By Bjorn Engelhardt
In India and around the world, the digital experience continues to make up an increasingly large part of the overall experience a customer has with a brand or institution – and it’s become ubiquitous across industries, from e-commerce to banking. India’s customer base is young (by 2020, the average age will be 29) and Internet savvy. They want to interact digitally with organizations in real-time – and increasingly – they’re judging those organizations based on the digital experience they provide. In a world where a few seconds delay can make the difference between satisfied end users and end users flooding social media with complaints, delivering a great digital experience has become paramount – both to Indian businesses looking to satisfy customer needs, as well as the Government, which continues to ramp up the development of digital services for citizens.
This is where digital experience monitoring (DEM) comes in. Gartner defines DEM as the experience of all digital agents — human and machine — as they interact with enterprise applications and services. DEM has taken centre stage as businesses embracing digital transformation realise that to provide better user experiences, they need to monitor all aspects of the digital experience. This means it is no longer enough to just know how their network is performing. They also need to have full understanding of how the digital experience is from the point of consumption, to the end-user device.
Aligning technology with business needs
Most of the outcomes pursued by today’s organisations – including increasing customer satisfaction, attracting new customers, driving continued innovation, and reducing operating expenses – depend on how well they proactively manage users’ digital experience. This demands the right technologies.
However, aligning the needs and expectations of the business with IT’s ability to deliver isn’t always easy. According to a Riverbed survey, while 100 per cent of executives in India believe that enterprise application performance is critical to achieving optimal business performance, 81 per cent say poor performance of enterprise applications negatively impacts their productivity on a regular basis. As teams across an organization become more digital, data-driven, and technology-dependent, traditional siloed approaches to IT must give way to a more transparent and accessible model.
Organisations cannot manage what they cannot see. In order to optimise the digital experience, they must know where users are, and how they are accessing and interacting with applications. This can become quite complicated when navigating a complex web of servers, networks, web services, databases and the applications themselves.
The importance of gaining insight
When applications or services fail to perform/meet expectations, productivity – as well as the company’s bottom line – is impacted, creating problems such as lost clients/customers (42 per cent), negative impact on the brand (39 per cent), contract delays (48 per cent) and missed critical deadlines (45 per cent). The solution is to establish end-to-end visibility into application performance across the entire network. In order to close the performance gap, IT needs to establish a clear line of sight into how apps are performing, and how they impact on the end-user experience.
DEM empowers IT to monitor the actual end-user experience of any local, cloud, web, or mobile app running on any physical, virtual, or mobile device. DEM closes the visibility gap between what IT monitoring tools show and what the workforce or customers are actually experiencing. Organisations can detect issues before they start, fix bottlenecks, and make sure they do not happen again – before end users even have an opportunity to complain.
When it comes to meeting or exceeding the expectations of your digital users in today’s digital business world, the key is to understand how the experience itself is evolving and what a successful service relationship looks like from the customers’ point of view. Failing to do so could mean lost revenue, lost productivity, or even damage to a company brand.
With the number of Internet users in India slated to cross 450 million by next month (source: IAMAI-IMRB) and climb quickly, embracing the tools to ensure great digital experiences for users has never been more critical. Having a clear DEM strategy in place enables organisations to find valuable insights in application performance data and user behavior to create a superior digital experience. Not only will this give organisations a competitive advantage – and set them on the right path towards differentiating themselves from the competition – but it will also help to drive the adoption of e-services for citizens, helping the Government to achieve the ambitious goal of establishing a digital nation.
The author is senior vice president, Asia Pacific & Japan for Riverbed
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