One of the things that has always been problematic for IT organizations is that there has always been a marked difference between what the application management dashboards have been telling them and what end users were actually experiencing.
More often than not this meant deploying someone from IT to actually sit beside a user in hopes of replicating the actual problem. The trouble, of course, is that even if you could replicate the problem, it's hard to know exactly what systems or networks are involved because the actual end-user experience today is defined by a bevy of applications that could be running just about anywhere.
But with the advent of cloud computing, it's becoming a whole lot easier to actually remotely monitor what the end user is experiencing. In fact, this capability is the driving factor behind the acquisition today of WatchMouse B.V. by CA Technologies and a recent acquisition of Coradiant by BMC Software.
The upside of all this renewed focus on remote-user monitoring is that the number of calls to the help desk about application performance issues should eventually drop, because for the first time IT organizations should be able to really discover issues long before the end user knows they are having them.