User experience monitoring proves worth the while

New Aberdeen Group research show benefits of viewing application performance through users' eyes

"Know your users" has long been a guiding principle for IT managers assessing and selecting new technologies. But when dealing with application performance issues, IT's motto needs to be "know what your users are experiencing."

That's because if you monitor how real users interact with applications as part of their daily work, you'll receive fewer complaints about application issues -- and who doesn't welcome fewer resource-grabbing, time-consuming help desk calls?

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In a newly published report, Aberdeen Group noted that the need to curb user complaints about application responsiveness and usability top the list of reasons companies adopt user experience monitoring software.

For the report, Aberdeen this summer conducted a survey of 170 organizations about end-user experience and monitoring. Investing in this type of monitoring software is proving a good value for enterprises surveyed. The results "provide solid evidence that companies that monitor the end-user experience have fewer end-user complaints with application issues and the ability to use this experience to build applications that are easier to use and require less resources to support," said Jeffrey Hill, a research analyst with Aberdeen's Technology Practice, in the report.

At best-in-class companies, Aberdeen found, IT uncovered 53% of application issues through end-user experiencing monitoring while realizing a 48% improvement in the mean time to repair application performance issues discovered through end-user experience monitoring. In addition, best-in-class companies gained a 42% increase in visibility into critical business transactions and a 15% decrease in the number of end-user complaints about application performance, the report noted.

Aberdeen also found several common characteristics among best-in-class companies. For example, 65% use the user experience as part of the application design or when making changes, 63% have the ability to associate user transactions with the business, and 50% monitor the user experience across multiple operating systems, the report cited.

"The message is clear," Hill said in the report, "industry average and laggard companies need to make measuring both application and end-user experience a priority."

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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