Digital disruptions: Why C-Level execs can’t ignore poor user experience

Digital disruptions: Why C-Level execs can’t ignore poor user experience

Q&A with James Harvey, CTO Advisor EMEA, Cisco Observability, on why providing C-suite execs and boardrooms with observability tools to help them better understand their digital services and experience is key.

James Harvey, CTO Advisor EMEA, Cisco Observability

Why is digital experience has become a mission-critical priority for boardrooms and C-Suite discussions?

In this hyper-connected age, applications and digital services are now the key interface for brands to engage with both customers and employees. They won’t tolerate anything but the very best, most intuitive, seamless and secure experiences. And the business impact of technical issues is becoming too severe, including lost revenue, brand damage, employee frustration and productivity loss. Senior leadership is increasingly aware and in the fact that digital experience directly impacts the bottom line.

Is the shift that dramatic?

Research conducted by Cisco demonstrates a major change. Eight in ten (80%) global organisations consistently report on business-critical applications’ performance to C-level. Half now discuss application performance at the board level. And a staggering 75% of senior business leaders say digital experience has become a significantly more important issue for leadership.

But what makes delivering great digital experiences difficult for IT teams?

IT teams face increased pressure to manage and optimise complex and dispersed application landscapes, exacerbated by the rapid adoption of cloud-native technologies. Therefore, they are now suffering from a lack of visibility, particularly when it comes to Kubernetes environments running in public clouds. These highly distributed systems rely on thousands of containers which are spawning huge volumes of metrics, events, logs and traces (MELT) data every second.

Unfortunately, many IT teams lack the tools to cut through this overwhelming data noise. They’re still relying on multiple monitoring tools across their application landscape, so they can’t generate a unified view of availability, performance and security issues to understand dependencies and root causes and deliver quick fixes. This is particularly the case within hybrid application environments, where components are running across both cloud-native and on-premises technologies.

How can business leaders help IT rise to this new challenge?

IT teams need a full-stack observability solution which provides expanded visibility into cloud native environments and a unified view of the entire application landscape and underlying infrastructure. Observability provides a single source of truth for application availability, performance and security data, enabling technologists to manage high volumes of data effectively and prioritise actions based on business outcomes.

What metrics are now being reported to C-level executives regarding digital experience, and why are they important?

We’re now seeing CIOs and their teams reporting to C-level executives on a wide and expanding set of metrics around experience – everything from the number of unique sessions, average revenue per session and average revenue per transaction through to ‘revenue at risk’ from potential outages and overall user experience (based on defined workflows).

With full-stack observability, IT teams can manage and optimize application availability, performance and security at all times. And they can generate business context on their application performance data to prioritize actions and investment based on business outcomes. By providing detailed management reporting on application performance, IT teams can demonstrate the value that applications deliver to their organisations.

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