The Essential Tools to Support Digital Transformation - Part 1
May 07, 2018
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Almost every company is facing the challenge of digital transformation today. This means rethinking and retooling your company to compete and succeed in an increasingly digital world.

The digital transformation initiative within your organization has many aspects. It is about reaching your customers, and keeping them happy, in the digital economy. It is about supplying your team with the right technology to be faster, more efficient, and more innovative.

With all these goals to accomplish, where do you start? While digital transformation is not only about technology — and the right place to start may be transforming the company culture — the right tools can help. To find out what these right tools are, APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry — from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors — for their opinions on the essential tools to support digital transformation. There is a wide range of tooling listed. The experts have many differing recommendations, but each one can be a valuable source of information. Each tip could possibly change your view, or make you think about tools — or ways to use those tools — that you have not thought about before.

The list of Essential Tools to Support Digital Transformation will be posted in 7 parts over the next week. Part 1 starts with the digital experience.

DIGITAL EXPERIENCE MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT

Many organizations incorrectly associate a digital transformation with the use of new technologies to solve old problems, only faster and cheaper. A real transformation means markedly changing an operation with new tech, not playing an old game better. To this end, the most important tool in the biztech arsenal will be Digital Experience Monitoring — a solution that moves beyond simplistic availability and response time monitoring to analyzing and optimizing every digital experience across every customer journey. To effectively support digital transformation initiatives, IT operations must strategically invest in Digital Experience Monitoring.
Pete Waterhouse
Advisor, Product Marketing, CA Technologies

The basis of digital transformation is the digital business service, made possible by digital technologies. Value as perceived by the customer is increasingly dependent on the digital aspects of a customer's journey, which is making the digital user experience critical to remaining competitive. So, the most important tool needed to support digital transformation is one that can monitor every aspect of digital business service performance. This includes the ability to measure critical quality touch points associated with the user experience and correlate them in real time to all components of digital business services — inclusive of business transactions, applications and the supporting infrastructure — regardless of the technology, supplier or deployment model.
John Worthington
Director Product Marketing, eG Innovations

Digital transformation is being driven by a massive influx in applications to offer new services, align customer experiences, and drive better partner relationships. But ensuring that these same apps hit their mark is a huge, concerning area for most companies. Although some products monitor the end user experience of web and mobile apps, companies need to do so for a broader portfolio of apps driving digital transformation — SaaS based, cloud based, running on virtual environments, or traditional client-server. Both in the development and production environments, companies need to leverage Digital Experience Management solutions to drive both business benefits and differentiated value.
Erik Hille
Product Marketing Director, SteelCentral at Riverbed

Digital transformation touches every part of the organization and is both an inevitable and overwhelming undertaking. In order to support digital transformation, companies should make sure they are using Digital Experience Management (DEM) to ensure their most important asset, their employees, are productive and successful. As employees depend more and more on applications and underlying infrastructure to get their jobs done, DEM-empowered IT teams are able to proactively detect and automatically remediate experience issues, and engage with employee to improve their efficiency and satisfaction.
Vincent Bieri
Co-Founder and Chief Product Evangelist, Nexthink

APPLICATION PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT (APM)

With the convergence of technology finding its way from the corporate world to our personal devices and home appliances, meeting the expectations of a quality customer experience is a formidable challenge. You need a strong Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solution consisting of three factions, Wire Data Analytics, Synthetic Transactions, and Agent Code Instrumentation, that will dynamically manage the end-user-experience. I see APM as "table stakes" on the digital transformation front because you can't improve what you don't measure.
Larry Dragich
Technology Executive and Founder of the APM Strategies Group on LinkedIn.

Read Larry Dragich's New Blog: Digital Transformation Needs Intentionality

Real users who reviewed APM solutions in the IT Central Station community explain that APM tools help them with their digital transformation journey by ensuring their microservices perform well, by enabling them to scale AI initiatives, and by providing actionable data about customer experience.
Russell Rothstein
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station

Download IT Central Station's review roundup report to learn how real users are utilizing APM solutions as part of their digital transformation.

Digital transformation should begin and end with the experience of the user or customer. If our technology solutions do not somehow enhance interactions with customers, they're missing the point. Digital transformation will benefit from tools that provide insight, feedback and a more predictive approach to improving the experience between a supplier and consumer. An APM (Application Performance Management) tool can provide organizations with the telemetry of information needed to develop a digital business that focuses on enhancing the customer experience.
Ryan Lynn
VP Emerging Technology | Office of the CTO, Trace3

Digital transformation is massively complex and consequential. Businesses that get it right will grow and thrive, while those that are slow to adopt face an uncertain future. But getting there isn't easy. Application teams need to orchestrate millions of lines of code across highly distributed, multicloud environments and manage relentless code releases that introduce constant change. And this complexity is growing as consumers demand flawless digital experiences. Businesses need an APM tool that simplifies digital performance management, silences the noise and surfaces insights from backwards-looking to real-time actionable answers about how application performance is driving customer experiences and business outcomes.
Marrisa Shumway
Sr. Director of Product Marketing, AppDynamics

An essential part of the digital transformation is fast paced and agile development. Modern companies who develop their own platforms execute anywhere from several up to several hundred deployments per day. (For example, developers at Airbnb ship more than 1,000 changes across thousands of microservices every day.) APM is crucial in these cases to understand the impact of every deployment automatically, and to align services accordingly.
Boris Krasniansky
Solution Architect, Correlsense

In the current volatile market scenario, businesses across the spectrum cannot afford to relax and count on their strategies in isolation. Digital Transformation is not only empowering consumers, but also creating digital disruption for businesses. Organizations need to manage this disruption effectively and keep exploring new user environments, service/product promotion patterns and emerging market scenarios. While this happens, the focus has to be on ensuring performance of the application that interacts with the customers and puts your service/product out there. It will not only help ensure the performance of your applications, but also offer the promised consumer experience.
Komal Lopez
Marketing Manager, Cigniti Technologies

END USER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT

User experience management software is essential for ensuring successful digital transformation. Digital transformation isn't simply a matter of making applications available on mobile devices or via the cloud; it requires an effective continuous process for empowering employees and increasing operational excellence. By employing user experience management software, you can find out exactly which applications, processes and workflows your employees are finding too slow, complicated and clunky, as well as which applications are the most widely used so that you can prioritize migration accordingly. This gives you a roadmap for digital transformation that focuses not just on technology, but on usability and workforce efficiency — and enables you to measure your upgrades for overall savings and efficiency impact through every step of the process.
Brian Berns
CEO, Knoa Software

Read The Essential Tools to Support Digital Transformation - Part 2, covering the network and the cloud.

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