Industry experts — from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors — offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2021. Part 3 covers monitoring.
END USER EXPERIENCE PRIORITY
We will continue to see more companies use End-User Experience Management (EUEM) tools to ensure a positive and consistent user experience for their employees, regardless of their location. EUEM tools will serve as a compliment and first-line of defense for APM and ITSM tools, to be able to identify potential system related issues that are impacting a user's experience. As it becomes safe to return to work, we expect that companies will rely on these tools to identify which portions of the workforce would benefit the most from returning to office. We are already seeing companies use EUEM tools as part of their digital transformation projects. These tools provide companies with tangible insights from their users, allowing for better targeted investments. As the EUEM market continues to grow, I expect that new and traditional players will develop these tools and focus on differentiating factors such as their use of AI, to position themselves in the market.
Customer Success Manager, Knoa Software
In 2021, end user experience will become IT's most prominent software selection criteria. In the aftermath of the pandemic, organizations are going to be forced to rethink the employee-facing solutions they deploy to not only deliver a more consumer-like experience — particularly to satisfy the heightened digital needs of Millennial and Gen Z workers — but to also improve employee retention and ensure user productivity. With mobile working models in force indefinitely, it will be vital to adopt technology that helps both keep and attract employees — from increasingly remote places. Since we are no-longer tied to specific office locations, employees have greater employment choice and will only remain where they are valued, productive and supported with the technology and experience that keeps them engaged.
It's going to get harder to understand application performance because solutions will be driven by a patchwork of SaaS tools, each with its own characteristics. But I don't really think that's the problem. The goal for 2021 should be to focus on the end-user experience and business outcomes. I don't care how well Google Mail is doing, I care about my experience on it. At the end of the day, all that matters is the user experience.
RISE OF THE CHIEF EXPERIENCE OFFICER
The Rise of the Chief Experience Officer/CExO: The enterprise's ability to handle disruption to its digital workforce has become a new critical measure for its business continuity and resilience. In the wake of the sudden shift (and now more permanent prominence) to remote and hybrid work, a new set of roles will rise across HR and IT to ensure "digital experience" for employees and customers are meeting their expectations — and the business'. Two decades ago we saw the rise of Chief Information Security officers became the new "deputies" to the CIO to ensure business resiliency in the wake of persistent cybersecurity threats. And now similarly a new role emerges as a response to empower the digital workplace — "Experience Officers" have the potential to emerge to drive exceptional employee and customer experience that support resiliency, productivity, and profit.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL AGREEMENTS AND EXPERIENCE PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
The dramatic shift to a massively distributed and digital workforce in 2020 has required enterprises to understand how things like technical problems and application performance issues impact the productivity and satisfaction of their employees, as well as their overall business results. As part of this, we are seeing growing interest in and the adoption of Experience Level Agreements (XLAs) and Experience Performance Indicators (XPIs), which give insight into the business impact of a blend objective measure like application response time and subjective measures like user sentiment. XPIs and XLAs are and will continue to be the new norm for measuring digital employee experience.
CTO and SVP of R&D, Aternity
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RUM SUPPORTS REMOTE WORK
In 2021, APM tools will introduce advanced automation capabilities that reveal in-depth insight into remote worker productivity using real user monitoring (RUM). Automation will provide IT leaders with data needed to make critical decisions such as increasing resourcing levels, adding workloads to the cloud, identifying connectivity issues, and any other opportunities that help to ease the burden on employees.
Director of Product Marketing, Exoprise
EMBRACING DIGITAL EXPERIENCE MONITORING
Work from home existed even before Covid struck businesses globally. The magnitude today has increased several folds. With the advancement in remote technology solutions, employees have benefited from maintaining a healthy work-life balance. However, as more workers continue to adopt this new norm and spend most of their time utilizing SaaS application services, IT leaders will need to embrace digital experience monitoring (DEM) into their existing strategy. This rewiring of new monitoring practices will become a corporate-wide business initiative to maintain market competitiveness and align with bottom line.
