User experience is central for any enterprise operating in the digital space. It’s now often a matter of getting it right or lose the customer. In fact, nearly 90 percent of users are less likely to visit a website, or stop using an app if they had a bad experience.

Performance issues that aren’t resolved can have a serious impact on brand’s revenue and reputation. According to research, 98 percent of organizations say that a single hour of downtime could cost them over £80,000. For online-first companies such as Netflix, Uber or Facebook, if the website or a mobile app is slow to respond, customers would quickly turn to the increasing number of competitor brands fighting for market share, which would be major revenue lost.

User experience monitoring is essential to provide quality service. The ability to monitor application performance made network monitoring software mission-critical for any business. This is what makes synthetic monitoring, a user experience analysis technique, an essential requirement for any digital transformation.

Cloud visibility
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An increasingly complicated IT ecosystem

Synthetic monitoring is the technique of simulating user interactions with a website or application to analyze the performance from the user's point of view. It’s not exactly a new concept but it’s the go-to choice for monitoring teams to analyze application and web performance.

Surprisingly, synthetic monitoring techniques and tools have experienced little to no change at all over the last decade. At the same time, the IT environments these tools monitor have undergone a complete transformation. Modern ecosystems use multiple browsers or applications, as well as several cloud providers. With the exponential growth in the use of cloud services, the digital supply chain has become very complex. Today’s businesses are taking advantage of everything from SaaS software, and multiple APIs, to IoT, mobile and even virtual assistants.

This evolved IT ecosystem is the key reason why the legacy synthetic monitoring tools, with their app-only focus, are no longer up to the job. If a performance issue should arise, app-centric monitoring leaves IT teams blind to other network and third-party components within the network. With applications using several APIs and requiring an always-on Internet connection, current synthetic monitoring tools present limitations for digitally transforming enterprises. As a result, there has been a growing industry performance monitoring gap and businesses are increasingly struggling to address application and infrastructure performance issues.

Enterprises on a road of digital transformation, who want to integrate new services and technologies and have full visibility over them, need a new breed of synthetic monitoring.

The next phase of synthetic monitoring

The new generation of synthetic monitoring tools need to provide businesses with a full view of all components within an organization's connected services. Modern IT ecosystems are Internet-dependent, cloud-centric and involve combining a number of different technologies systems. Information from end-to-end applications, website performance, business transactions and network paths all make up part of an enterprises network, in addition to cloud infrastructure as well as Internet routing and possible outages.

To have full visibility of all of these components and enable them to instantly identify SaaS, CDN, IaaS, ISP, cloud or browser-based issues quickly, businesses need to be able to access all of this information in one place. This level of visibility will allow monitoring teams to pinpoint and resolve problems more efficiently, in turn, reducing its impact.

Additionally, this allows businesses to test user interactions across different points in the user journey and from a variety of locations. This provides an opportunity to identify any bottlenecks which can then be used to develop performance-enhancing strategies.

Synthetic monitoring is essential when launching a new product, an app or a website, to make sure the services are functioning correctly from a user’s point of view. When it comes to the use of the cloud - using cloud agents (an analysis points deployed in public cloud provider’s locations around the world) is key to analyzing everything from IT system’s key functions to Internet availability.

The synthetic monitoring market is growing exponentially, with predictions forecasting its value to increase to $770 million over the next three years. With enterprises competing in digital space, synthetic monitoring is essential to understand a user’s journey, and a long term success.