AppDynamics helps technologists tackle the challenge of delivering the ‘total application experience’. Today’s users demand frictionless, faultless digital experiences. But meeting their ever-rising expectations is difficult because modern architectures have become too complex for even their operators to fully comprehend stated Abhilash Purushothaman from AppDynamics during an exclusive interview with TimesTech Editorial team. During the candid chat, the veteran emphasizes on how AppDynamics is a key component of Cisco’s solution for full-stack observability and is helping technologists see, understand, and optimising what happens inside and beyond their IT architecture – all through the lens of business impact.
TimesTech: What is AppDynamics’ business about? Where is your office in India?
Abhilash: Spiralling customer expectations and the total lack of tolerance for poor digital experiences have heaped huge pressure onto application owners during the pandemic. At the same time, new functionality increased users, and far greater demand on applications has led to soaring complexity in the IT department. This is making it more challenging for IT leaders to know how to prioritise application fixes based on the impact on the business and the user.
AppDynamics helps technologists tackle the challenge of delivering the ‘total application experience’. Today’s users demand frictionless, faultless digital experiences. But meeting their ever-rising expectations is difficult because modern architectures have become too complex for even their operators to fully comprehend. AppDynamics is a key component of Cisco’s solution for full-stack observability and is helping technologists see, understand, and optimising what happens inside and beyond their IT architecture – all through the lens of business impact.
The AppDynamics Business Observability platform transforms organisations faster by providing business context deep into the technology stack, aligning teams around shared priorities, and enabling technologists to act with confidence on what matters most to the business.
AppDynamics R&D and Support centre is based in Bengaluru and we have sales and CX teams across other metro cities.
TimesTech: Can you comment on trends in application-led security? How does application security make operations efficient? Is India aligned with global and APAC trends?
Abhilash: Modern applications are increasingly dynamic and growing in complexity as organisations embrace cloud technologies to leverage flexibility and reap cost benefits. As a consequence, data no longer resides in one centralised spot but is distributed within application parts.
Traditional application and security monitoring tools simply haven’t kept pace and leave application and security teams siloed and guessing at the application’s perimeter. With no clear perimeter to defend, organisations are forced to make an impossible trade-off between agility, innovation, and driving the business versus mitigating risk.
Then there are challenges in securing remote workforces, accelerated by the recent explosion in work from home requirements, that expand attack surfaces as workplace devices are connected to public and home networks. This is testing the limits of traditional app security approaches, and the vastly expanding IT perimeter, creating new weaknesses and vulnerabilities in even the most secure IT estates. Failure to have the right processes and solutions in place to safeguard data housed in applications, not only puts the brand reputation and consumer trust at risk but may also cost organisations millions of dollars in the event of a breach.
Security tools, policies, and processes also need to change. During development cycles, they need careful consideration to ensure security is not an afterthought. Additionally, the means to detect and respond to threats needs to happen in real-time when the application code is running in production, compared to periodic security audits that leave gaping holes. Ensuring security is an enabler vs a blocker is key in today’s business environment, as user experience cannot be sacrificed.
The need for application-led security – which response to new trends and growth in the cloud – is as acute in India as anywhere else. The adoption of cloud services in India is on the rise, with IDC reporting that by 2022, 40% of new enterprise applications in India will be developed cloud-native, based on a hyper-agile architecture and that by 2023, 55% of top 500 organisations in India will have a multi-cloud management strategy. We are already seeing this accelerated move into multi-cloud across industry verticals. Digital native ‘unicorns’ and start-ups born in the cloud have taken a lead but, in the last couple of years, we are witnessing application-led transformation as well as accelerated cloud adoption and migrations across all industries.
TimesTech: What is full-stack observability and how do companies benefit from it?
Abhilash: Full-stack observability is real-time observability across the modern technology stack — applications, software-defined compute, storage, services, network (including the internet), and more. It provides enterprises with in-depth visibility into the behaviour, performance, and health of their mission-critical applications and supporting infrastructure via high-fidelity telemetry (metrics, events, logs, and traces aka MELT) collected from their entire IT estate. Full-stack observability provides organisations with insights into the application system, and breaks down operational silos, and aligns IT, teams.
However, across every organisation, a technology decision is now a business decision, such as the dependency that business operations have on IT. For technologists, that means that the ability to monitor the full IT stack is simply not enough on its own.
A business perspective on full-stack observability is vital for technologists to cut through the noise, pinpoint the most critical telemetry data to contextualise and prioritise IT performance insights with real-time business KPIs. This is when full-stack observability can offer real and measurable benefits.
The only way technologists can prioritize decision-making and daily actions based on what matters to the business, is by tying IT insights to tangible business KPIs such as customer experience, sales transactions, revenue, etc.
TimesTech: The number of local data centres has grown alongside cloud-based services, what does this mean for your customers?
Abhilash: AppDynamics believes in meeting its customers where they are. We have launched a total of 8 local data centres via AWS, across the globe in the last 12 months to better serve our customers. This includes a SaaS instance hosted in AWS Mumbai that was announced in October 2020.
This facility and expanded SaaS offering to create a real and differentiated value proposition for our existing and prospective customers where they can host IT performance data in-region without having to worry about data residency regulations. Customers can choose our industry-leading, business-centric Business Observability platform via a local SaaS offering and deploy AppDynamics solutions more rapidly and drive faster outcomes.
TimesTech: What are your plans for India and the SAARC region?
Abhilash: AppDynamics recently launched a new SaaS instance of the Business Observability platform hosted in AWS Mumbai. Customers across India & SAARC region can now host their IT performance data locally without worrying about data residency regulations. We have witnessed an accelerated adoption and migration to our locally hosted SaaS platform, since its launch in October 2020. Also in the last 12-18 months, we have seen a multi-fold increase in customer demand for full-stack observability solutions due to massive uptake of online and application-led business initiatives forced by the pandemic, increased cloud adoption or migration, and strategic shift to work-from-home operations for many businesses. As part of Cisco’s solution for full-stack observability – which includes ThousandEyes – we are offering unrivalled visibility of digital experiences across service providers, cloud providers, and the internet. AppDynamics is uniquely positioned in the market to truly deliver the promise of multi-layered full-stack business observability – from app to the network to the internet, contextualised with business KPIs – and stop war-rooms before they start. As businesses open up, we foresee increased relevance and enhanced adoption of AppDynamics – as well as ThousandEyes – across all established industry verticals and exploration of emerging sectors such as FinTech, HealthTech, education, agriculture, supply chain, logistics, and digital-native start-ups.