In most things, a 95% success rate is excellent. If your website uptime meets this percentage, however, it will be down for more than two and a half weeks every year. Every cache overrun and network bottleneck could stall a revenue stream. It’s crucial that you respond to your website’s every need, whether you’re located in the server room or in a waiting room.
Mobile apps are solving the proximity problem. Monitoring isn’t tied to anything but your current location, and you can set text- and beeper alerts on almost any indicator you choose. The trick is to figure out what to alert on, so you prevent downtime—and protect your sanity.
The trifecta of mobile monitoring
From uptime and root-cause analyses to response time statistics and historical data about outages, every consideration is fair game. Yes, it is technically possible to monitor everything, and even desirable from a behind-the-scenes, root-cause mindset. But it’s impractical, even dangerous, to get mobile alerts on every little problem.
Google ‘alert fatigue’ and witness some of the worst-case scenarios that come with excessive beeps. While IT monitoring isn’t a matter of life-or-death, the stakes are still high enough to think carefully about curating what you monitor.
In a nutshell, you only want an alert when customer experience is threatened. This narrows you down to three important considerations.
- Uptime. This is the gold standard of monitoring. Even non-techies are familiar with uptime, and for good reason. Slow uptime sacrifices the best of your website-building efforts, from all that money spent on SEO (users find you, but quickly grow frustrated and leave) to engagement, loyalty and sales. Search engines also take uptime into consideration because their goal is to provide users with reliable links. Make uptime a core piece of your monitoring toolbox.
- Page load speed. You don’t want to remind users of their old dial-up connections, nor do you want your pages to throw errors instead of displaying that carefully crafted copy. Alternatively, everything might load fine, until the scripts that create new customer accounts freeze when users click submit. Or returning customers wait while your database drags its feet pulling information. You need to know what your software is doing, and page load speed is the blanket consideration that will warn you of trouble.
- Hardware. Website load tolerances, CPU loads and network latencies might make the difference between your best sales day of the year and your worst day ever. Your website should be able to tolerate holiday spikes and media mentions—and if it can’t, your mobile app should quickly warn you of trouble.
Mobile monitoring as preventative medicine
There are two self-evident truths in monitoring: Preventing problems is cheaper than fixing them, and interruptions in service will stall revenue flows. On mobile, it becomes easy to respond quickly when events happen. The charts, graphs and real-time stats that have become so integral to monitoring from your office show up right on your device.
You can reach for that industry-standard 99.9% uptime without being chained to your desk, and if you’re careful about curating your alerts, you’ll do so without being glued to your phone, either.