The Data Is In On User Experience Management and ...
June 12, 2012

Dennis Drogseth

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Back in March I wrote a blog entitled The Many Dimensions of User Experience Management, in which I suggested that UEM was not in any way just a subset of APM or application performance management, but part of a larger continuum inclusive of business impact, user productivity and even portfolio planning.

Although I didn’t say it in that blog, I had come to see UEM as a bi-directional mirror in which one side reflects back into application and infrastructure components, and the other side reaches across into the business to capture an image of user behavior, application preferences, business process impacts, customer relationship management, security-related vulnerabilities and business outcomes ranging from revenue to value-chain optimization.

The continuum, bridged overall by UEM, I am calling “User Experience, Customer Experience and Business Impact Management.” It involves similar requirements for instrumentation and data capture, but demands more versatile approaches to analytics, reporting, and organizational readiness to address the bigger problem — including a much more proactive and informed approach to IT-to-consumer-related dialog.

I also made a bet that the data we got in from April and May would reinforce this idea, although perhaps a little less strongly than the data we captured back in Q4 2008, as I described it in the March blog.

Well, I was wrong.

In most respects, the data showed an even stronger business and certainly a stronger executive focus than we saw three years ago (back when we called UEM “QoE” for Quality of Experience).

Who did we ask?

While the research spanned more than 20 verticals, the top four were manufacturing, finance, healthcare and retail—btotaling 51% of our 202 North American respondents. Even though slightly more than half were IT Directors or below in IT - 30% were CIO or IT VP level, and we had a solid population of non-IT business executives and professionals as well. And we disqualified anyone who was directly involved with deploying, managing, planning or monitoring a UEM initiative in their environment.

When asked what the greatest changes were in UEM initiatives over the last three years, here's what appeared in ranked order:

1. UEM has become a greater concern for business development.

2. UEM is being handled through a more formalized/established UEM or Customer Experience Management Organization.

3. UEM has become more critical with the move to cloud – (69% said cloud was making UEM more important. Only 2% said it was making it less important.)

4. UEM has become more important for application performance management.

5. UEM has become more important for infrastructure performance and optimization.

6. UEM has become more important for portfolio planning.

7. UEM has become more important for getting users up to speed on new application services.

This paralleled another way of slicing and dicing User Experience initiatives. In our research we targeted five key areas and here’s how they came out ranked in order of prevalence – and priority:

1. Business impact: Monitor and optimize the business outcomes of IT-delivered business services based on user interactions

2. Performance: Monitor and optimize the effective delivery of business services to their end consumers in terms of performance and security concerns (latency, transactional efficiency)

3. Service usage: Monitor the frequency and other usage patterns with which users (by type or group) leverage IT delivered business services

4. User error/productivity: Monitor and optimize end user interaction with business services – including the efficiency with which the service is utilized in support of business processes

5. Design: Monitor and optimize the effective design and content of business services for their end consumers (navigation, relevance)

When asked if User Experience Management was primarily a business concern, a technology concern, or about both equally, 72 percent it was a joint business and technology concern about equally. This was a startling parallel with the research done three years ago where the number was 71 percent. Both primarily business and primarily technology divided up the rest with double digit answers.

Top priority drivers for UEM in 2012 were improved IT operational efficiency, business competitiveness/brand protection, employee productivity, business process optimization, better application performance, coping with or optimizing cloud, and service desk/center of excellence effectiveness.

Organizational direction skewed towards the executive in 2012. We asked the question in two ways.

First, what organizations were involved in UEM — checking all that applied. There the list was Executive IT, Network Operations, Service Desk, Applications Support and Process Management and Compliance.

But when asked which was the core driver for UEM, the answer was Executive IT - with three times the votes as the next group, Customer Experience Management, which was followed by Cross Domain Service Management.

For those still delusional enough to think that UEM is actually a subset of APM, Applications Support came in a dismal twelfth place!

We approached a lot of other areas in the research, needless to say, some of which will be covered in a webinar I’m giving at 2:00 EDT on June 26th.

The research included priorities for instrumentation, metrics, and technologies — including which technologies would be most transformative to UEM in the coming years. We looked very closely at role, perceptions and priorities, which vary meaningfully as you can imagine. We looked at maturity levels, integration priorities and reporting priorities. And of course we looked at EFFECTIVENESS in UEM. We did this three different ways: performance-centric, productivity-centric, and business-centric. Interestingly, only a modest percentage (about a third) claimed to be “very effective” in all three. But nonetheless they did have some traits in common including a strong prioritization for business impact, DevOps and portfolio planning as UEM objectives to name a few.

They were also far more likely to see their IT budget increase substantially!

If you're satisfied that you know all there is to know now about UEM, I've failed in writing this blog — which is meant to be a teaser for the webinar on June 26. I promise you'll see more new information there, some of which may shock or surprise you, as we look at how UEM can help to transform an IT organization beyond being “cost-centric” to “value-centric.”

Related Links:

Click here to register for the EMA webinar on June 26

Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
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