Three key reasons why apps and network teams should talk more

When it comes to application outages and poor performance, customers are no longer prepared to forgive and forget. The ever-expanding market brings with it a wealth of opportunities, but it also means that it has never been easier to lose customers to rivals – to retain them, you must keep them happy.

Until recently, network and application teams have been siloed, with each focused on the demands of their specific role. But, by adopting a combined approach, these teams together can create the additional resources to deal with any network performance issues that could be affecting customer satisfaction.

Through solving the three common issues outlined below, your combined apps and networking teams should be able to deliver a unified approach that is capable of handling the toughest test.

Performance problems can pop up anywhere

Sub-optimal performance is not always easy to spot. It can occur within the network, the infrastructure, the application code, or the end-user’s environment. And usually, network and application teams that concentrate on their own areas will only have spotlights of visibility across this complex environment. Consequently, there is sometimes a temptation to shift the responsibility for an issue onto another department, leading to delays in its resolution and creating customer frustration.

Rather than batting performance issues back and forth, apps and network teams would be far better served by adopting a unified approach to fixing issues. This would not only solve customer issues quicker, it would also save both departments time. Companies themselves can help to facilitate this collaboration by consolidating the management structure of the organisation, and ensuring that both teams report to the same VP.

Disjointed tools can spell disaster

During the gradual transition from legacy technology to cutting edge solutions, the tools used by apps and network teams have become increasingly specialised. Whilst this has the initial benefit of allowing them to be tailored to reflect department-specific needs, it limits usability and overall performance for teams when working interdepartmentally to analyse information sets.

This can act as an additional factor in entrenching a small-team philosophy, with both sides shifting blame for any disparities in information. For example, an application performance diagnostic tool may be showing that a problem does not exist within the application code, while the tool used by the network team might be indicating an issue within the application.

The isolation caused by this disparity in tool sets can cause a considerable setback to progress and solving customer problems – but what is the solution? Whilst opting to dispense with these tools may not be feasible, introducing a tool set that allows for complete visibility at the network level will provide a top-level view.

If your tools work together at the network level, you can then drill down into the applications and adopt application performance tools all the way to code level. For DevOps teams, this enables the adoption of complementary solutions that can diagnose how the application is performing on the network infrastructure itself.

An alternative option would be for teams to store all disparate data in a common repository, which they would then both be able to reference in order to deal with enquiries.

Teams using the best instruments creates organisational harmony

Whilst it is essential to have complementary tools in place to allow joint visibility across the entire enterprise, unless there is a robust performance management strategy in place, efforts will remain disjointed and ineffective. If efforts are not synchronised, blind spots that could be harbouring issues will remain in place.

To ensure that everyone has a single source of truth when it comes to performance data, teams must come together and agree upon a universal process for approaching, identifying and solving performance management issues. This should involve regular communication and sharing of metrics between teams to keep activities coordinated.

Instilling a culture of teamwork, providing the right tools and creating end-to-end visibility will take your organisation’s performance management to new heights and will remove any discord from the solving of application and network performance issues. Doing so should result in a great satisfaction score from customers – a result that sounds like music to any organisation’s ears!

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