You may not be familiar with the term Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) yet, but your business continuity may depend on how quickly you learn it. I also wrote a quick primer earlier you can read here.
DEM is one of the primary functions of application performance monitoring (APM). Gartner projects that by 2020, about seven out of 10 buyers of APM will come from departments outside traditional IT. That’s because businesses today run on software-defined everything. You can’t know how your department is running unless you have the best data about how your software is performing.
That’s just as true for marketing managers as it is for finance or risk managers. As long as you have customers and you are online, you have to open a window into how the digital experience of your software looks and feels from their perspective. If you don’t, you won’t have those online customers for long.
DEM is comprised of a set of tools for measuring your digital experience and keeping your software operating at peak performance. Below are the five reasons why you really ought to have a discussion about DEM with senior execs at your firm before the end of fiscal 2017.
1. The Growth of Your Business and Your Software Are Intertwined
As your user base grow and your company with it, you will need to manage more services. What businesses don’t plan for enough is that complexity does not increase along a linear progression. As more people demand more personalized services, the complexity of delivery can increase along a logarithmic scale. That puts more strain on your network and your software, but you can’t afford to let performance suffer, or customers will stream out as fast or faster than they stream in. You are going to have to make sure that your entire digital experience turns in a winning performance at the necessary scale as everything changes. Your DEM system will give you visibility into any weaknesses or anomalies so you can catch them before the customers do. Otherwise, the perception of a faltering digital experience will hurt your reputation and growth. Both go hand in hand.
2. Performance Issues Directly Impact Revenue
It not just about the number of customers you serve. Maintaining profitability as costs fluctuate requires a steady income. Recent academic research, reported in Fast Company, found that a one-second slow down in page loading can cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales. Google, which depends on ad revenue from searches, found that a server slowdown of just four tenths of a second reduces the number of searches per day by eight million. The speed-to-revenue calculation will be unique for every business, but don’t doubt that natural impatience has a very real impact for every online business.
3. Guess Less, Know More
These days, more and more teams being responsible for producing and maintaining code within a company. With all the hands touching each project, it can be nearly impossible to figure out who is to blame for any specific software performance issues. The fact is, though, that it doesn’t matter to the customer. They just want it fixed and assurance that it will never happen again. It’s vital to not play the blame game internally just get to the resolution as fast as possible. The way to get there faster, without office politics or personal bias coming into it, is DEM.
4. Customer Demands Are Increasing
Customers can and should demand more. That’s the pressure that keeps innovation alive. Their full digital experience with your company includes access over the web through your apps on their mobile devices and, increasingly, the internet of things. They weren’t sold on your services working some of the time. They expect you to perform at your very best at all times. You will certainly disappoint somebody sometime, but in today’s world of instant communication, your brand may suffer severe damage by users complaining publicly and bad news spreading like wildfire before you can fix it. The result: Death by 1,000 tweets. DEM will be your first line of defense.
5. The Customer Is Not Your Sandbox
Nobody wants to be the guinea pig. When your application goes live, you should have perfect confidence that it is production ready and good enough for a review in a leading industry influencer site. Don’t hold your breath before each release, hoping your team thought of everything. Use proper pre-production, load-testing and synthetic monitoring techniques to ensure that you discover performance issues long before any customer discovers a weakness.
DEM guides you in testing how your site will perform on every device, browser, and location.
Thinking Like a Software Exec
UC Irvine professor Vijay Gurbaxani said it best, “You may be thinking: but my company isn’t a software company. That may be the case, but the current business environment requires all leaders to view their companies as software businesses—and think like software executives.” That’s because customers don’t think of you in terms of what industry you are in. They only care about how your digital experience makes their life better. If it doesn’t, or your service levels decline, your competition is just a swipe away.