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What is Digital Experience Monitoring

What is Digital Experience Monitoring?

Organizations putting a priority on digital transformation often find their existing IT service monitoring tools fall short when it comes to ascertaining how users are faring when using these new offerings, a shortcoming that has given rise to Digital Experience Monitoring technologies.

DEM makes it possible to get an outside-in view of user experience, locate service performance problems, speed resolution, and optimize digital transactions and customer journeys.

While companies typically have a toolbox full of monitoring tools, they are from a bygone day when all applications lived in corporate data centers and connections were over company-owned infrastructure and performance was easy to track.

Fragmentation introduced by adoption of public cloud and SaaS offerings has created monitoring blind spots that, at best, cause long delays as data from different tools are correlated in an effort to provide insight, and at worst, result in inexplicable performance problems.  Are degradation issues stemming from a problem with the end user’s device?  WiFi?  The branch office connection?  The service provider?  The application itself?

Too often today insights into digital experiences are gleaned by combing through help desk issues.  That less-than-ideal approach can be costly when digital experience is core to employee engagement and productivity, or the difference between a customer placing an order or finding another supplier.

According to Gartner’s Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring:
Digital experience monitoring (DEM) is a performance analysis discipline that supports the optimization of the operational experience and behavior of a digital agent, human or machine, with the application and service portfolio of enterprises. These users, human or digital, can be a mix of external users outside the firewall and inside it. This discipline also seeks to observe and model the behavior of users as a flow of interactions in the form of a customer journey.

 

Where DEM fits in

DEM complements existing Application Performance Management (APM) and Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostic (NPMD) tools. Together they provide an end-to-end picture, with DEM also adding insight into user experience, and it is those experiences which most directly translate into business outcomes.

Vendors addressing experience monitoring tend to rely on a mix of technologies, which Gartner says include:  Real user monitoring (RUM) or browser telemetry (using JavaScript injection); Synthetic transaction monitoring (STM) for both web- and mobile-based end users; Synthetic transaction monitoring for applications and network path analysis; Endpoint monitoring agent (mobile, desktop, tablet, IoT); and APM agents and NPMD probes.

While some of these technologies are already in use, the trick is being able to pull together the data they collect – or find new data — to arrive at the experience picture.

Considerations to keep in mind when evaluating solutions from different suppliers include:  Is the solution cloud- or appliance-based?  How much additional instrumentation will be required?  How can existing tools be leveraged?  How long will it take before the solution begins delivering results?

 

Core benefits

Adding it up, DEM can enable you to:

* Get a user-centric view of what is actually transpiring.  How is the end-point performing?  What applications are in use and how are they performing?  What does the underlying network path look like?  How are your SaaS applications holding up?

* Isolate problems affecting performance, starting with, is it the end user device, the network, the application?

* And prioritize performance problems for remediation based on where you can get the biggest bang for the buck.

 

Gartner is bullish on the Digital Experience Monitoring market.  It says DEM is growing at a 10% compound annual growth rate and that by 2023 “60% of digital business initiatives will require [infrastructure and operations teams] to report on users’ digital experiences, up from less than 15% today.”