Who Uses Application Monitoring?

At instrumental, application monitoring is not used just by engineers and developers. Although engineers definitely represent the largest percentage of the user base, they are increasingly joined by users in diverse industries and audiences. Here’s an overview of how people in various roles can, and should, use application monitoring.

1. Software Engineer/Developer

As a software developer, your primary usage revolves around ensuring the software works well and management has no reason to upset at the engineering team. Just like with unit testing, application monitoring can verify or not an application’s features are working. 

Engineers also monitor interactions with third-party APIs. Pinpointing problems through monitoring metrics is much easier than crawling through logs.
Web developers are constantly in need to continuous monitoring.

2. Ops

With basic application monitoring, ops teams can track everything from CPU load to database usage. It gives you a real-time view into performance and a heads up on potential issues. Ops members frequently view multiple metrics simultaneously when debugging. Identifying that DB query count tripled right before the CPU usage went up is easy with a visual chart.

3. CTO

As the CTO, it’s important for you to determine actual usage of new applications, when there are problems with user adoption, and whether the solutions implemented are the right ones for the job. You use application monitoring to gain visibility into the business user base and make strategic decisions on the applications in place. It helps you prioritize between new feature development and performance improvement.

4. Technical Architect

As a technical architect, you are normally responsible for cross-team application development and infrastructure. You use application monitoring to determine whether a solution is operating efficiently and effectively, and you identify potential problems during the deployment and usage stages that could lead to major issues. You can take this information and use it to refine the configuration or switch to different methods. Monitoring also provides insight into the current bottlenecks with an application. It’s valuable to know that DB query length vs query count is your current bottleneck.

5. Product Management & UX Designer

You have a great product and you need to know how many people are using it, when they’re using it, and what functions they use the most. Monitoring provides a critical feedback loop on feature development and UX changes.

6. Marketing

As marketing takes greater responsibility for the lifecycle of a user, you need to know how use applications, or if there are major issues with the on-boarding process. When marketing departments have application visibility, they can figure out if users have problems starting an application or service. If so, you and your marketing colleagues can change your target market or work with the product management team to make changes.

7. Quality Assurance

Even the best QA process can’t pick up every bug present until it’s actually in widespread use. As a Quality Assurance operator, you can use application monitoring to watch how users operate the app, determine where processes encounter problems, and decide whether users show uncommon usage patterns that could indicate bugs or other problems.

8. Support & Account Management

As an employee in the customer support and customer success department, you help customers more effectively use applications. You can determine common usage patterns, whether a particular user has encountered problems in the past, and whether major application problems could lead to higher customer contact volume. Account managers can even use alerts to get real-time updates on customer interactions.

Those are the primary roles for users in our application monitoring platform and how they use Instrumental. So even if you are not an engineer, you can and should have some access to the application monitoring. And if you are an engineer, this is why should expand access to the rest of your organization!

This was a post by James Paden, a developer for the Instrumental application monitoring platform.

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