Pushing the UX envelope with APM

Pushing the UX envelope with APM

John Yang, Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan, Progress, on understanding app pain points for quality user experience.

John Yang, Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan, Progress

Customers today are spending more time on digital channels than ever – and this upward trend is likely to continue.

According to research by data.ai, time spent on apps by Singaporeans rose 62% between 2019 and 2022.

For the modern business, understanding what users need and want from these applications is essential. Ultimately, the only thing that concerns the end-user is how the app performs.

Research by Cisco found that 60% of customers blame the application or brand for performance issues.

Unfortunately, research reveals many businesses across Asia Pacific, not just Singapore, are found lacking, with a joint report by Econsultancy and Adobe finding that only eight percent of organizations in the region were confident of delivering delightful digital customer experiences.

It’s vital that organizations review how they think about the end-user and prioritize performance and overall user experience above all else.

It pays to acknowledge that apps do not exist in isolation and the overall performance of the network is a key determiner of performance. To understand how apps are running on both internal servers and the cloud is crucial to identifying and troubleshooting pain points before they impact the business.

Thankfully, this can be done by deploying the right Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool.

As businesses adopt more IT solutions and become more application-centric, digital complexity becomes more of an issue and application management that much more difficult. This not only has the potential to create friction for end-users but can also hamper compliance with performance-related service level agreements (SLAs).

Whether performance issues are due to network or application delays, the need to ensure optimum application experience rests on being able to accurately identify pain points. This hinges on monitoring application performance and comparing delivery to agreed SLA targets.

Thankfully, businesses can skirt the downsides via effective detection of app traffic, and then processing that information to perform transmission control protocol (TCP) assembly of the connection.

APM solutions can help the business do this by parsing the application layer and measuring responses and other metrics.

Crucially, APM measures the transport time of a request from user to application and is also able to track precise application delay, and response time from the application server to the request. Details such as the number of transactions, server response time, network transport time and number of concurrent users can then be easily viewed in the APM console.

Corrective measures can then be taken swiftly, as IT and network teams will be equipped with details about the transaction.

IT can then troubleshoot the transaction, accessing detailed information like query details, including parameters.

The issue can then be resolved and application performance restored.

APM tools are by no means a silver bullet.

Organizations may find that they can’t monitor all apps, all the time.

They may have to prioritize monitoring based on what type of transaction each app is used for.

Similarly, integration with IT’s wider monitoring ecosystem is key – an APM tool that isn’t will not work optimally.

Through automation, intelligent and configurable performance issue alerts, as well as tailored reporting, the right APM solution will propel businesses to the next level. Equipped with actionable insights into how end-users feel about an app, how satisfied they are or aren’t, decision-makers can then actually deeply understand end-users’ experience.

Addressing the issue of substandard or slow app performance – whether network or app-related – rests on having complete visibility into the network, its related resources and the state of applications.

Customers expect businesses to go above and beyond for them, and the latter cannot do this if they are incapable of identifying and resolving issues quickly and effectively.

With user expectations at an all-time high, quick resolution of issues will demonstrate to customers that their interaction with the brand can be seamless, because the brand prioritizes their overall experience.

At the end of the day, what gets measured gets done.

Corrective action can only be administered when time is taken to understand what APM brings to the table – which can then be used to boost network, application and customer experience. This, in turn, will ensure the business is more nimble, saving valuable time and delivering the high levels of app performance that is expected of them.

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