Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Automic Blog, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, @CloudExpo, @ThingsExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Article

Strong User Experiences | @CloudExpo @Catchpoint #DevOps #APM #WebPerf

To keep up with expectations, companies rely on third-party services to help them optimize their delivery & user experience

Delivering Strong User Experiences in This Increasingly Digital World

This article was originally published as a byline for CMS Wire.

Given the increasing reliance on digital systems to accomplish many everyday tasks, there’s no denying the performance — specifically, speed, and reliability — of these systems is critical to ensuring end users will have a positive experience.

At the forefront are industry giants like Google and Facebook, which are constantly pushing the limits of speed through innovative delivery techniques.

While consumers welcome endeavors like Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project and Facebook’s Instant Articles, they also raise the bar for all internet companies.

In this environment, companies that fail to meet users’ tough performance expectations will soon find themselves falling behind the competition — not just in terms of performance, but revenue as well.

According to a recent Harris poll survey my company sponsored, 76 percent of respondents said they avoid shopping at poorly performing sites and apps after just one poor experience.

This negative reaction extends beyond just ecommerce: half of frequent online shoppers are also less likely to visit a retailer’s brick-and-mortar store if they have a negative experience shopping online.

The Double-Edge Sword of Third-Party Services
To keep up with expectations, companies are relying on third-party services such as cloud providers, content delivery networks and tags (such as marketing analytics and social media plug-ins) to help them optimize their delivery and the user experience.

However, these external services are a double-edged sword as they add to the complexity of digital systems. The result: when something outside of one’s direct control breaks, identifying and isolating the problem requires the ability to sift through the many layers of site architecture to get to the root cause.

According to a recent survey from Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), an IT and data management research and consulting firm, 77 percent of IT professionals cite lack of insight into the performance of the cloud and other third-party services as a major obstacle to identifying and troubleshooting root causes of problems

As digital architecture gets more complex, that inability to assess exactly what is happening in those third-party services and systems will only get worse.

The Right Digital Experience Monitoring Strategy
So where does all this leave you? You don’t want to avoid using third-party services, because they can provide a valuable advantage as you scale your business to reach new consumers, as well as add features to your website.

What then is the key to delivering the best possible online customer experience without shooting yourself in the foot?

The most important aspect of a digital experience monitoring strategy is to keep track and verify the performance of every aspect of your digital service delivery, be it your own first-party infrastructure and software, or a third-party service.

This ability to segment first- and third-party elements on the page will be invaluable when it comes to the all-important processes of diagnosing and troubleshooting performance issues. Obtaining that bird’s-eye view into your own performance, as well as that of external third-party services, will not only allow you to solve problems faster, but hold third-parties accountable as far as SLA compliance is concerned.

2016 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Performance
The challenges that third-party services can present  (most notably tags) were apparent during the most recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday long holiday weekend.

Even though the overall performance of e-commerce companies was the best it’s been in years, several major retailers suffered as a direct result of third-party performance degradations.  The reality is that most third-party tags are not designed to handle massive traffic loads.

Williams-Sonoma had ongoing performance issues because of problems with Photorank, a customer photo display service that integrates within a retailer’s website and is designed to help drive conversions. Both the retailer’s desktop and mobile sites had load time spikes around 25 seconds — unacceptably slow.

Elsewhere, Walmart experienced several issues throughout the long weekend, including spotty desktop web performance starting in Phoenix then extending to New York City and Denver as the weekend progressed, all resulting directly from an issue with a Rubicon Project tag.

The desktop sites of Lenovo, QVC and Newegg also experienced issues directly attributable to third-party tags on Cyber Monday, with Lenovo’s webpage load time spiking to more than 18 seconds in the middle of the day.

How to Protect Your Website
If you want to use third-party tags, your first line of defense needs to be a thorough vetting of any third-party service before you put them into place.

You wouldn’t hire a stranger to house sit for you while you’re away, so why would allow just anyone onto your digital properties?

Less is often more when it comes to third-party tags, and you should not only be asking yourself if a particular service is capable of providing the top-notch service you require, but also whether that service is even necessary. This vigilance becomes even more important during peak traffic periods, when the risk of misbehaving third-party tags multiplies.

Monitor Cloud Service Providers, CDNs
In addition to monitoring third-party tags, it is critical to monitor cloud service providers and content delivery networks (CDNs) as well. Clouds can provide instant scalability, while CDNs provide a valuable bridge to help you cut down content delivery latencies, improving the user experience for geographically dispersed users.

But remember, peak periods for you are likely peak periods for these external infrastructures as well, and they must be monitored constantly to ensure that they are performing up to par and protecting your users’ experience, and ultimately your brand.

With ecommerce maturing, there are fewer and fewer excuses for poor performance during both peak and non-peak traffic periods. Certainly, catastrophic failures like a massive power outage are always a possibility. However, even as the internet increases in complexity, most problems are still within your zone of control. Deriving actionable intelligence amidst a sea of growing IT complexity is the key.

The post Delivering Strong User Experiences in This Increasingly Digital World appeared first on Catchpoint's Blog.

More Stories By Mehdi Daoudi

Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.

Founded in 2008 by four DoubleClick / Google executives with a passion for speed, reliability and overall better online experiences, Catchpoint has now become the most innovative provider of web performance testing and monitoring solutions. We are a team with expertise in designing, building, operating, scaling and monitoring highly transactional Internet services used by thousands of companies and impacting the experience of millions of users. Catchpoint is funded by top-tier venture capital firm, Battery Ventures, which has invested in category leaders such as Akamai, Omniture (Adobe Systems), Optimizely, Tealium, BazaarVoice, Marketo and many more.

@ThingsExpo Stories
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices t...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vivint to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. As a leading smart home technology provider, Vivint offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet solutions to more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada. The end result is a smart home solution that sav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Opsani is the leading provider of deployment automation systems for running and scaling traditional enterprise applications on container infrastructure.