Would it surprise you to hear there are striking parallels between how we wait in the emergency room (ER) and the application remediation process? Yes? Well, I’m sure this sounds familiar: you, or one of your loved ones, suddenly start experiencing health issues and rush off to the ER. You get there, someone takes your information and then you wait to see the doctor. And you wait. And then you wait some more. Eventually the doctor sees you, confirms what the triage nurses probably already knew (based on their experience and knowledge), and takes action (based on his or her experience and knowledge). Unfortunately, this whole process takes an inordinate amount of time, during which the patient endures a lot of discomfort and suffering.
Of course, there are a lot of valid reasons why this process seems to take much longer than it should – at least from the point of view of the emergency room staff. From the patient’s perspective however, there just seems to be massive amounts of wasted time, leading to discomfort – they couldn't care less about what is going on behind the scenes and what those ‘valid reasons’ are. They are simply having a very unpleasant experience and if they could go elsewhere they most certainly would.
The Application Emergency Room
It is easy to draw comparisons between this scenario and what occurs when an end-user experiences poor performance from an application. From their point of view, just like the patient’s, they are being negatively impacted and they don’t like it! Unlike the patient, however, they probably have options – they can easily go elsewhere to get the level of service they demand.
In fact, the whole process in the emergency room follows very similar steps to the process followed when an application starts to experience performance issues. The first step in the process is that a problem is detected. This is followed by the triage phase where the issue is analyzed and diagnosed. Then the remediation phase is entered where the problem is addressed. Finally, we go through the validation phase, ensuring it has been solved.
There are two key measurements associated with going through this common process. First, there is the amount of discomfort experienced by the patient/user and second there is the amount of time it takes to complete the process.
Naturally, the best scenario would be for preventative action to be taken which stopped the issue from impacting the patient/end-user in the first place. As the non-metric-system saying goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure’.
Appropriate in-depth monitoring and analysis is the key to success here. When services are provided via applications, solutions such as those in the CA Operations Management portfolio have the ability and built-in knowledge to provide that in-depth monitoring and analysis. These solutions can provide early detection of issues and, in many cases, have the knowledge of how these issues should be addressed built-in to the solutions. CA Automic Service Orchestration integrates with these monitoring solutions to carry out the pre-defined remedial actions required to address the problem. Since this whole process is automated (click here for more details), the issue is addressed at computer, not human, speeds. The result? Happy customers!
Wouldn’t it be great if emergency rooms could operate like this? I don’t think it will be too long before they do.