Digital Experience Monitoring - The Future Of Remote & Hybrid Work

With the acceptance of the hybrid work model and the results-only work environment, we have arrived at the future of work. Taking these developments into consideration, IT teams need to ensure that employees are productive and satisfied with the performance of typical enterprise applications on their devices.

End users do not care how digital technology works as long as it works the way it should. With so many competitors and alternatives for consumers to pick from, providing a poor digital experience can result in lost business.
 
A Gartner research study predicts that 70% of digital businesses will need digital experience metrics by 2025. With the trends of digital transformation and hybrid work picking up the pace, digital experience management has become the ideal strategy for measuring the impact of the digital experience on productivity and other key performance indicators.
 
A Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) strategy unlocks the key to understanding how end users interact with web and desktop applications. Such a strategy involves monitoring to identify where your technology might fail the User Experince (UX). This includes building models that assess usage that has led to slowdowns and outages. While this seems similar to the functioning of Application Performance Management (APM), it’s important to know the distinction between their goals.

Let’s dive into what makes DEM stand out and why your organisation should consider investing in it:-
 
DEM: An Upgrade Over Your Existing APM Tool  
 
In order to provide a better technology experience, operations teams need modern tools to monitor remote workers’ applications and collect insights from them. Because of that, businesses are adapting their digital transformation strategies to grow, survive, and respond to disruptions caused by the pandemic.
 
As part of their efforts to improve IT efficiency and employee engagement, organisations are moving from APM to DEM platforms. This shift in the world of ITOM indicates the importance of investing in a comprehensive solution that takes into account both performance metrics and user sentiment in order to deliver holistic visibility into the IT environment.

To make the shift to DEM, IT leaders have to refocus their mindset from a purely technical model to a more human-centric model for monitoring their systems. Here are a few differences in the goals of APM and DEM:  

  • APM focuses on the technical performance of applications, while DEM focuses on the whole IT environment, including devices and user sentiment.
  • APM software looks into application performance issues from a technology point of view, while DEM tools measure the impact of application performance from a user’s vantage point.
  • DEM has a broader scope than APM and therefore covers more use cases, such as digital workplace planning and hardware performance management.  

Let’s dive deeper and understand what makes DEM stand out:-
 
Real User Monitoring:   We know that data is not confined to corporate data centers as end users now access applications directly from the cloud. As a result, existing APM tools fail to provide insights into the real-time UX, especially now that we are working in a hybrid or remote fashion. As part of DEM, real user monitoring captures data about performance from the perspective of the application without installing anything on the client’s end. This helps with root cause analysis of application performance problems and examining performance across different channels.
 
Less Ambiguous Data:   When it comes to metrics, what good is a chart or graph that can’t be interpreted easily by all the team members? DEM’s goal is to quantify the digital experience and make it simple for network administrators to numerically evaluate application behaviour from an end-user perspective. Armed with these digital experience scores, they can analyse trends across the entire user base or particular web domains. This helps them gain visibility into bottlenecks and performance issues.
 
The Ability To Adapt To The Future Of Work:   With employees working across the globe, IT teams must map all the possible scenarios of a customer’s digital journey. Users working from home will have varied Wi-Fi, connectivity issues, ISPs, proxies, and more. Digital interactions will come from a variety of devices and company-issued laptops. For this purpose, a DEM solution provides inside-out and outside-in monitoring of all touchpoints to increase productivity and engagement.
 
The ability to stay proactive 24/7:   We know how unpredictable outages can be, either because of human error or network failure. Organisations have to be prepared for downtime. A DEM solution provides proactive synthetic agents that constantly monitor an application’s page responsiveness and report errors when it’s unavailable or unusable. Additionally, real user monitoring agents collect real-time end-user experience data from a web or desktop application. When an outage strikes, the IT team needs to know immediately and quickly implement remediation strategies for employees.
 
Making The DEM Leap  
 
These DEM capabilities help businesses optimise their networks, cloud systems, and IT infrastructures. They also gather valuable data on key business metrics based on a cohesive view of the UX across apps and platforms. The key is to focus on the UX aspect to glean insights into users’ interactions. This enables businesses to pinpoint and resolve any issues that impact productivity, such as lagging software, confusing screens, inefficient processes, or simply the need for additional training.
 
IT leaders should find links between DEM and making a meaningful impact on their businesses. As mentioned earlier, users don’t bother about what happens behind the screen, they are only concerned with what happens on screen and their interaction on the webpage.

But for CIOs who are struggling with the recent challenges posed by hybrid work and remote end users, DEM can be wielded to discover, track, and also optimise resources and the end-user experience.

Naveena Srinivas is an  Enterprise Analyst at ManageEngine

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