Rethinking Application Performance in the Digital Business Era

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Get Close to Users

Get as close to real users as possible.

The performance and availability of websites, mobile sites and applications tends to degrade the further away a user is from a company's data center. For this reason, getting the most accurate view of real-world experiences depends on measuring performance and availability as geographically close to users as possible. In other words, an organization cannot expect to monitor applications from their data center in North America, and assume that users in China, Germany, or other far-away regions are having a great experience. Web complexity is again to blame – the further away a user is from the data center, the more elements (CDNs, regional and local ISPs, caching services and more) there are that can impact the user's last-mile experience.

Application Performance Management (APM) is defined as the monitoring and management of the performance – speed, availability, and reliability – of software applications. APM strives to detect and diagnose application problems in order to maintain an expected level of service for users. In recent years, the definition of "user" has evolved beyond internal users (i.e., employees using applications to do their jobs), to increasingly mean external customers using web-based applications.

Today's organizations leverage a variety of services to deliver stronger, more feature-rich and more satisfying digital experiences to customers, often with the aim of driving more conversions. Examples include content delivery networks (CDNs), social media plug-ins and marketing analytics. One nasty by-product of all these services is increased complexity – more elements are "standing" between an organization and its customers than ever before, and each one represents a potential point of failure that can degrade an entire experience.

Modern customers have no patience for websites, mobile sites and applications that are slow or unreliable. According to Nielsen Norman Group, even an extra second or two of delay in load time can create an unpleasant user experience, causing a transaction-oriented site to lose sales. If customers have a poor experience with a brand, they don't care who or what third-party element may be the cause; it is the brand itself that will take the reputation hit. Given increased web complexity, APM isn't as clear-cut as it used to be, and IT teams can no longer assume that just because the servers within their walls are up and running, their customer experiences are void of hiccups. Today's APM strategies need to be much more extensive, with a strong customer experience being the ultimate measure of success. Against this backdrop, Catchpoint Systems has identified six key points organizations should consider as they evolve their APM strategies for the digital business era.


Related Topics : SharePoint, Web Video and Voice Conferencing, UK, MySpace, Intranets

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