All businesses today are undergoing some kind of digital transformation. But the lack of holistic visibility across software and associated infrastructures means that many technologists are having to make business-critical decisions without full insight of the potential outcomes or repercussions.
Whether it’s a lack of certainty on how users might react to an update, or struggling to see all the dependencies for a cloud migration, many businesses are unable to act with complete confidence as they lack the data and insight needed to make changes of this importance.
With the added pressure that in today’s world, decisions and changes need to happen at breakneck speed, and business or career objectives are often tied to the success or failure of these moves, having the data and insight to make the right decision is more critical than ever.
Here are the common problems technologists face when it comes to digital transformation.
A key barrier to digital transformation: Avoiding costs from service failures
Service failures or outages cost businesses millions, but in a digital business, poor performance of an application or online platform is quickly becoming equal to an outage. Slow application response times can have a dramatic impact on customers and subsequently the brand: 80% of users delete applications due to poor performance.
Maintenance – let alone transformation – requires near-constant awareness of the health of your software and infrastructure stack, from how users access applications, all the way back to the database.
But making sense of all the data, transactions, and user interactions in a business is an ever-growing challenge. The volume, variety, and velocity of ‘events’ across the IT stack continues to grow. With this comes increased complexity and far longer wait time before the problem can even be identified, let alone resolved.
Proving the impact to the business
Becoming a digital business requires companies to innovate at pace and increase their release cadence, in order to roll out new digital services and application features. The pace of change can make it difficult to understand each release’s impact on business outcomes, such as revenue for the business.
Ultimately this creates issues in justifying how particular releases or updates are moving the needle for the business.
Innovation has to be justified against sales performance and customer engagement. If you have access to real-time, correlated technical and business data when there is a new software release, then this makes it easier to prove the impact on commercial goals.
With consistent, data-driven metrics, it’s possible to compare the application and business performance before, and after the release, to quickly validate its success. There’s no longer a need to guess, make assumptions or release and pray – the difference is evident, and the decision process is simplified.
Adapting applications and infrastructure to business requirements
How much system resources does a product launch require? Are there bottlenecks within your infrastructure?
Picture the early hours of the morning on a cold winter’s day: it’s Black Friday and your phone is ringing. Inaccurate estimates have led to limited system resources and the application is falling over. On the biggest shopping day of the year, estimates and guesswork just won’t do.
If you can get clear answers to the questions above, uncovering weak spots in the system infrastructure, then capacity and demand management in dynamic environments becomes easier. That in turn, allows for smarter scaling of resources as and when required.
If for example, during Black Friday, you are alerted that performance is degrading, workflows could be triggered automatically, increasing the system resources as required. No more Mean Time to Resolution panic.
What’s more, as soon as demand decreases, the platform can automatically adjust resources, allowing for optimal capacity management and cost control.
On Cyber Monday, clothing manufacturer Carhartt launched an online campaign, attracting huge numbers of website visitors. On launch day, IT and business managers used tailored dashboards to understand in real-time the health of their online store and the corresponding infrastructure stack.
This meant that any threats that could have seriously jeopardised Cyber Monday sales were immediately identified and eliminated before they became a business problem.
Measuring KPIs and achieving business objectives
If key business metrics such as turnover, conversion rate, or abandoned purchases, deviate from the norm, who sounds the alarm? Keeping a close eye on these metrics in real-time is no easy task, and counteracting problems only when they are happening keeps you on the backfoot.
With tailored dashboards, that show business and technical metrics in context and in real-time, it’s easier to keep an eye on the metrics which matter, as well as being primed to sound the alarm if they deviate from the norm. This helps to comply with business objectives, counteract problems efficiently and ensure continued progress toward the commercial objectives.
Pain from digital transformation stems from not having the right information to make decisions accurately – without the real-time insight and data, enterprises run the risk of stumbling around in the dark and tripping over the proverbial wires, unable to see which steps to take, in which order, and to what benefit.
Application Intelligence can be the light switch, providing the insight needed to troubleshoot, maintain and transform at pace. To take control of your application performance, it is important to understand which metrics require measuring, and how best to interpret the data within the context of the business objectives. When armed with application intelligence, technologists have the power not just to support the business, but to drive meaningful and successful digital transformation.