IT Science Case Study: World Bank Opens Kimono for Collaboration

How the World Bank used a single view into its IT infrastructure to aid collaboration among its employees.


Here is the latest article in a new eWEEK feature series called IT Science, in which we look at what actually happens at the intersection of new-gen IT and legacy systems.

Unless it’s brand new and right off various assembly lines, servers, storage and networking inside every IT system can be considered “legacy.” This is because the iteration of both hardware and software products is speeding up all the time. It’s not unusual for an app-maker, for example, to update and/or patch for security purposes an application a few times a month, or even a week. Some apps are updated daily! Hardware moves a little slower, but manufacturing cycles are also speeding up.

These articles describe new-gen industry solutions. The idea is to look at real-world examples of how new-gen IT products and services are making a difference in production each day. Most of them are success stories, but there will also be others about projects that blew up. We’ll have IT integrators, system consultants, analysts and other experts helping us with these as needed.

Today’s Topic:  How The World Bank innovated a culture of collaboration

This article is about how the World Bank used a single view into its IT infrastructure to aid collaboration among its employees. This article was put together using information from World Bank Senior IT Manager Michael Makar based on this case study.

Name the problem to be solved: The World Bank is comprised of five international organizations--each of whom monitored its applications separately. Despite a substantial investment in more than 50 monitoring tools, there was little visibility across different teams, and no management reporting. Outage calls could take days of root cause analysis; to identify an issue with an application could take weeks.

Describe the strategy that went into finding the solution: The World Bank wanted to consolidate its operations with the goal of achieving a single, unified view into everything everywhere, whether the code was running in a data center or on AWS or Azure. After reviewing possible application performance monitoring solutions, the bank selected AppDynamics for its ability to handle the complexities of The World Bank’s applications, including critical visibility into user sessions and the ability to drill down into back-end transactions for troubleshooting.

The World Bank team relies heavily on Java and .NET, and needed a clear view of those applications across the different APIs, services and microservices used on a daily basis. The World Bank team deployed AppDynamics to 400 production applications for end-user experience monitoring, native mobile application support and deep-application diagnostics.

Key component in the solution: AppDynamics for application performance monitoring.

Describe how the deployment went, perhaps how long it took, and if it came off as planned: The World Bank team deployed AppDynamics to 400 production applications and were able to see the benefits right away. Soon after deployment, development teams were able to see the same data as the operations team, which resulted in a new culture of alignment. Teams no longer had to bother web administrators for data they now had at their own fingertips. They could locate any problem they were having with an application and solve it without pointing fingers or placing blame.

Describe the result, new efficiencies gained, and what was learned from the project:

Since deploying AppDynamics across all organizations, World Bank has become a more unified organization. More specifically:

  • Fewer outages which results in no more “war room” scenarios. The average number of problem tickets has declined 67 percent since implementation on a per-application basis
  • By configuring AppDynamics to send all alerts to PagerDuty, alerts are put through an on-call process and teams are only alerted when there is an issue to which they need to respond. This is a big improvement over the blizzard of indiscriminate email alerts and text messages that used to be part of a DevOps engineer’s daily life.
  • Increased access of data which presents opportunity to solve business problems. World Bank is now able to put together reports for management that provide a better sense of how the business is performing in real time and where the issues are cropping up.
  • A year and a half into the AppDynamics implementation, Makar and team marvel at the difference the application monitoring solution has made, noting that they now can’t live without AppDynamics and have only scratched the surface of what they can do with its data analytics capabilities.

Other references: Read the entire case study here.

If you have a suggestion for an IT Science article, email [email protected].

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...