Business risk comes in many forms, but one of the most costly involves transaction delays. When a B2B firm handles orders worth millions, orders that run slowly or are lost have the potential in any economy to put pressure on a business' solvency. This is why business transaction management or more precisely monitoring (BTM) is such an important component of any business risk management plan.
What is business transaction monitoring? Business transaction monitoring, referred to by the Gartner Group in their APM Magic Quadrant as transaction profiling, is the dimension of application performance management (APM) that focuses on the two types of transactions common in business-IT transactions and business transactions. Business transactions are comprised of a series of IT transactions.
How do typical business transactions work? The transaction might be an order update. For that update to execute correctly, the update order must occur in a specific sequence across many Java,.NET, and database applications. As the update order interacts with each IT entity, the required function at that endpoint must execute correctly.
These transactions execute in micro-seconds, so detection of any breaks in proper transaction flow would be impossible to detect in the early stages without software that has the power to track these transactions. In order for business transaction monitoring to be truly useful, it must also give business the ability to evaluate business transaction performance (BTP).
BTP, then, tells you what happened through transactional monitoring, how the observed performance compared to expectations described in a Service Level Agreement (SLA), and why it happened through operational monitoring. It takes all three pieces of information to reduce business risk.
Business transaction performance monitoring provides early warning. The sooner a business has actionable information that detects a potential problem in its transaction flows, the more likely that business will be able to deal with the problem before it begins to impact their customer. When a problem arises in an IT transaction flow, the IT department has the diagnostics already in hand to address the issue promptly and efficiently.
The reason the diagnostics are already in hand is that business transaction monitoring is a proactive technology. Rather than waiting until problems blow up, The complex event processing (CEP) engine scans all transactions for patterns that could indicate that a "business abnormal" situation is developing. This saves a business considerable stealth waste, because many of the inefficient transactions that are overlooked without a business transaction performance monitor, become consistently addressable. Processes that are often considered impossible to address because they aren't visible can be resolved because BTM provides the necessary visibility.
Business transaction monitoring conserves resources. While it is commonly believed that a shortage of resources such as too little network bandwidth, a lack of memory, slow and/or undersized disk, or inadequate CPU are the cause of transaction problems, BTM reveals another story. Rather many transaction failure to execute correctly are due to a logic error or similar "normal accident". These errors can occur after a data-cleansing event for example. The transaction follows a pathway that dead-ends. Mission critical applications may fail.
The value of using business transaction monitoring (BTM) is that these dead-ends are caught before the help desk is flooded with angry customers asking, "Where is my order?" There is no question that an angry customer will expend more energy tarnishing a company's business reputation that a happy one will expend in trying to help a company get more business. With BTM in place, a business lowers its risk proactively.
A business that isn't transitioning immediately from one crisis to the next will find employees more productive and customer confidence enhanced. These two factors alone will help conserve company resources. Preventing crisis events will also conserve resources by minimizing overtime costs to repair a problem that has "blown up." Business transaction monitoring for performance of each customer and in-house transactions is a sound investment that will pay for itself in the savings generated each year.
The right BTM software provides both financial and manufacturing businesses with the information needed to remain competitive within the marketplace as well as compliant to Government regulations for these industries. Learn how business transaction performance software could help your business perform better in any economy. Nastel Technologies, Inc. has prepared a white paper on this subject, BTP: Proactive Prevention & Visibility, which will help you make an informed decision about the value of adding this software solution to your business IT applications.