Delivering an uninterrupted service that scales with demand is the biggest hidden challenge for IT teams.
Consider retail with increased demand at this time of year… the pressure is on. Successful Black Friday and festive shopping depends on making sure customers can always access web servers, with fast page loading times and a smooth experience from start to finish. Outages, downtime and performance degradation are the enemy. Customers are ruthless - it only takes one bad experience to lose credibility and push them to your rivals.
What makes this situation even harder is that sometimes the issues that affect your network are beyond your control, when third-party services and APIs embedded in your websites impact your customers’ experience. Just look at the effect of the recent Facebook outage - many organisations found that their pages with embedded Facebook elements were timing out or erroring, causing their apps and sites to fail, bringing transactions to a complete halt and taking reputations to rock-bottom. And if an organisation as all-powerful as Facebook can have issues, it indicates that pretty much every third-party service provider is vulnerable.
Knowing there’s a problem on your applications or network before your customers become aware of it is gold dust, and that’s where monitoring tools can make the difference. Accurate end-to-end visibility of your full service delivery chain and all your web applications is the only way you’ll be able to rapidly identify and respond to any network or application performance issues before they affect your customers – or your bottom line. And getting the tooling right means you can unify your different IT teams with insight, empowering each of them with the full picture on the same platform.
So what’s the easiest and most effective way to get the monitoring and insight you need?
Asking the right monitoring questions
Many businesses’ first instinct is to simply buy in a monitoring product and hand it over to their IT department to implement and manage. But getting full value from it can be complex and challenging, so here are four key questions to ask your IT team about what they can deliver:
1. What guarantees around fault resolution can you offer?
Ideally, you’re looking to match service level agreements to what you’d get if a service provider was delivering the monitoring service. Rapid responses are critical, and no one wants identifying and troubleshooting an issue to take days. Some providers guarantee for instance proactive issue identification within 10 minutes and mean time to route cause identification (MTTI) within 30 minutes of an incident taking place. What assurances can your team give around proactive identification of issues in real-time and troubleshooting actions to drive a faster time to resolution?
2. Can you provide a single point of contact for troubleshooting issues?
Sophisticated monitoring tools require constant vigilance and round-the-clock access to a high level of expertise if you’re to extract maximum value for your organisation. How will your IT team resource this so that end-to-end network and application issues can be resolved rapidly?
3. How will you optimise applications and network monitoring?
Advanced monitoring tools are rarely plug-and-play solutions. Instead, to get maximum benefits from them, you need to carry out continual performance audits and reviews. Plus there’s a need for ongoing training and live updates from an ecosystem of partners. Optimisation also requires integrating your monitoring tool into your core networking, security and application suites, ideally with a single dashboard that makes administration easy.Does your IT team have the resources and the expertise?
4. How will you extract and leverage insights beyond digital issues monitoring?
Beyond helping to fix digital issues, effective monitoring tools can provide valuable insights that can be leveraged to help you succeed in your different digital transformation projects. However, extracting and leveraging these insights is time-consuming and often requires subject matter expertise. Getting support from the right service provider, and leveraging their expertise and economies of scale, might be the most cost efficient and scalable option.
Eyes in all the right places
We understand that during this busy time of year you want to avoid problems with your service at all costs – but that managing and unlocking full value from the monitoring tools you need in house can put too much of a strain on your IT teams when they should be focusing on your core business priorities.
Our managed version of ThousandEyes with BT is specifically designed to meet your needs. ThousandEyes is a proactive visibility platform that offers a rich set of native networking and application capabilities so you can see and understand the experience of your customers and users, wherever they are.
We’re always on duty so you don’t have to be. Our dedicated operations team identifies issues in real-time that could degrade the performance of your services, and acts fast to resolve them, making sure your services run smoothly regardless of the volume of demand. And our technical consultants provide you with the expertise and support you need to unlock full value from ThousandEyes.