There are many ways to use Apdex. The most important aspect of Apdex is that it will enable companies to look at application performance in a new light that will lead them to new management methods. The following is an example.
One of the most challenging management issues is the need to align IT to the business strategy of the company. Apdex provides a significant foundation for a new business-IT alignment process. Imagine the following simple scenario:
Step 1 - Defining Requirements
A CIO is managing a portfolio of several major business applications from order processing to corporate email. The CIO gets consensus among the business managers on a ranking of the applications by importance to the business. Presumably, order processing will be high and email low. The CIO then investigates how each application is used in order to assign target response time values (T). These values may be negotiated with the managers of each application. Finally, the CIO sets a goal for the lowest acceptable Apdex value across all the applications. The following chart summarizes the three sets of performance requirements: business ranking, response time target, and minimum performance goal.
Step 2 - Benchmarking Performance
Next, the CIO ranks the applications by the Apdex value they deliver during the business day. Of course, it is likely that the rankings will be unaligned and some of the applications will be operating below the Apdex goal as shown below. For example, if email has a high Apdex while the CRM system that supports the customer support center has a significantly lower Apdex, then the applications are out of alignment. This benchmark depicts the current alignment status and serves as a guide to prioritize improvements and track their success.
Step 3 - Achieving Alignment
Once the needed changes are made to the applications delivery system, the business and Apdex rankings will match, indicating that applications and business needs are aligned. In addition, more of the applications are achieving Apdex values above the corporate goal. Further work may be needed to improve the lowest-ranked applications.
Step 4 - Fully Meeting the Requirements
The applications and/or their delivery systems can be tuned over time so that all the applications meet the corporate Apdex goal, as shown below. Of course, a real business alignment exercise may be more complex, but using Apdex as a tool for discovery and remediation will be a central part of the strategy. We expect enterprises will use the index in various management approaches customized to their own needs.