5 Principles to Guide Your Mobile Monitoring Decisions
October 10, 2014

Amir Rozenberg
Perfecto Mobile

Share this

Mobile is explosive in nature. It has been shown more than once that across verticals, it’s very expensive to be naïve as to the expected user adoption when it comes to mobile applications. You quickly come to realize you need to understand the behavior of the application in production.

Mobile monitoring is materially different from web monitoring, mainly due to the nature of the highly capable thick client. At the same time, the trends repeat: in the same way web monitoring quickly evolved to adopt the end user perspective through specific browsers and browser versions, also here, mobile monitoring is irrelevant if you’re not opting to adopt the end user perspective.

With that in mind, there are more than a few choices when coming to select your mobile monitoring solution. Here are some principles you want to keep in mind as you decide about your initial foray into this space.

1. Real Devices Matter

Adopt your end user perspective. This is a very simple, core principle. Browser emulation is equivalent to network monitoring. Imagine one user with iPhone 4S, and 10 applications running in the background. Another user with iPhone 6 and no applications running in the background. Will the server respond to both at the same time? Of course. Will the customer experience be the same? Absolutely not.

Further, commonly it’s not even possible to record and replay the calls from the device to the backend correctly. You almost need to recreate the application in your script, not to mention complex encryption that is usually applied to the backend calls. Long story short, if you’re not using what your users are seeing, you’re blind. It’s as simple as that.

2. Real devices drive triage

Are your existing tools able to provide you sufficient data about what happens on the application? With so much happening inside the thick client, you may want to understand the CPU and memory consumption when things go south. You will want to contrast this data across different devices, versions of the application, geographies and carriers. You will also want to have access to clean data that’s devoid of as much noise from the crowd, because it’s important for you to get to the root cause fast. We’ll come to it a bit later, but also your ability to extract UI elements will help you understand better what happened.

3. Know early

Probably the one thing you really want to avoid is seeing your brand showing in the media with the word "outage" next to it. The key is to know early there’s an issue and eliminate it quickly. To know early means that you can’t wait on your users to tell you: you need to proactively exercise the application and complete delivery chain frequently through the key user scenarios that are important. You want to setup and fine tune alerts that give you the information you need to be aware and act quickly.

4. Independence is key

If you made it this far down the article, you’re serious about finding a solution, and you need to show impact quickly. Going to the IT organization and asking them to install an agent inside the firewall to report metrics? Going to the developer and convincing them to embed a 3rd party SDK into the application? Maybe not the best strategy to achieve the desired outcome quickly. In fact, it’s commonly known that SDKs embedded into the application need to be looked at closely in terms of user privacy, application security and hit on the application performance. So much so that only 21% of developers integrate such SDKs into their application, according to Forrester.

The solution to gain insight into the end user experience quickly is via a SaaS solution that’s based on real devices and provides end-user perspective ongoing monitoring of the mobile application.

5. Continuous Integration schemas mandate insight ahead of launch

It’s no secret the mobile ecosystem is leading the "Shift-Left" paradigm change. With 2-week release cycles, there is no room for error, nor is there room for finding a performance issue just before going to production. Many organizations are breaking ground by monitoring the next release of the application based on the nightly build. This is a good measure to ensure there are no surprises on the launch of a new version of the application, perhaps even on new devices, such as iPhone 6, or new OS such as iOS8.

The practice of mobile monitoring is evolving the way people are used to think about monitoring. There are new users with challenging expectations, new people involved in monitoring (such as DevOps) and new tools. It’s important to pick the right tool to achieve insight into the application in production before your users share their frustration with friends and the media.

Amir Rozenberg is Director of Product Management for Perfecto Mobile.

Share this

The Latest

December 05, 2019

Application performance monitoring (APM) has become one of the key strategies adopted by IT teams and application owners in today’s era of digital business services. Application downtime has always been considered adverse to business productivity. But in today’s digital economy, what is becoming equally dreadful is application slowdown. When an application is slow, the end user’s experience accessing the application is negatively affected leaving a dent on the business in terms of commercial loss and brand damage ...

December 04, 2019

Useful digital transformation means altering or designing new business processes, and implementing them via the people and technology changes needed to support these new business processes ...

December 03, 2019
The word "digital" is today thrown around in word and phrase like rice at a wedding and never do two utterances thereof have the same meaning. Common phrases like "digital skills" and "digital transformation" are explained in 101 different ways. The outcome of this is a predictable cycle of confusion, especially at business management level where often the answer to business issues is "more technology" ...
December 02, 2019

xMatters recently released the results of its Incident Management in the Age of Customer-Centricity research study to better understand the range of various incident management practices and how the increased focus on customer experience has caused roles across an organization to evolve. Findings highlight the ongoing challenges organizations face as they continue to introduce and rapidly evolve digital services ...

November 26, 2019

The new App Attention Index Report from AppDynamics finds that consumers are using an average 32 digital services every day — more than four times as many as they realize. What's more, their use of digital services has evolved from a conscious decision to carry around a device and use it for a specific task, to an unconscious and automated behavior — a digital reflex. So what does all this mean for the IT teams driving application performance on the backend? Bottom line: delivering seamless and world-class digital experiences is critical if businesses want to stay relevant and ensure long-term customer loyalty. Here are some key considerations for IT leaders and developers to consider ...

November 25, 2019

Through the adoption of agile technologies, financial firms can begin to use software to both operate more effectively and be faster to market with improvements for customer experiences. Making sure there is the necessary software in place to give customers frictionless everyday activities, like remote deposits, business overdraft services and wealth management, is key for a positive customer experience ...

November 21, 2019

For the past two years, Couchbase has been digging into enterprises' digital strategies. Can they deliver the experiences and services their end-users need? What pressure are they under to innovate and succeed? And what is driving investments in new technologies? ...

November 20, 2019

Adapting to new business requirements and technological shifts requires that IT Ops teams adopt a different viewpoint, and along with that, skills and culture. A survey by OpsRamp uncovered some common thinking among IT Operations leaders on how to address talent, budget, and data management pains amid digital disruption ...

November 19, 2019

Unexpected and unintentional drops in network quality, so-called network brownouts, cause serious financial damage and frustrate employees. A recent survey sponsored by Netrounds reveals that more than 60% of network brownouts are first discovered by IT’s internal and external customers, or never even reported, instead of being proactively detected by IT organizations ...

November 18, 2019

Digital transformation reaches into every aspect of our work and personal lives, to the point that there is an automatic expectation of 24/7, anywhere availability regarding any organization with an online presence. This environment is ripe for artificial intelligence, so it's no surprise that IT Operations has been an early adopter of AI ...