In today’s application economy, the end-user experience is key. However, as the complexity of application portfolios and delivery chains continue to grow, tracking and managing the user experience becomes increasingly challenging for businesses. By delivering high-value application experience analytics services, service providers can address an urgent demand, and position their organizations to capitalize on a rapidly growing market. This post offers some practical considerations for service providers looking to deliver application experience analytics services.
Digital transformation is a key initiative for businesses today, but significant obstacles are standing in the way. One of the chief hurdles is a lack of visibility into the digital experience. To gain a better understanding of how organizations are progressing in their digital transformation, CA conducted a survey of 200 IT decision makers, application owners and application developers. The survey revealed that 94 percent of respondents felt they needed to improve the way they measure the customer experience.
In a recent post, I’d outlined why application experience analytics are an increasingly critical requirement for enterprises, and why it is now a competitive imperative for many service providers to start delivering analytics services. In this post, I’ll look at some practical considerations for service providers that are interested in capitalizing on the opportunities offered by application experience analytics.
The Opportunity for Service Providers
By delivering application experience analytics services, service providers can gain a foothold in an expanding market that’s seeing broad-based and increased investment. In addition, they can provide high-value, strategic services that address a critical demand for insights into the user experience, and therefore help support customers in pursuing a key strategic objective: digital transformation. As a result, these analytics services can represent an optimal first step for many service providers looking to move out of commoditized markets and into the strategic digital transformation services arena, which can set the stage for long-term success. When you add high-value application experience analytics to your service catalog, your organization can increase revenues, strengthen account control and enhance margins.
Analytics Services: Key Customer Requirements
Application experience analytics services have the potential to deliver vital insights that enable customers to improve the user’s digital experience. To realize this potential, service providers should deliver analytics services that address the following areas:
- Insights into customer journeys across channels. In an e-commerce scenario, a user may be browsing offerings on a smartphone, and then switch to a laptop to complete a purchase. If an analyst is looking at data from various reporting silos, it may be difficult to identify that the browsing behavior on the phone and the purchase on the laptop were from the same person. To deliver maximum customer value, service providers should offer a holistic view of customers’ digital interactions, both as they interact with a specific application and as they move from one channel to another.
- Performance analytics. Modern application infrastructures are composed of a diverse mix of legacy, on-premises systems, APIs, cloud services and more, which creates a complex path for transactions to travel. When the user’s experience suffers, locating the cause of the issue can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Application experience analytics services offer the opportunity to marry outside-in user experience data and an inside-out view of how each element is performing. By offering this holistic visibility, your customers can more quickly locate specific design, code or architectural issues—and drill down to get all the details needed to address them.
- Usage analytics. Through robust analytics services, you can provide clients with capabilities like session replay, screen heat maps, navigation analysis and more. With this rich user experience data, you can help customers track how users access an application, how often, how frequently they switch between channels and how often they’re affected by performance issues, errors or crashes. By providing these usage analytics, you can deliver the insights needed to improve the specific areas that will have the biggest impact on customer retention and satisfaction.
Potential Service Offerings
Service providers can offer an array of services that support customers in realizing their application experience analytics objectives. They can provide complete services for setting up, implementing, managing and optimizing analytics on an ongoing basis. These offerings can include some or all of the following services:
- Configuration and setup. Service providers can help with all the efforts associated with implementing analytics. This can include platform integration and configuration, establishing alarm thresholds and escalation policies and more.
- Application wrapping. In deploying analytics, administrators need to wrap each application, adding the code required for data to be generated and captured. Further, each time a new release of an application is delivered, it will need to be wrapped. Service providers can help with wrapping on an ongoing basis.
- Analytics. Services can include capturing, batching, categorizing, analyzing and disseminating analytics. Service providers can offer to provide these analytics over specified intervals, including daily, weekly and monthly.
- Customizable, role-based dashboards and reports. Service providers can deliver a mix of pre-packaged dashboards and offer assistance with developing and delivering customized dashboards that are tailored to specific users and roles.
- Capture, analysis of alerts. Service providers can assist with development, setup and ongoing refinement of thresholds and alerts. They can also handle monitoring, fielding and filtering alerts, and even investigating and remediating issues.
Application Experience Analytics Services: A Logical Evolution for Many Service Providers
Application experience analytics services can represent a natural evolution for many different types of service providers. Here’s a sampling of various types of service providers and examples of the ways they can adapt to support analytics services:
- Resellers and early-stage MSPs. Application experience analytics services can be optimal offerings for resellers looking to expand into managed services and for early-stage MSPs that are looking to grow their offerings and sales. These organizations can pursue a few potential approaches. For example, they can start with project-based services, aiding with initial implementation, application wrapping and the like. They can also use application experience analytics as a strategic entry point into new accounts, and then offer additional services to expand in those accounts over time, for example, by adding infrastructure monitoring services.
- Established MSPs with infrastructure monitoring experience. Application experience analytics services can present significant opportunities for MSPs that offer traditional IT infrastructure managed services, such as network and server monitoring. These MSPs can add application experience analytics capabilities to their environment, then leverage their existing expertise and workflows, for example, with proactive monitoring and escalation processes.
- Established MSPs with application performance management (APM) experience. If an MSP provides APM services, application experience analytics services can be a great way to expand offerings and increase customer value. With application experience analytics services, MSPs can provide even more insights into the user journey. With this extensive visibility, customers can uncover ways to enhance performance of the application infrastructure and services customers receive.
- Established service providers with application development experience. Service providers with established application development offerings and expertise are well-positioned to harness application experience analytics services in their businesses. They are highly qualified to help with the initial configuration and application wrapping efforts, and they can use this as a starting point to deliver analytics services on an ongoing basis. Further, they can leverage their expertise and the insights from analytics to help customers initiate or refine their DevOps initiatives.
- Global systems integrators and global service providers. With strategic consulting organizations that are accustomed to selling into business leadership, and technical implementation staff that are accustomed to working with IT decision makers, many global systems integrators (GSIs) and global service providers (GSPs) are well-positioned to deliver application experience analytics services. GSIs and GSPs are well-versed in the requirements associated with technical implementation, but even more important, they’re uniquely qualified to help bridge the silos that exist in many organizations, including between business and technology teams and between different technology groups.
Application experience analytics services represent a key way for many MSPs to support customers’ digital transformation and address an urgent market demand. By delivering these strategic services, MSPs can position their businesses for long-term growth.
CA has recently published a comprehensive guide that details the opportunities these analytics services offer MSPs—and how they can capitalize. Uncovering findings from an extensive market survey, this guide examines why addressing the demand for application experience analytics is so critical and so challenging for many enterprises. The document specifies the requirements analytics services should address and how these services benefit customers and the providers that offer them.
More: To learn more, download this guide: “Application Experience Analytics Services: The Emerging Market Demands and How Service Providers Can Address Them.”