, and BMC. That competitive set reflects that AppDynamics caters to large and mid-market enterprises. About 10 percent of the company's revenue comes from small enterprises, said Bansal.

User interface. Bansal said that a third of AppDynamics development team is focused on user interface. "It's one thing to store and process massive amounts of data, but if we don't have the right visualization you can't digest it," said Bansal. "To open up the platform we want it to be easy. We have to deliver complex dashboards in an easy manner."

Topics: Enterprise Software

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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