Expectations of business users have changed and continue to increase in scope. Historically, most IT organizations simply reacted to user problems and issues as they emerged, hopeful that a manageable number of low-impact, end-user-discovered problems would arrive as problem tickets. Usually the first indication of any problem was a user call to the help desk. If that call didnít come in, the assumption was that everything must be working fine. However, in reality, a customer might have encountered an unacceptable performance issue and moved on to a competitor without communicating the issue.
This traditional reactive approach to the end-user experience is rapidly becoming obsolete in today's Web-based and user-centric world. The new reality is that end-user expectations and high levels of performance against Service Level Agreements (SLAs) must be met or the organization risks the loss of business. As a result, today's IT organizations must be able to accurately answer the following critical questions at any point in time:
In the current competitive marketplace, your customers, regardless of whether they're internal or external, expect perfect IT delivery of business services. A poor customer experience can cost the company a missed or lost revenue opportunity and a decline in potential future revenue streams. To understand the quality of business services, you must be able to map the end-user experience to the performance of the underlying infrastructure and components.
The IT organization is no longer viewed as a cost center but, rather, as a revenue generator for leading companies. The strategic value of IT begins with effective monitoring of the end-user experience and ends with the ability to correlate what the user is experiencing (the business reality) with what is happening within the IT infrastructure.
Delivering a Successful End-User Experience
IT infrastructure management involves more than just monitoring the performance and availability of the systems and network. Performance and availability of the IT infrastructure can appear to be at peak performance, yet some users might be receiving less-than-desirable response times from their applications. The cause of this problem could be geographically isolated, due to network routing, or it might be related to application usage patterns for a specific type of user. The application user interface design may not lend itself to a desired response time experience for the end-user. Regardless of the underlying cause, IT teams must first understand what end users are actually experiencing with the application.
Large organizations demand ongoing availability and reliability from their IT systems, which requires deploying response time monitoring tools to provide invaluable information for establishing and meeting service-level goals, as well as for interpreting performance and the end-user experience. All of which results in increased customer satisfaction. Response time monitoring software is critical for determining application performance from the perspective of the end user and works seamlessly with existing infrastructure management tools to ensure business IT availability.
Synchronizing business objectives with the measurable and reportable performance of IT components, along with understanding the end user experience, allows organizations to clearly structure and define their role in the IT enterprise as well as to significantly increase their clients' satisfaction.
End User Service Assurance: ASG's Network and User Service Alignment Solution
ASG's Network and User Service Alignment is an end-to-end, application performance solution that centrally manages and monitors the performance of the entire IT infrastructure to ensure your end-user's experience exceeds expectations. ASG's solution quickly determines and pinpoints where performance problems exist on the network, server, application, database or desktop with a comprehensive testing suite for every component between the user and the application. This allows any organization to continually measure what the end users are experiencing, the number of transactions, where the transactions are happening, and what the end users are actually using. The result is that IT directors, network managers and business managers know that availability and response time objectives required by end-users are being achieved.
ASG's Network and User Service Alignment solution monitors the entire infrastructure supporting applications (networks, servers, middleware, and Web technology) and centrally manages enterprise-wide network performance in a single, Web-browser interface to ensure no disruptions to the business. This solution provides complete visibility to management in addition to offering drill-down capabilities to identify, address and resolve emerging infrastructure issues across the enterprise.
ASG offers a flexible, scalable solution that can grow and evolve with your technologies and business services. It effectively bridges the gap between IT performance reporting and business service performance management by monitoring and diagnosing performance and availability issues, operational efficiency, and IT service quality across the enterprise. The result is to deliver a superior end-user experience to your customers.
Successful IT is all about the end-user. Knowing -- at any point in time -- what their experience is as they consume business services backed by your IT infrastructure and components is critical. End users have come to expect and continuously demand fast access and quick response from your enterprise's applications. Organizations that cannot continuously deliver upon the end-user experience risk lost business opportunities and falling behind the competition.
It is no longer enough to monitor the end-user experience or the performance and availability of the infrastructure independently. You must know, in real time, what the user is experiencing and correlate that to what it is happening within your IT environment. With this knowledge, you can consistently deliver a superior customer experience and achieve business success.
About the Author
Ed Hallock, ASG Senior Director of Solutions Management, sets the strategic direction and marketing initiatives for all of ASG's performance management and operations management solutions, including the ASG-TMON family of products. Prior to joining ASG, Ed served as Director of Product Management at Mobius Management Systems and for Candle Corporation's OMEGAMONÒ product line.