How IT decision makers can deliver best-in-class digital experiences

Whitney Satin
Director of Product Marketing, AppDynamics, Part of Cisco


Requests for home deliveries and curbside pickups in Canada have boomed as consumers look to reduce in-person contact with others, and digital apps and ecommerce platforms are undergoing a major stress test of constant usage. Nearly 30 per cent of Canadians are buying products online that they would normally shop for in person, and an iconic Canadian retailer, has seen 25 to 30 times the demand for purchases on their website. Business leaders and IT decision makers who settle for a reactive approach to this pandemic demand risk the integrity of their customers’ experience.

This is illustrated by a recent survey revealing that 81 per cent of Canadian IT professionals say the pandemic has created the biggest technology pressure they have ever experienced, with 93 per cent saying visibility and insight into the performance of the technology stack and its impact on the business is the most important factor during this period. As this rate of digital transformation continues, it is imperative for today’s digital-first businesses to optimize the end-user experience of their most valuable stakeholder – the customer.

Technologists see firsthand how the connection between IT and business isn’t always strong and it has become increasingly important. As part of the recent survey, technologists report not having the resources and support they need to make this priority shift because they lack the visibility and insights they need to deliver a quality customer experience. The inability to manage spikes in web traffic, manage mean time to resolution with remote IT teams and view overall app performance are the most prominent and well-known barriers.

The value of deep insights

Most IT Ops and app owners lack the ability to auto-discover and manage dynamic user patterns. When patterns change or drop offs occur, it can be difficult to isolate the root cause because teams often rely on siloed application performance management tools deployed across the enterprise. Multiple teams receiving disparate data from competing sources makes it extremely difficult to pinpoint the underlying issue and drive resolution within a reasonable timeframe.

However, by adopting the latest monitoring tools from leading application performance management solutions, enterprises can capture rich, multi-dimensional views of the customer journey. With true end-to-end visibility of a business application’s environments, IT departments can evaluate the most business critical pathways to optimize the customer experience and ultimately, increase business continuity. 

Customer experience journey mapping

With many user journeys, it’s critical to understand those that are most meaningful to driving business results through the application experience. Customer experience journey mapping tools can show a prioritized view of the user experience, business impact, and application performance.

This kind of visibility can be achieved across the full application experience by providing an aggregated view of digital sessions within an app. Not only does this track the paths that see the most traffic, it also follows the user journey leading to each step. This offers the ability to identify pain points and resolve problems with the highest impact on the customer experience for application owners, IT operations and developers.

Resource performance dashboards

Given the complexity of application environments, issues affecting the customer experience can happen for many different reasons. A resource performance dashboard can simplify the important task of gathering granular insights into backend resources, providing a clear view of resource-related performance issues such as changes in the number of resources, slow content delivery networks and size increases in digital assets.

This kind of insight into resource performance creates the ability to set violation thresholds to make sure customers have a good digital experience. The ability to trend and graph the performance of each resource over time, and dynamically add criteria to focus on a specific domain or page, means issues can be diagnosed more quickly in the future.

Custom data visualization

While dashboards are effective tools to help visualize application performance data, they sometimes leave more to be desired when it comes to user functionality. With modern application performance management solutions, IT professionals can access the useful insights they need through custom data visualization tools that are simple to navigate.

This kind of customization makes it easier than ever to design effective dashboards, enhance data interactions, and reuse components. With the time savings these tools provide, insights about how application performance is impacting the digital journey happen much more quickly.

Our digitized world has IT professionals grappling to deliver seamless user experiences to meet evolving expectations. In the current climate, when a digital interaction is the only kind consumers can get, businesses have an important role to play in supporting IT professionals with the tools and resources to navigate these changes effectively. Due to these custom-tailored innovations for today’s digital-first businesses, it has never been easier to reveal and resolve hidden resource-triggered bottlenecks.

Business leaders and IT decision makers can now be empowered to proactively manage the digital journey and consistently deliver a best-in class customer experience during these precarious times.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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