Director of Product Marketing, Exoprise
Read Sidharth Kumar's recent blog on APMdigest: 7 Reasons Why Real User Monitoring (RUM) Matters
CONVERGENCE OF DIGITAL AND END USER EXPERIENCE TOOLS
The rapid growth of digital services (eCommerce, video streaming, gaming etc.) during the pandemic will continue to fuel an increased focus on digital experience. Next year, we will likely see organizations innovate and adapt their online presence, create new delivery channels and learn from their experience during the pandemic leading to a convergence of digital and customer experience solutions.
VP of Product, Datadog
MONITORING - NOW MORE THAN EVER
The spike in digital transformation we saw this year will carry into 2021 and businesses will invest more into their IT budgets to adopt strategies that support seamless processes and transitions. As we saw in our own AppDynamics Agents of Transformation Report this year, 74 percent of technologists reported that digital transformation projects which would typically have taken more than a year to be approved were signed off in a matter of weeks. It will not be the same as we saw in Spring 2020, however, this increased pace of transformation will continue as we also continue to live more digital lives. Due to this change, monitoring tools will be more necessary than ever to support the IT practitioners who are managing an influx of applications and data.
Better integrations with APM, NPM, NetFlow, and service desks will be a priority for IT Infrastructure Monitoring solutions, according to reviewers on IT Central Station. These lack of integrations force buyers to look at additional solutions for their business, which can be costly. Vendors who prepackage these integrations into products going forward will have peaked market interest.
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station
CLOUD-FIRST MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT
As enterprise networks moved outside of a walled garden, the traditional ways for measuring Application Performance will soon become ineffective and obsolete. An emergent networking paradigm revolving around the end user will see the rise of a new set of tools. These tools will be powered by AI and ruled by automation principles, not only capable of measuring App Performance over any kind of network connectivity but also dynamically keeping QoE high for the remote worker hooked to an unstable networking environment. Constantly contextualizing and correlating the behavior of the user and the usage of the app, whether it is an on-premise DC or SaaS one, the new toolset would be delivered in an agile and instantly deployable fashion, only offered through a cloud-first model. This produces unprecedented implementation time and offers a range of as-a-service delivery models able to change the theoretical App Performance data into hands-on resolution through managed service. The future is cloud-first and work-from-home, both redefining Application Performance as well as the way you measure it and guarantee it.
VP Product, SD-WAN, Infovista
With the adoption of each new XaaS, collaboration across IT silos will increase. Cloud-based services are ubiquitous and with each new as-a-service solution, collaboration between traditionally-siloed IT teams will increase, as enterprises seek to maintain control of their digital experience. Migrating apps and services to the cloud means taking on a complex set of external, interdependent services — requiring a new level of actual human collaboration, be it network engineers, app developers or security experts, to operate and manage them. Given that IT teams must operate in a highly collaborative way across functions, 2021 will see increased use of solutions that can serve as a common operating language across different IT domains. Monitoring technologies with cross-stack observability across external services will become part of the critical IT toolset, helping enterprise teams, and even external providers, quickly get on the same page to optimize and troubleshoot faster.
Budgets shift to support application stack modernization: IT modernization was already on the radar for many organizations, but the pandemic has shocked the system and created a heightened sense of urgency. Our research shows that IT leaders are accelerating projects aimed to increase efficiencies and business agility while improving application performance for better user experiences. As a result, 2021 IT budgets are shifting to support the adoption of modern application stack solutions, many of which are aimed directly at addressing network and application performance requirements, including network monitoring tools, automation, and orchestration solutions, and application traffic management.
VP of Architecture, NS1
There will be a rise of "Switzerland platforms" that can unify tools, teams and workflows. As companies embrace the cloud, most will not be able to leave their legacy environments and tools fully behind. Siloed and fragmented Cloud Ops, DevOps, IT Ops and NOC teams will prevent organizations from being able to drive across-the-board improvements in uptime, SLAs and MTTx metrics. This will be an obstacle for CIOs and IT executives looking to maximize uptime and delight customers, which will lead to "Switzerland platforms" being a must-have.
VP of Global Sales, BigPanda
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