58% of consumer interactions are digital: why your business needs a dedicated IT monitoring and control area
The figures are stark. Globally, almost 60% of consumer interactions take place in the online sphere, compared to 36% pre-pandemic. With 75% of commercial transactions happening specifically from e-commerce, there is an urgent need for companies to centralise the management and monitoring of their infrastructure independently. IT has become a driver for the economy. It is expected that 40% of Latin America's GDP will be digitised by 2022. From the firm Atentus, they present the keys to proper management, control and monitoring within the company.
When work and life in general depend on ICTs, as much as we have witnessed in the last two years of the pandemic, the ability to manage and automate all technological components is increasingly necessary and relevant for businesses.
Several studies indicate that IT market investments in the remainder of 2021 and 2022 in Latin America will be focused on solutions that incorporate analytical intelligence, artificial intelligence and machine learning, applications, ICT infrastructure, data security and management and monitoring centre. In fact, according to Gartner figures, global IT spending grew by 8.6% so far in 2021, bringing the figure to $4.2 trillion. As such, CIOs are looking for partners that can think beyond the digital sprints of 2021 and allow them to be more intentional in their digital transformation efforts in 2022. This will mean they will invest in technology that supports innovation, supports their operations everywhere, and supports channel productivity, for which visibility into what is happening inside and outside the IT infrastructure is essential.
As we know, online operations are growing at an accelerated rate, especially through mobile devices. For that reason, businesses large and small are advised to maintain a stable platform 24 hours a day, dealing with incidents as quickly as possible before users experience web or app failures. The purpose of having a robust platform is to satisfy the current customer and attract a larger audience in order to provide them with a secure and optimal digital experience.
What is the purpose of having an independent ICT management and monitoring unit?
The synthetic or robotic monitoring and management centre allows replicating each step of the Web and App experience, monitoring continuously, to obtain indicators of functionality, availability and response times, measuring the perceived quality produced at all times and thus managing and ensuring the continuous operation of the services, using synthetic or robotic monitoring.
Through specialised observability platforms, telemetry data is collected on the performance telemetry of digital platforms. This provides information on their performance, so that teams can detect and resolve incidents and make business decisions based on data on user-perceived performance and online activity, thereby safeguarding the value of the digital services offered.
"Often, monitoring areas are handled by systems, network and operations professionals, which always results in reactive management, i.e. what we colloquially call attending the fire. For this reason, it is advisable to invest from the design and start of operations in an area of Monitoring and Event Management dedicated to supporting other areas and the analysis that managers need to make decisions," explains Alejandro Padilla, CEO and founder of Atentus, a technology firm that specialises in ICT services aimed at monitoring in real time and improving the quality of the customer experience, along various service platforms such as mobile applications, telephone service channel, and website.
The executive explains that the synthetic monitoring methodology applied by Atentus consists of software "robots" that interact with their clients' platforms by realistically imitating the behaviour of end users, known as Digital Incognito User. As a result, they offer permanent monitoring, including network elements, from within the local Internet access providers.
"The most evolved or mature companies in these highly complex ICT management issues, which have already gone through almost all the technical and human problems, understand that Control and Monitoring teams are not only necessary but should also be totally independent areas, even parallel to the IT area, such as, for example, the IT Security teams. Often it is these IT security areas that take responsibility for monitoring and control, but in essence, this work is even more basic and hygienic. So what I try to convey to clients, friends and acquaintances is that they should form their monitoring areas apart from the operation and give this team enough support or weight to implement measurement techniques and technologies inside and outside the ICT infrastructure," says Padilla.
What we should expect from a specialised monitoring area
With a dedicated ICT monitoring and control area or team, measurement challenges are addressed using specialised techniques and tools, with greater knowledge but especially with focus and dedication, without day-to-day distractions. This team must also be able to analyse each case and support the operation by visualising what is happening in every corner of the infrastructure and every byte of the software, supporting the work of diagnosing incidents, as well as managing and following up on each case until it is solved or discarded, also generating knowledge of the ICT processes that are very changeable.
"This is what I call the Management and Monitoring Centre, which is a kind of specialised event control and monitoring desk. The monitoring area must also have the capacity to analyse historical data, propose management indicators and obtain statistics that allow us to budget the functioning of the ICT infrastructure and thus propose investments or optimisations to the company's management. If we also include user tracking within the monitoring functions, we will have data to correlate and estimate the impact of each ICT event on real users and we can even analyse the behaviour of these users to provide information to the marketing or product areas", adds the founder of Atentus.
Six key factors in monitoring your digital channel
One of the main purposes of ICT infrastructure and applications is to implement digital channels, which are the "electronic window" to serve the public (or other applications), whether for business, public services, internal operation or administration, etc., therefore we must not lose sight of the fact that the user experience is what is relevant when measuring. This means that the monitoring area must measure both internal and external parameters, always thinking of the end user.
From Atentus, they present the 6 main points to measure:
Measurement of the quality produced by the digital channel. In the digital world we have what we call "incognito digital users", which is a synthetic monitoring technique that, depending on the tool and platform, can provide us with more or less information for a good and accurate diagnosis.
Monitoring of real users. This technique is also known as RUM (Real User Monitoring) and can be implemented with invasive tools (that mark the user) and non-invasive tools (that measure on the server side). While this information is exploited by marketing and product areas, it is possible to add "quality of response" dimensions that provide valuable information for debugging applications.
Application Performance Monitoring. This is a software debugging technique that allows us to visualise the behaviour of applications and their interactions, without intervening in their code. Using these tools we can create service maps between applications, measure the performance of: databases, routines, queries, on-demand executions, services, etc. Although these tools make applications visible, their real power is used by software development teams, as they have debugging information in production.
Service Monitoring. Allows to visualise the status of each service of the infrastructure and the impact on each digital channel in production.
Server Monitoring. Allows you to visualise the status of each server, physical or virtual (on premise or in the cloud), of the entire infrastructure and the impact on each digital channel in production.
Monitoring of Data and Communications Networks. It allows you to visualise the status of network and security components of the infrastructure as well as of the link and communication providers.
It is a company specialised in delivering metrics and indicators for the quality management of digital channels and technological infrastructure services, which allow analysis to establish and control service levels, with the purpose of improving end-user satisfaction and contributing to the continuous improvement process of companies' IT systems. Founded in 2001, the firm is present in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, and offers a wide range of customised services.
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