Digital and user experience management has been the focus of multiple EMA research studies throughout the years, both as a stand-alone topic and as part of EMA’s ongoing examination of critical trends such as digital and operational transformation, IT performance optimization, and of course Application Performance Management (APM). In many respects, optimizing the digital experience for both internal end users and external customers, partners and suppliers, is at the very vanguard of all these trends. It was, for instance, the number one technology requirement in EMA’s digital transformation research.
EMA has already seen a wide range of benefits arising from more effective digital experience management. These include but are not limited to:
■ Business process optimization, given that an increasing number of business behaviors and outcomes depend on transactional interaction.
■ Business competitive, brand protection and/or revenue, as consumer interaction across the Internet is redefining both business models and business success.
■ Support for/ enabling a more effective move to cloud, as user experience management (UEM) and customer experience optimization are becoming the ultimate tests for gauging public and private cloud effectiveness.
■ Improved IT operational efficiency, as UEM can help enable IT teams to triage and prioritize far more effectively than purely siloed and component-centric insights. These efficiencies also spread far beyond operations per se to include development and IT service management teams.
■ Improved development/DevOps and agile effectiveness, by having cohesive and integrated insights into real user experience indicators across the full lifecycle of an application. These can inform on application design as well as performance.
On the other hand, monitoring, managing and even understanding the full implications of application transaction performance gets harder every year. And in the technology world, “hard” to manage is nearly synonymous with “expensive” to manage.
Particularly in this age of technology abstraction — think cloud, virtualization, containers and other technologies which separate physical infrastructure from logical execution constructs — the tasks of tracking, monitoring, and managing service quality must be automated. Abstraction adds more elements to topologies, more technologies to the list of “must have” skills, and more potential points of failure.
EMA’s latest APM research findings strongly indicate that application-related issues are increasing support costs across the board.
In terms of supporting on-premise hosted services:
■ “Excessive time troubleshooting” is the #1 application-related problem reported by IT professionals.
■ “Excessive downtime”, “lack of visibility to end-to-end execution”, and “high fixed costs relating to application support” are tied for #2.
IT teams are struggling with cloud-hosted services as well: “Transactions traversing the public Internet” are cited as #2 on the list of technologies IT organizations are “least prepared to support”, behind only Software Defined Data Centers.
Whether from an internal data center or cloud-delivered, lack of Internet visibility is particularly troubling because an enormous percentage of today’s business transactions – even those running on corporate networks— interact with the Internet in some way, shape, or form.
But digital experience management also requires attention to metrics, teamwork, dialog, organization and process issues, and we will examine those as well.
This research will answer questions such as:
■ How is digital experience being measured? What are the winning combinations? What metrics really matter?
■ What roles and organizations are most involved in digital experience management? (The answers might surprise you there, as we have already seen the growing relevance not only of development, but IT service management teams, the IT executive suite, and a wide variety of business stakeholders.)
■ The next question is then — how do organization, process priorities and leadership equate with success?
■ And finally, how do all these dimensions come together in terms of technology priorities for instrumenting, analyzing and understanding digital experience management in all its dimensions?
In other words, if you’re developing solutions to measure and optimize the digital experience of internal and external IT service consumers (including the thorny issues surrounding application delivery over hybrid environments) — what should you care most about, and why?
Our joint research spans advanced IT analytics, operational transformation, ITSM-operations integration and APM, and will examine all these technical dimensions and more, as they relate to optimizing the digital experience from both an IT and a business perspective. EMA Vice President Dennis Drogseth and Julie Craig, Research Director for Application Management, will combine forces to examine digital experience management in all of its technical, organizational, process and business implications as they increasingly span the walls dividing today’s IT markets and organizational boundaries.
Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).
Julie Craig is Research Director for Application Management at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).
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