Biggest Mistakes Companies Make When Evaluating & Purchasing APM Software

Most modern companies that offer web or mobile apps use APM at some stage to enhance their growth. APMs help you to understand what's going on inside your app. It helps you know when something breaks, and it also helps you learn how to make sure it doesn't happen again. However, choosing the right APM solution for your product is complex. If you select the incorrect tool, you may discard it because it will not enable you to meet your observability objectives.

In this guide, we will take a look at how to purchase APM tools the right way. Feel free to use these links to navigate the guide:

What to Look for in an APM

Before we describe what you shouldn't do, let's talk about what you should do. Here is a quick list of things you should look for when purchasing an APM.

Common Mistakes when Choosing an APM

Now that you know what you should look for when choosing an APM, here is a list of common mistakes that people make doing the same.

Not Knowing What You Need

Many new business owners enter the APM game without knowing what they want. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and there are many delicate details of app performance to cover at once. It would be best if you first worked on figuring out your APM strategies and then looked for a tool that offers features that will help you.

Decide on the metrics crucial to your app's growth, and figure out if you want a cheaper barebones solution (like Prometheus or SigNoz) or a managed solution that's costly but takes some workload off your shoulders. Choose if you wish to set up a reactive monitoring setup that only focuses on reducing downtime. If you have the funds and the drive to set up a more comprehensive, proactive strategy that involves fixing problems as they arise, identifying their underlying causes, and putting systems in place that lessens the likelihood that they will happen again. You will likely end up with the wrong tool without answers to such questions.

Not Looking At All Available Options

Many companies hesitate to go all out on market research when purchasing APM software. While it is tempting to go with the option Dan from engineering recommends, Dan might not know that a more efficient tool for the same use case might exist. This is why you must thoroughly research all available APM tool options before choosing one.

There's a lot of content on the internet (like this one) around the top and upcoming APM tools, and that would be an excellent place to start. Look for reviews, testimonials, ratings, and product impressions on G2 and Capterra. Take a couple of tools for a test run if unsure about something. But don't decide until you are confident that you have explored every reasonable alternative.

Mismatch Between Data Collection and Usage

This goes hand in hand with the first mistake of not knowing what you want. Even when people carefully select the tool, they look at how many ways the tool can collect data (or how many metrics it can support), but they don't have a plan to do anything with all this data. So naturally, people end up with a massive disconnect between what they instrument and what they do with the generated data. This eventually leads you to a situation where you are overutilizing your instrumentation and data storage resources and underutilizing the potential of the collected data.

Make sure to carefully plan what you intend to do with your APM tool, and act on it once you reach the implementation phase after the purchase. An underutilized tool will only end up burning a hole in your pocket while not doing what it was truly meant (and purchased) for.

Use Cases for Application Performance Monitoring

Multiple use cases for APM make it a crucial asset to any software development and deployment setup. Here are a few of those:

Save Time and Money with Automated Monitoring

While APM tools and platforms are often used interchangeably when discussing application health, they are pretty different. APM tools are independent, standalone tools that can help you do a particular task, like tracking a host's CPU usage or monitoring an endpoint's performance. On the other hand, APM platforms are a set of solutions that help you do multiple tasks in the same place.

APM platforms often employ automation to help you connect multiple tools and set up workflows that can help you do simple yet powerful tasks like sending an alert when CPU usage goes above 80% or tying an incident with its source code and identifying the right developer to contact. This is why you should prefer automated monitoring. Most APM providers offer multiple APM tools and can help you quickly get started with automated monitoring.

Best Practices

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when opting for an APM tool:


Purchasing an APM tool is not something you'd do every day; therefore, you should take special care to try everything that can help you decide on the right tool for your use case. This guide showed you some mistakes people often make when choosing the right APM tool for themselves. You should also check out Scout, a popular APM platform that offers solutions for all applications and across tech stacks to help you set up a complete observability solution. Feel free to try out Scout with a free 14-day trial.