Get Ahead of IT Issues: Automation and End-User Experience Monitoring

Disruptive IT Trends3 minutes readFeb 3rd, 2011
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In my previous blog posts, I concentrated on how the consumerization of IT has changed many facets of enterprise IT. These transformations stem from the evolving technology preferences of today’s end users. C-suite executives are now becoming more aware of the extent to which end users are shaping enterprise IT — including ways to measure effectiveness.

Today, employees use productivity devices on the move, and the software applications they use don’t always reside on the data center server. CIOs continue to grapple with how to oversee the performance of applications that employees access through the Internet.

Until recently, application monitoring took place in the data center, where applications were hosted and accessed through an internally managed network. In many instances, network uptime measurements were used to evaluate application performance. However, these measurements are woefully inadequate in the current end-user-driven technology landscape.

So how does the enterprise IT team determine whether access to applications is delivered to the end user seamlessly and efficiently? The old way of monitoring applications on the server or on the network doesn’t offer an effective means of measurement, because it doesn’t reflect the actual performance of the application as experienced by end users in the field.

The emphasis today is on end-user productivity — measured at the device level — as a gauge of business impact of application performance. That’s enough to justify a new approach.

Enter application performance monitoring, which tracks and manages the performance of software applications through a variety of automated tools and monitoring and diagnostic mechanisms. By monitoring user transactions across the service infrastructure, this approach enables you to determine whether an application component is faulty and to correct the problem.

Application performance monitoring is a major improvement because it focuses on monitoring the end-user experience in using applications. It’s a more customer-centric approach than the older, IT-centric method, where you monitor only the performance of the server or the network.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that the IT organization stop monitoring its internal IT delivery infrastructure. An ideal approach is to focus both inside and outside of the company firewall to resolve performance issues of productivity tools and applications in the shortest possible time.

The end goal is to anticipate and resolve issues even before they occur using a predictive-analysis approach. Automated monitoring tools such as Unisys ProACT™ platform offer a superior application performance management solution. They can deliver significant cost reductions, along with improved user productivity and customer satisfaction, by proactively driving faults and incidents out of the system.

Also, Unisys’s End-User Productivity Services, which complement our ProACT service, provides CIOs with enough empirical data about application performance and usage, as well as details about impact on end users’ productivity, to achieve pre-emptive resolution of service events.

In an age where every dollar spent on operations is scrutinized for the value it adds, there’s no room for doubt when it comes to evaluating an application’s worth. The time is right for widespread adoption of end-user experience monitoring and support. After all, proactive support, faster diagnostics and responsiveness to the end user will be the true measures of performance and success as consumerization of IT advances throughout the enterprise.

What do you think? Let me know by posting your comments here or on Twitter.