Digital Experience Monitoring
What is Digital Experience Monitoring?
Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) is used to monitor the availability, performance and quality experienced by an end user for accessing applications. Digital Experience Monitoring takes an endpoint-centric approach to monitor the resources that the user interacts with on the device.
In this post, we will cover how DEM tools work, the benefits they are expected to bring to an organization, and how to go about selecting the DEM tool for your needs.
Table of Contents
Digital Experience Monitoring Overview
Why is Digital Experience Monitoring Important?
Digital experience monitoring makes it possible for IT teams to understand application performance issues from an end user’s view point, pro-actively determine if there are any service performance concerns and quickly perform root cause analysis (RCA) and resolution. Thus, IT teams though based out of a central location, are in a position to know and monitor remote users’ experience when using organization’s business applications.
Moreover, in the post-Covid 19 scenario, business work-force has become increasingly distributed and remote, limiting IT teams’ visibility into endpoint, connectivity and application performance from everywhere, leaving them vulnerable to issues beyond their control, such as device, ISP or home Wi-Fi issues.
Again, in typical large organizations with many branch office and remote locations, IoTs etc., IT teams don’t have sufficient visibility into the issues that end users accessing business critical applications through the branch sites are facing whether because of application availability, ISP or LAN issues.
DEM: What is Monitored?
According to Gartner, “DEM spans infrastructure, applications and business processes to enable a comprehensive view of the end-user experience and translate them into business outcomes.”
DEM comprises on one or more of the following techniques:
- Synthetic (active) monitoring to send test traffic and measure performance experienced at end-points
- End-point device monitoring for visibility into end-user device resource health and performance
- Real user monitoring (RUM) for measuring user experience from the perspective of the application (for example, at a web application level).
Difference between Application Performance Monitoring (APM) and Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM)
Application performance monitoring (APM) provide metrics from application-centric approach and can usually provide visibility from the end point of view. DEM takes an end-point-centric approach and monitors all the resource metrics that the end user interacts with, when accessing applications. APM tools usually come at a higher cost, requiring significant setup and tuning per application and therefore typically is only deployed for a small number of the organization's most critical applications. Since APM tool usage requires knowledge of the application workings, IT Infrastructure support teams do not usually prefer to deploy them.
Difference between Infrastructure Specific Network Management and Digital Experience Monitoring
IT teams often rely on network management systems for performance monitoring of their wide area network (e.g., MPLS, SD-WAN). But solely relying on network management systems for monitoring, results in IT teams experiencing blind spots in knowing what is the performance experienced by the end-point devices in their network. Thus, DEM gives IT teams the visibility of application performance, from the viewpoint of an end-user whether accessed over LAN or WAN.
Challenges in Digital Experience Monitoring
When trouble-shooting application performance in remote user environments, IT teams need to have a capable tool set that helps them to know the performance of the user devices (laptop, desktop), as well as the connectivity to the corporate network. IT teams usually find it challenging to isolate and fix problems faced by remote users, since there could be many factors in user environments (browser, WiFi, LAN, ISP, etc.) that could be the cause of the problem.
Similarly, in larger organizations with many branch offices, IT teams which are typically located at a central location, cannot get sufficient visibility into the performance issues that end users are facing when accessing business critical applications at the branch sites. This gets further accentuated when some of the applications are hosted in different sites or networks.
How to Choose the Best Digital Experience Monitoring Tool
Ease of use: Does the tool provide an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to monitor events, and remediate problems quickly?
Type of measurements: Does the tool have an out-the-box support for techniques that your organization uses or will plan to use in future (synthetic monitoring, end-point monitoring, real user monitoring)?
Application level monitoring: What KPIs from end-user viewpoint are monitored for specific applications which are considered business-critical?
Root cause analysis (RCA) capabilities: Does the tool include context to help trouble-shoot problems quickly?
Flexibility for end-user or site-level monitoring: Does the tool provide support for the type of deployment that your organization needs?
Support policy: What types of support options are available and are they aligned to your organizational needs and expectations?
Digital Experience Monitoring has gained more importance because digital businesses today need to ensure end-user satisfaction as the workforce tend be distributed or remote. While there may be specific requirements for specific market segments, like financial, IT, healthcare, retail, education etc., ensuring end user digital experience becomes key to any forward-thinking organization. Today’s digital businesses encounter a rapidly changing technology landscape. Hence they will need to rely on IT teams who are equipped with the best possible tools to ensure that they can proactively resolve problems before end users raise trouble-tickets.