Better employee experience drives better business outcomes1. The result? Technology is no longer the driving force of IT — instead, the end-users’ digital experience is the key to unlocking business value and driving ROI.

The challenge? Mending the gap between traditional metric-based monitoring and the need for real-time, contextual data about the end-user experience. Here’s how to get started.

The Data Foundation

Improving the digital experience demands better data. Critically, it demands a foundation built on complete infrastructure context because employee environments are now very personalized, informed as much by personal and social preference as business needs and expectations. This means that everything — from mobile devices to commonly-used applications to printers, network proxies and browser plug-ins — exists in a space between corporate control and employee independence.

To actively enhance the user experience while also ensuring device performance and system security, companies need to know exactly what’s installed, used, modified, patched and configured on their network — on a per-user basis — all the time. Here’s why: without both clear endpoint data and active infrastructure monitoring, any attempt to streamline services or fix issues will be out of sync with user experience, potentially causing more problems than it solves.

The End-User Expectation

Users don’t care why technology doesn’t work — they just want it to work. It’s the human side of the technology equation, the “human agent” part of digital experience monitoring (DEM), defined as “the experience of all digital agents — human and machine — as they interact with enterprise applications and services.”2

The result? To meet evolving user expectations, IT needs to know why PCs are suddenly booting slowly, not performing as expected or apps are randomly crashing. They need to understand — and communicate — why problems are occurring with popular productivity tools such as Office 365, Skype or SAP. It’s no longer enough to tell users their problem will eventually be fixed as teams work through ticket queues; to keep staff happy and productive, IT teams need an inside track on contextual experience.

And it doesn’t stop there: the sheer number of services and staff make it impossible for IT teams to stay ahead of person-specific issues using traditional monitor-and-ticket responses. Instead, they need tools capable of observing user behavior, contextualizing immediate problems and implementing effective remedies — such as changing configurations, installing new software or updating drivers — to solve small problems before they become large issues. Put simply? The addition of subjective understanding and proactive response to contextual data is more than the sum of its parts.

 The Engagement Directive

The goal for organizations in mending the gap between monitoring and user experience? Improved employee engagement. This requires DEM tools that deliver on the four following key requirements:

  1. Proactive sentiment analysis — How do users perceive their current IT experience? How does it match with technical performance?
  2. Repair time reduction — Using a combination of contextual analysis and traditional performance monitoring, tools must empower IT to address immediate issues with user feedback in mind.
  3. Self-helpThis includes the creation of free IT resources to solve common problems and is especially effective when paired with proactive solutions and recommendations.
  4. Verification feedback loop Did fixes address specific issues? Are users satisfied? Right now, 10% of all closed tickets are never resolved, they’re simply…closed. DEM solutions must empower IT to follow-up with employees about their continued experience.

Users now demand enhanced digital experience and IT recognize that existing metrics aren’t enough.  It’s time to mend the gap with DEM solutions capable of establishing a firm data foundation, exceeding user expectation and improving employee engagement.