DEJ’s upcoming research study, The Roadmap to Becoming a Top Performing Organization in Managing IT Operations, revealed that the increase of expectations for customer (both external and internal) experience is the #1 driver for modernizing IT Operations (as reported by 65% of organizations that participated in the research). The research also shows that improving customer satisfaction is the # 1 area where LoB managers and business executives expect IT Operations to contribute to the business. In order to meet these expectations, organizations need to address a number of areas in managing IT Operations. However, 71% of organizations are reporting that the metrics IT is using do not reflect true user experience.
1 – Bringing monitoring points closer to business users. The research shows that Top Performing Organizations (TPOs – top 20% of the research participants based on their performance in managing IT Operations) are 2.2 times more likely to have the ability to monitor user experience at the point of interaction with digital service, as compared to all other organizations. The research also shows that monitoring user experience from a web browser or nodes for synthetic monitoring that are closer to the customer results in significantly improved visibility as to how IT services are truly performing from the end-user perspective. Lakeside Software is one of a few vendors (others include Nexthink and Riverbed) that enables organizations to monitor user experience at the point of interaction with digital services, while also providing strong AIOps capabilities for problem resolution.
2 – Capturing user sentiment. Forty-two percent of organizations reported that the inability to capture user’s sentiment is a key challenge for visibility into user experience. In order to gain visibility into what is true user experience, organizations need to go beyond traditional IT metrics and capture how employees and customers truly feel about the performance of digital services. This type of innovative capability is fairly new to this market, with Nexthink being the only vendor that is providing this capability through its Digital Experience Score that combines IT performance metrics and user sentiment data.
3 – Visibility into user’s impact on performance. Forty percent of participants in DEJ’s study reported that a lack of insight into issues with IT performance that were caused by users as a key challenge for visibility into user experience. DEJ’s research shows that the inability to prevent performance issues before users are impacted has been a key challenge around managing IT performance over the last 4 years. In this year’s study, organizations are reporting a 61% success rate, on average, in preventing performance issues before users are impacted, which is only a 6% improvement since 2018. As organizations are struggling with addressing this issue they are also dealing with “blind spots”, such as IT services usage patterns, issues caused by user errors, etc. One of the solutions that is effective in addressing these issues is Riverbed’s Digital Experience Management offering that also correlates the quality of user experience with network, infrastructure and application performance.
4 – Granularity of performance data. DEJ’s study shows that 72% of organizations don’t have visibility into the number of users that are impacted by performance issues, while 68% lack insight into a part of a user session that is causing the problem. In order to gain full visibility into user experience, organizations need to look beyond the averages and analyze user data in aggregate and develop capabilities for collecting more granular data on user experience, such as types of users and services that are being impacted. The study reveals that 34% of IT service outages are directly impacting revenue. However, 65% of IT organizations don’t have visibility into the types of services impacted by issues with IT performance. Catchpoint is one of the vendors that are effectively addressing these issues, as it enables organizations to monitor all key areas of their digital performance from different perspectives (a robust network of monitoring nodes around the world and real-user monitoring capabilities), while providing strong analytics capabilities for putting monitoring data in an actionable context.
5 – Business context. The study shows that the lack of the business context of IT performance data is a key challenge for visibility into user experience for 52% of organizations. In order to address this issue, organizations should deploy a set of capabilities such as: 1) ability to benchmark user experience against competitors and industry standards; 2) correlate IT and performance business metrics; 3) create a feedback loop between IT and business users; 4) integrate their monitoring solutions with Web and marketing analytics; 5) record and replay user sessions. Dynatrace’s software intelligence platform provides a unique combination of user experience monitoring and AIOps capabilities. The company’s capabilities for replaying user sessions, integrated with APM and business performance reporting (revenue, conversions, customer experience, etc.), enable organizations to put IT data in a business context.
6 – Beyond latency and availability. The study shows that TPOs are 3.1 times more likely to view the quality of user experience as the #1 measure of IT performance, as compared to all others. Additionally, they are more likely to be using a different set of performance indicators to evaluate user experience such as usage of digital services and user sentiment and digital content delivery. Managing the performance of APIs plays an important role in TPOs strategies, as these organizations are 65% more likely to have the ability to monitor the impact of API performance on user experience. Apica Systems is one of the vendors that is effectively addressing this area, as the company’s solution for synthetic monitoring and load testing includes strong capabilities for monitoring the performance of APIs.
Fifty-two percent of LoB managers that participated in DEJ’s study reported that the impact of IT Operations on business goals has to be more clear, while the research shows that 74% of organizations are not able to quantify the impact that IT Operations has on the business. As IT teams are under more pressure to prove the value to the business, the key area of their focus should be showing how their actions impact customer experience and engagement.
Additionally, the study shows that TPOs are 2.2 times more likely to be taking a customer-centric approach for managing IT and, as a result, they are able to manage 4.2 more users per IT FTE as compared to all others. Modernizing IT Operations to become a key enabler of digital businesses requires strong focus on experience for both external and internal customers and establishing complete visibility into the quality of user experience is the key prerequisite for achieving that goal.
DEJ’s study, The Roadmap to Becoming a Top Performing Organization in Managing IT Operations, will be published on September 12. If you would like to access the full copy of the study, please contact DEJ.