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Blog Post|5 minutes

I&O Leaders Should Pay Attention to Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide For Digital Experience Monitoring

November 12, 2019

The times they are a changin’

Many Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) Leaders working in end-user computing today can attest to that famous Dylan lyric.

In Gartner’s latest Market Guide on Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) they report that “by 2023, 60% of digital business intiatives will require I&O to report on user’s digital experience, up 15% from today”.

Compare that to just a decade ago when I&O Leaders rarely had to think about their employees’ digital experiences when making decisions. Back then, I&O Leaders more or less owned their technology stacks and could access detailed insights into their digital environment’s availability and performance.

Yet cloud computing, both a blessing and a curse, has largely changed the game for many businesses.

IT departments are now faced with new challenges in their attempts to effectively manage digital applications and deliver powerful digital employee experiences. As Gartner points out, “As businesses adopt commercial cloud stacks to run applications, I&O leaders are becoming blindsided because of the lack of control and visibility this creates. This is especially the case with SaaS applications, where monitoring teams have no visibility into the infrastructure layer and cannot instrument the application”.

“Gartner forecasts show that, in 2019, 44% of cloud spend will be on SaaS (see the Evidence section in the guide), creating visibility challenges for I&O teams that can impact customer experience, revenue and brand reputation.”

Thankfully, there are IT solutions in market that are rightly repurposing the focus of smart I&O Leaders towards DEM—a more comprehensive approach that can tackle many of the IT issues companies face today in the cloud.

What does Gartner mean by DEM?

At its root level, Digital Experience Monitoring is an approach that takes the traditional hard metrics of IT monitoring and combines it with quantifiable qualitative information from the end user. DEM expands the application-approach in IT to include the complete end-user experience. In addition to monitoring strictly network and application performance, IT support teams can now monitor how employees feel (via survey responses) about their digital technologies and why they perceive their work environments in a certain way.

You read that correctly.

During the pre-cloud era, IT couldn’t definitively answer “how” and “why” employees interacted with their workplace technologies. But with the DEM solutions, IT departments can take a “performance analysis discipline that supports the optimization of the operational experience and behavior of a digital agent, human or machine, with the application and service portfolio of enterprises” – Gartner.

In other words, certain tech solutions can now tell IT departments things like which devices are low on memory and also how certain users perceive those exact devices in real-time.


In addition to their deep analysis into DEM technologies, Gartner’s Market Guide also highlights key industry categories around Application Performance Monitoring (APM) and Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD)—tools that are often deployed alongside DEM solutions.

If you are a serious I&O Leader we recommend you study the Market Guide further in order to understand each of these key categories.

Below is a summary:

DEM – is the core approach to improving employee productivity, one that sits in both the APM and NPMD domains. DEM measures endpoint devices, physical or virutal, and is used to improve the end-user’s experience with their applications.

NPMD – is mostly a data-center approach that consists of synthetic transaction monitoring, synthetic network path monitoring (internet), and detailed network analysis

APM – is the application-centric approach that consists of real user monitoring, endpoint monitoring, and screen capture and session replay

Use the guide to stay ahead of the innovation curve

Aside from the detailed breakdown of Digital Experience Monitoring categories and use cases, Gartner also lists several vendors that offer experience monitoring as part of their services. Nexthink is named under the ‘Endpoint Agent Monitoring’ category.

We pride ourselves in endpoint monitoring and DEM, but that’s really just the beginning of what we do for our customers. Nexthink offers the only 360° digital user experience management platform—which enables IT teams to accurately measure (via the Digital Experience Score) and manage for continuous improvement via automations, one-click remediations and powerful playbooks. We do more than just track incidents for our customers, we show them the real variables that are at play and how to manage them with confidence.

We highly recommend you study the Market Guide to stay on top of the latest industry trends in end-user computing.

Gartner, Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring, 5 September 2019, Federico De Silva, Sanjit Ganguli, Charley Rich.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.