Modern businesses heavily depend on their applications — web, mobile or SaaS. These applications are not only one of the primary revenue generators, but a great way to connect with the customers, boost engagement and mindshare. Tech or not, all verticals see tremendous value in their online assets.
This is true for both external and internal applications, which serve internal stakeholders, improve productivity and increase collaboration. To effectively use all internal and external applications and innovate with them, it’s essential that these applications are available, fast and functionally correct — at all times. A savvy CIO realizes that the application infrastructure makes up the foundation of any modern business model, and takes extra care to keep the backend humming without an error.
The CIO is the innovation sherpa
CIOs are charged with a unique responsibility of translating the business strategy into an information technology strategy. As part of this responsibility, they must evaluate available products and processes and implement the ones that fit best the company’s needs. While doing so, CIOs must also handle the demands of things like digital transformation, big data, enterprise integration, and IoT. They are expected to understand, evaluate and utilize these emerging technological trends to support innovation and growth.
However, as they are making growth and innovation plans, they are also expected to ensure that the infrastructure the company runs on can withstand the innovation. Imagine an app failing or servers crashing right when a company launches new products? Or a website getting overwhelmed during the peak traffic season? CIOs encounter new scalability, security and stability challenges every day.
A savvy CIO knows that he/she needs to build a strong foundation of IT infrastructure before building on the operations and business models for innovation. The logic may seem simple – you don’t start renovating upstairs bathroom before making sure the foundation of the building is solid. But it’s interesting to see how many established brands fail to realize this in business settings. We see C-suite concerned about rolling out new products and services, marketing, and brand perception to stay competitive, but all that is only possible when the underlying infrastructure supports the growth.
Not just active, but proactive monitoring
Modern applications have increasingly more moving parts which depend on each other to be successful. From the server and database layer to the marketing automation and analytics layer, every part is essential for the application to do what it is intended to do. Just testing and monitoring all moving parts actively is not enough. You should be the first one to know when things fail. Your customers cannot be your first line of defense —any shrewd CIO knows that. But however effective your disaster management strategy is, fixing problems real time always has costs associated with it.
If the stakeholders are internal employees or customers, when apps fail during business hours, it takes time and money to find and fix the problem. The modern CIO knows that to stay on top of the infrastructure issues, they not only need to be active and alert but proactive in everything they watch over and monitor. Monitoring everything — from infrastructure to applications and end user experience — gives you an insight into vulnerabilities, helps you find issues before your end users, and gives a head start on solving the issues.
Controlling 3rd party dependencies
As businesses evolve and become more interdependent, applications increasingly depend on external products and services. Whether you are going with ‘best of the breed’ or ‘one stop shop’ approach while selecting vendors, the 3rd party dependencies keep CIOs awake at night. To maintain sanity of the environment, a smart CIO understands the scope of the 3rd party impact early on, and puts measures in place to control it. Whether it is the cloud infrastructure provider, content delivery network, or external APIs that power the applications — CIOs must realize that you are as strong as the weakest link. As a result, you must establish and negotiate on service level agreements to remove vulnerabilities.
Proactive monitoring fits into your strategy
Most organizational strategies could be broadly categorized into three buckets:
- Product Leadership – where you excel at innovating products and services that are market leaders.
- Operational Excellence – where you excel at minimizing operational costs and in turn providing most cost effective solutions.
- Customer intimacy – where you excel on customer engagement and satisfaction.
We all have read articles on certain strategy suites, certain verticals, or how one strategy type must never be implemented into certain ecosystem. We also have read articles on how a perfect strategy is always a combination of two or more strategies. When a CIO is charged with implementing an IT strategy, which is the backbone of the business strategy, he or she needs to put another lense to these strategies – one that looks at stability, security, and scalability.
How CIOs can ensure application and infrastructure quality
Application and infrastructure quality is a must, irrespective of what your business strategy is.
Ensuring quality starts with putting the right tools and personnel in place to ensure dependable and reliable infrastructure which can act as a foundation of the growth.
We, at AlertSite, constantly work with savvy CIOs across diverse industries to help them ensure the availability and reliability of their applications – both globally and behind their firewall. When web, mobile and SaaS applications, and their underlying APIs are humming along without errors, even from neutral vantage points, CIOs can confidently concentrate on growth.
Visit SmartBear.com/AlertSite to learn more about why companies like JetBlue, Hilton, Domino’s, and 1-800-Flowers trust AlertSite as their performance partner.