What's Goin' On? Identifying and Fixing Data Blind Spots
October 27, 2015

James Gillies
Logfiller Limited

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A major IT problem for multinationals and small organizations alike is the proliferation of data blind spots, a result of the increasing divergence among IT platforms (cloud, hosted, virtualized, PC, etc.). Most departments within organizations are affected, including technical, financial, legal, compliance and security, as well as external stakeholders.

Recent advances in end-point monitoring are going in the direction of precise user experience measurement as opposed to conventional performance/machine-level monitoring. Knowing that systems are up and running is not the same as knowing that users are getting efficient use of them. These two elements generate data streams revealing distinct realities; while an enterprise's APM tools may indicate that specific applications are humming right along, it may not reveal frequent, frustrating wait times and access problems encountered across much of internal users' usage time.

Efficiently solving this problem requires a system-wide view – across all physical, virtual or hosted platforms, that details the difficulties bedeviling each end user (i.e., employee) or group of users. Scalability also mandates that such a solution be easily deployed and have a negligible footprint – meaning that it does not itself contribute to delays. Most importantly, the data produced must be of high-quality and readily attributable.

A lightweight solution that integrates easily with existing systems, requires no reconfiguration or added equipment and keeps data within an organization’s control yields the best results while raising the fewest concerns, for all the reasons mentioned. In fact, that last issue of data control, is a significant consideration influencing buying decisions in enterprises that are under increasing pressure to avoid all unnecessary routes by which data may travel out of its protective control.

Workforce productivity and morale are concerns that reinforce the increasing urgency of obtaining end user experience data at scale, enabling better and faster decisions, whether related to security, compliance or efficiency. Every enterprise wants to detect and mitigate risks associated with internal IT usage. Yet in anticipating these situations, managers must be cognizant of the sensitivities of employees concerned about unnecessary intrusions on privacy. Such solutions should allow flexibility, providing management the ability to select what data is collected. Having privacy filters that shield employees’ identities can be a morale booster, aligning loyal employees with adept managers in protecting the enterprise.

The goal is not to win the argument over IT's effectiveness but to make it unnecessary through objective, real-time, system-wide reporting of user experience data – at scale. Achieving this level of visibility enables many key enterprise goals; it begins with finding and fixing the data blind spots and empowers faster and better decisions.

James Gillies is Head of Technical at Logfiller .

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