Digital experience monitoring (DEM) is an emerging technology that goes beyond application performance monitoring (APM) and end user experience monitoring (EUEM). EUEM looks specifically at the human end-user or customer interaction with an application. APM focuses on the performance and availability of the application. Gartner defines DEM as the experience of all digital agents—human and machine—as they interact with enterprises’ application and service portfolios.
With more organizations focused on digital transformation a DEM strategy is critical Below are nine reasons why organizations need to move from APM to DEM.
1. The Internet of Things
While humans continue to be the primary consumer of applications they may soon be outnumbered by machines. Even today, for some applications machines may be the primary consumer of information. My car talks to the dealership and informs me when a maintenance appointment needs to be scheduled. I don’t interact with this application at all except to read the email I receive and schedule an appointment. I don’t think about this service often but I imagine the car manufacturer and dealer do. They need to make sure the communications between my car and the application are working. These machine to machine transactions are just as important to monitor as the human to machine interactions to avoid damage to brand and customer satisfaction.
2. Mobile is everywhere
Monitoring strategies need to shift to address the growing use of native applications as opposed to mobile web sites. You may have looked at user metrics and decided your application receives a small number of mobile visitors so monitoring for mobile doesn’t matter. What if the performance of the application is so bad on mobile devices your application is unusable? Don’t discount mobile until you have all the necessary information.
For mobile the necessary information means not only monitoring performance of the application from mobile devices and providers but also monitoring the APIs delivering content to the mobile application. Mobile applications rely on APIs to communicate with back end infrastructure. Ensuring these APIs are returning valid information with no errors or delays is a critical component of a DEM strategy.
3. Pick a protocol
No application uses a single protocol. What protocols matter to your organization and are they all being monitored? Solutions that only monitor HTTP can leave gaps in your monitoring strategy. Are key business applications using FTP, WebSockets, if so these protocols need to be included in a DEM strategy.
4. User experience is no longer about page load time
There has been a shift in the web performance space away from page load time as the metric to measure in terms of how well an application performs. What matters more is how the user perceived the loading of the page. It doesn’t matter to the user if elements they can’t see aren’t loading, they only care about when they can interact with the page. Measurements such as Speed Index, Critical Resources Index and Perceptual Speed Index have emerged to attempt to measure the perceived page load time.
5. Be more agile
With Agile development, releases are happening at a much higher cadence, requiring companies to continuously test and optimize their applications to stay in business. Even with testing, code releases can cause unexpected performance degradation. Being notified about these as soon as possible leads to a faster resolution or roll back if needed. It isn’t possible to test every permutation of browser, device, and network provider which is why companies are including RUM as a part of their DEM strategy.
6. Non-stop information
Information is being served and shared on an almost constant basis. Phones and computers are constantly informing us of the arrival of a new message, tweet, sports update, etc. It sometimes feels like we are overwhelmed with information, but we have also come to expect this. The outrage that occurs when information isn’t immediately available quickly spreads and can cause organizations to lose customers.
7. Influence of social media
Today when news breaks, or an application is unavailable information spreads quickly across social media. These days stories of site outages aren’t as newsworthy as they once were. What matters more is not the details about the issue but rather how the organization handled the communication.
If your site is having issues, users will flood online to share their negative feelings. The need to track and monitor social sentiment is becoming more critical. Transparency during issues is needed. Responding to social messages quickly and sharing details on progress is expected.
8. Need to reduce spend on running IT
Would you rather spend money on fun things like vacations, a nice bottle of wine, or a new car; or do you want all of your money to go towards your mortgage/rent, groceries, and utilities? If you’re like me you want money to spend on the fun things. Businesses are the same way, the less money spent on the running of IT frees up more money to be spent on fun things like innovation.
9. Maintain a competitive advantage
Failing to keep up with demands of digital consumers will drive companies behind, and today the majority of consumers are digital. With a DEM strategy you can find valuable performance insights in application performance data and user behavior. Survey results from Digital Enterprise Journal’s recent Digital Transformation Benchmark found that competition is increasingly important to organizations. Half of the statements have to do with competition.
As organizations embrace digital transformation to provide a better user experiences, all aspects of the digital experience need to be monitored. A glitch in the system can mean revenue lost, hours of lost productivity or damage to the brand. Implementing a DEM strategy enables businesses to deliver amazing digital experiences.