Research Hub > Ending the War Rooms: APM for Federal IT Systems
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Ending the War Rooms: APM for Federal IT Systems

Application performance monitoring (APM) can help the federal government proactively and quickly handle issues to avoid service disruptions to its constituents.

The federal government has a wide network that interacts across agencies in different states and even different countries. So, when there is a problem, valuable time can be easily wasted trying to trace where the issue originated.  

Where mission-critical operations are the norm rather than the exception, the federal government does not have time to waste looking for the answer in their vast network. Application performance monitoring (APM) can help. APM is a sophisticated tool that can help optimize efficiency, enhance security and help the federal government deliver exceptional services.

Understanding the Federal Mandate to Transform the Customer Experience and Service Delivery

In December 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14058, requiring federal agencies to improve customer experience and service delivery. The mandate demands that federal agencies modernize their IT systems to provide a seamless and secure experience to citizens across the U.S.  

The federal government operates on a massive scale, with diverse agencies that manage an array of responsibilities — from national security to healthcare and everything in between. Each agency relies heavily on a multitude of applications to provide a quality digital experience. With this great complexity comes added risk of performance bottlenecks, downtime and security vulnerabilities.

APM can help the federal government mange this complexity in a proactive way, solving disruptions before they cause an issue for the end user.

The Importance of APM in Government Operations

Here are five ways APM can improve your agency’s operations.

  1. Optimize efficiency: APM provides real-time insights into application performance, allowing agencies to identify and rectify issues promptly. By proactively addressing potential bottlenecks, agencies can streamline operations and improve overall efficiency.
  2. Enhance security: In an era marked by sophisticated cyber threats, ensuring the security of government applications is non-negotiable. APM tools offer robust monitoring capabilities, enabling agencies to detect and respond to security incidents swiftly, thus fortifying their cyber defenses.
  3. Deliver citizen-centric services: Citizens expect seamless digital experiences when interacting with government services. APM helps agencies meet these expectations by ensuring that applications remain accessible, responsive, and reliable at all times, thus fostering trust and satisfaction among constituents.
  4. Provide end user monitoring (EUM): EUM can inform APM about a user’s experience with an application. This information can provide an understanding of how the user’s location, browser version or browser type related to the performance of the application.
  5. Monitor application performance proactively: Establishing a baseline for how an application should be performing can help alert agencies when there is a deviation in the performance, allowing you to quickly address the deviation and prevent interruptions that could impact users.

APM can provide your agency with the ability to act before there is a major impact to the user. This will help improve efficiency in time sensitive operations and ensure your constituents know they can trust your digital capabilities.

Use Case: APM in Action

To better understand APM’s capabilities, here is an example of how APM could assist your agency. Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario:

There is a federal agency responsible for paying out social benefits with a large user base, and it has decided to adopt APM to optimize their IT system.  

APM will help this agency by deploying a comprehensive monitoring solution. This approach will provide real-time visibility into application performance, identifying inefficiencies and vulnerabilities. APM can then help implement targeted improvements based on this information.

All of this will be accomplished automatically without wasting time in a war room meeting that does not remediate issues quickly. For example, if the application runs into a security threat, APM can detect it, alert the team and empower them react quickly before anyone’s information is at risk.

What does this mean for the agency? A significant reduction in system downtime, enhanced data security and increased user satisfaction. The agency won’t have to halt operations because APM will be able to pinpoint and help resolve issues with applications in real time.

Overcoming Challenges With APM Implementation

While the benefits of APM are undeniable, its successful implementation in the federal government landscape is not without its challenges. Factors such as legacy systems, budget constraints and compliance requirements often pose significant hurdles. However, CDW Government is here to help you find the right solutions and tools for your APM integration. We adopt a strategic approach that prioritizes collaboration, innovation and scalability. We help you navigate these challenges effectively and harness the full potential of APM.

Jay Riggins

CDW Technical Consultant
Jay Riggings has over 23 years of experience in the IT industry supporting multiple federal agencies. For the past five years he has been working with CDW Government specializing in APM and DevSecOps.