By Sneha Paul, ManageEngine
With a rapidly changing business landscape, applications usually drive the enterprise. As proof, a Gartner study reveals that in 2015, the annual IT application development investment was roughly 35 percent of total IT spending.
In turn, any organization that is investing substantially in applications should have around-the-clock mechanisms to ensure optimal functioning of those apps, especially since service disruption leads to dissatisfied customers and diluted brand equity.
Here's how to use a monitoring system to elevate your customers' satisfaction with applications:
Experience What Your Customer Does
Customer experience is an important dimension of marketing and has become the fifth marketing "C" along with commodity, cost, communication and channel. Providing a heightened user experience is imperative to keep your customers content and is easily accomplished with application performance management (APM). Using APM you can discover every device and component affiliated with an application, and understand the application topology and health for prioritization and remediation.
For instance, you observe that customer disengagement has spiked lately. With application monitoring, you can visualize your customer's experience from beginning to end. Analyze the parameters that define your application, such as how fast the application is loading for users across different browsers and from different countries. That way, you can make quick alterations to your IT infrastructure to meet user expectations while keeping an eye out for future application problems.
Use Performance Metrics to Propel Your Bottom Line
The inability to meet service level agreements (SLAs) for application performance can be detrimental to any business. A recent survey by ManageEngine revealed that 32 percent of businesses are alerted to application performance issues by end users. The same survey also revealed that it takes up to four hours to fix an application performance outage for 60 percent of businesses.
One of the functions of APM is predictive analytics, which uses historical reports and current data to predict outcomes and resource requirements in your infrastructure. APM tools help provide this insight by collecting performance metrics and providing in-depth analysis of how your business applications are performing. Reports that are embedded into dashboards alert you of any performance degradation before it magnifies to the point of affecting customers.
While migrating or scaling your application infrastructure, remember to benchmark your performance. Application performance management solutions help you maximize resource utilization by comparing important metrics during migration and identifying the scalability of your infrastructure. By taking proactive actions based on this data, business processes (such as employee onboarding, billing, creating sales orders) are supported by the application platform and business can continue. This will, in turn, help you drive revenue and avoid customer defection.
Monitor KPIs to Troubleshoot App Performance Issues
End users have little tolerance for non-functioning, broken or slow applications. With the average attention span shrinking over the years, the duration of customer engagement with your brand depends on whether you deliver the performance level they expect. Failure to meet those expectations results in abandonment and suspension of transactions, thereby resulting in a plummeting conversion rate.
By monitoring key performance indicators of your applications -- including resource availability, response time, and CPU or memory utilization -- APM software helps you prevent performance issues. It also provides root cause analysis whenever an issue is detected.
As a result, application performance management tools help IT admins quickly identify the issue's core cause and take corrective actions, thereby increasing the productivity and efficiency of the company and its employees as well as increasing the credibility of the brand. So, whether you want to add more hardware to your system to fuel your organization's organic growth, track end-user usage and compliance or prepare for a release deployment, application monitoring gives you detailed visibility that will help to troubleshoot and alleviate performance issues.
Ensure Apps Provide a Better Brand Proposition
With the current digital revolution, your applications have become your brand. And a good brand has become synonymous with high application performance that improves the customer's experience. A poor brand means intermittent service interruptions, distrust among customers and erosion of your company's reputation.
The migration of applications into the cloud ensures that customers can perform transactions regardless of where they connect from. By leveraging the five functionalities of APM -- end-user experience, runtime application architecture, business transactions, deep-dive monitoring and analytics -- you can provide great customer experience and value, whether your IT infrastructure is on-premises or virtual.
Customers are increasingly exposed to an ever-expanding plethora of choices, and businesses that do not leverage insight by monitoring and managing their digital infrastructure stand to lose to competition in the long run.
By getting a consolidated view of the resources present in different or restricted networks or geographical locations, APM helps you realize that improving application performance does not only mean reducing the slack or turnaround time. APM is all about how effectively your brand can make life easier for your customers.
Sneha Paul is a product consultant at ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corporation, where she actively follows the IT management industry and helps organizations address the challenges they face in managing their IT. For more information on ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, please visit www.manageengine.com; or follow the company blog at http://blogs.manageengine.com.