What makes for an effective digital experience monitoring (DEM) strategy? The simple answer: a focus on the end user.  

End users, both customer and employee, are accessing your services from a variety of locations and from a worldwide perspective (this is of course even more true currently with so many remote workforces in play). To get to your services located in the cloud and/or data center, your customers and employees must use the Internet. Each component that comprises the Internet (last mile, backbone, cloud, data centers, DNS, CDN, security providers, etc.) must be monitored. Last year’s summer of outages highlighted the fragility of the Internet and the importance of this.  

The foundational principle of effective DEM is to ensure your monitoring tools are providing the correct perspective: that of the end user. To understand what your end user is experiencing, you need to monitor from their perspective i.e. the actual user journey, visibility into how the end user is experiencing your applications is essential for any business. 

 Must-Haves for an Effective Digital Experience Monitoring Strategy 

Traditional APM (Application Performance Monitoring), NPM (Network Performance Monitoring) and ITIM (IT Infrastructure Monitoring) monitoring tools were built in the 90s at a time when the enterprise world relied on centralized datacenter based apps and systems, over which the IT department had direct control. Today, more and more businesses have migrated to the cloud and operate a cloud-based or hybrid approach, which relies on complex service architectures hosted in multiple public clouds and third-party providers.  

Traditional monitoring methods leave a ton of blind spots. DEM can eliminate these and provide full visibility, but not all DEM solutions are equal. There are some important must-haves for effective DEM. These include: 

  • Monitoring real users 
  • 24/7 proactive monitoring and testing 
  • Testing from everywhere  
  • Testing everything in the delivery chain 
  • Visibility into SaaS performance 
  • A comprehensive set of test types 
  • Advanced API capabilities 
  • Multi-dimensional charting and advanced analytics 
  • Highly granular data, including raw data 
  • Achieve accurate results: minimize false positives 

The Four Pillars of the Catchpoint Solution 

A truly comprehensive Digital Experience Monitoring strategy requires monitoring from the perspective of the end user with an outside-in approach. Solutions that claim to offer DEM often use nodes placed in cloud providers to conduct synthetic monitoring tests, which doesn’t emulate the flow of traffic from actual users..  

For Catchpoint, there are four pillars, which define our unique approach to monitoring: 

  1. Reachability – Can the end user access the application? If not, why? We need to ensure that every service involved with delivering your application is reachable.  
  2. Availability – Is the end user able to access the entire application? Can customers complete transactions? Are images loading? Are all product pages accessible? 
  3. Performance – A slow application can be even more frustrating than one that is unavailable. Performance directly impacts revenue and user experience. Know when performance is suffering and why. 
  4. Reliability – This is about guaranteeing delivery of consistent application performance, availability, and reachability within a specific time threshold. Reachability is ignored or misunderstood by many companies, but it is essential to every business.  

Watch this week’s Tip Tuesday video to learn how Catchpoint’s DEM platform provides true observability data that ensures availability, reachability, performance, and reliability through proactive synthetic and real user monitoring.