A Strategic Approach to User Experience
May 13, 2015

Gabriel Lowy

Share this

This post is an excerpt of the new Tech-Tonics Advisors report: The PADS Framework for Application Performance and User Experience.

The PADS Framework helps companies take a more strategic approach to user experience. The PADS acronym stands for performance analytics decision support. It's a framework that lets IT and business management understand the link between next-generation Application Performance Management (APM) and big data analytics to enable improved application governance and operational performance.

Across industry sectors, companies that unify APM and user experience outperform their peer group in financial results and market valuation. These companies also use 30% fewer tools to achieve these results. The majority have consolidated onto a core platform from one vendor, with tactical deployments of other vendor solutions for specific use cases, departments or technologies. They consistently deliver stellar user experiences with greater IT productivity and lower costs than their less-performing peers.

As such, the business cases for the PADS Framework approach to unified APM and operational intelligence are enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty and greater operational efficiency.

The twin missions of the PADS Framework are to:

1. Facilitate communication and collaboration among IT and business teams to proactively anticipate, identify and resolve application performance and user experience problems across the entire application delivery chain.

2. Enable IT to orchestrate and manage internally and externally sourced services efficiently to improve decision-making and business outcomes.

For companies moving business-critical applications to the cloud, continuous user monitoring is a prerequisite. In addition, as more applications are delivered to mobile users, application owners and developers need greater visibility into the performance and availability of critical apps from the user experience perspective.

APM for the App Economy

In the application-driven economy, no technology is more strategic to generating value than APM. Well-performing applications enable enterprises to deliver greater value to customers while deriving more value from their data assets.

The better apps perform, the more engaged employees are with customers and the more satisfied customers are with their user experience. Companies can generate more revenue from existing customers and win new ones. They can enhance productivity and reduce capital and operating expenses. And they can tighten adherence with GRC (governance, regulatory, compliance) and security initiatives. These are the levers to improving competitiveness and achieving return on investment (ROI) and risk management objectives.

But it's no longer enough for applications to work; they must now perform to user expectations. Users have little to no tolerance for poor application or website performance – regardless of their location or the device they are using. Studies have shown that users consider page load times of up to two seconds acceptable. At 3-5 seconds, they lose patience and by 8-10 seconds they are gone.

And service outages can be quite costly. Depending on the industry sector, slow responsiveness or complete outage (brownouts or downtime) of a company's most business critical application can cost between $100,000 and $1 million per hour. The fallout from poor transaction performance can be a loss of customers, poor operating performance, regulatory fines for non-compliance and damage to firm reputation.

Computing megatrends such as cloud, mobile and social have dramatically increased access to information. They have also given users unprecedented choice and amplified their voice. As a result, user experience has become a critical element of customer influence and loyalty.

However, these megatrends also raise complexity as more apps are beyond the direct control of IT. Modern applications have far greater connection points between the end user and the data center. Performance issues anywhere along the application delivery chain increase the risk of user frustration. Internally, the cost is lower productivity and employee engagement. Externally, poor application performance can result in lost business and customer loyalty.

A Unified Approach Correlates to Financial Outperformance

Yet because IT is held accountable for application performance – even across networks and systems that are beyond its purview – monitoring and managing user experience across all environments is a necessity. Only a strategic and unified approach to APM that collects, integrates and analyzes all data across the entire application delivery chain – from behind the firewall and out to the Web, including third-party cloud providers and mobile apps – can provide the operational intelligence to ensure a consistently outstanding end user experience.

Delivering superior end-user experiences – to customers and employees – has become the differentiator between companies that win customer loyalty and market share and those that don't. This translates into numbers that C-level management, including CIOs, and investors appreciate.

Amid a do-more-with-less budget environment and more pressure on IT to justify resources, CIOs can strengthen their role in the strategic planning process by having intelligence about revenue-generating transactions, customer interactions and usage consumption patterns that drive improved business outcomes. A more operationally efficient IT team enables businesses to act on intelligence gained from implementing a PADS Framework, unifying APM and operational intelligence. These improvements have a domino effect across all functional areas of the organization.

Gabriel Lowy is the founder of TechTonics Advisors, a research-first investor relations consultancy that helps technology companies maximize value for all stakeholders by bridging vision, strategy, product portfolio and markets with analysts and investors
Share this

The Latest

October 20, 2021

Over three quarters (79%) of database professionals are now using either a paid-for or in-house monitoring tool, according to a new survey from Redgate Software ...

October 19, 2021

Gartner announced the top strategic technology trends that organizations need to explore in 2022. With CEOs and Boards striving to find growth through direct digital connections with customers, CIOs' priorities must reflect the same business imperatives, which run through each of Gartner's top strategic tech trends for 2022 ...

October 18, 2021

Distributed tracing has been growing in popularity as a primary tool for investigating performance issues in microservices systems. Our recent DevOps Pulse survey shows a 38% increase year-over-year in organizations' tracing use. Furthermore, 64% of those respondents who are not yet using tracing indicated plans to adopt it in the next two years ...

October 14, 2021

Businesses are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to improve network performance and security, according to a new State of AIOps Study, conducted by ZK Research and Masergy ...

October 13, 2021

What may have appeared to be a stopgap solution in the spring of 2020 is now clearly our new workplace reality: It's impossible to walk back so many of the developments in workflow we've seen since then. The question is no longer when we'll all get back to the office, but how the companies that are lagging in their technological ability to facilitate remote work can catch up ...

October 12, 2021

The pandemic accelerated organizations' journey to the cloud to enable agile, on-demand, flexible access to resources, helping them align with a digital business's dynamic needs. We heard from many of our customers at the start of lockdown last year, saying they had to shift to a remote work environment, seemingly overnight, and this effort was heavily cloud-reliant. However, blindly forging ahead can backfire ...

October 07, 2021

SmartBear recently released the results of its 2021 State of Software Quality | Testing survey. I doubt you'll be surprised to hear that a "lack of time" was reported as the number one challenge to doing more testing, especially as release frequencies continue to increase. However, it was disheartening to see that a lack of time was also the number one response when we asked people to identify the biggest blocker to professional development ...

October 06, 2021

The role of the CIO is evolving with an increased focus on unlocking customer connections through service innovation, according to the 2021 Global CIO Survey. The study reveals the shift in the role of the CIO with the majority of CIO respondents stating innovation, operational efficiency, and customer experience as their top priorities ...

October 05, 2021

The perception of IT support has dramatically improved thanks to the successful response of service desks to the pandemic, lockdowns and working from home, according to new research from the Service Desk Institute (SDI), sponsored by Sunrise Software ...

October 04, 2021

Is your company trying to use artificial intelligence (AI) for business purposes like sales and marketing, finance or customer experience? If not, why not? If so, has it struggled to start AI projects and get them to work effectively? ...