In its recent Magic Quadrant report on Application Performance Monitoring companies, the Gartner analysts discussed the importance of the end user in the monitoring process. It’s not exactly a startling revelation, I know, but it’s still something that’s worth repeating.
As the report points out, one of the reasons this is such a key part of the equation is because it is precisely where the end user interacts with the IT stack. That means it’s where they understand at a fundamental level whether the applications and processes are working as they should. As Gartner acknowledges, if your organization’s monitoring software is missing this crucial part of the process, it is essentially operating blind. As such, you need to have end user monitoring in your monitoring arsenal.
The report goes onto say that as monitoring professionals, you are not inclined to look at a business application that is made up of made up of many individual parts as a meaningful whole, but this is precisely how end users interact with it. They don’t really care that it’s made up of several working parts. They only care that it works (or worse, that it doesn’t). As the report states, “the end user’s experience may be the only vantage point from which the application meaningfully exists.”
That’s an interesting perspective for a number of reasons because as IT pros, you might not consider that, even if you know it on an intellectual level. End users on the other hand have no choice but to see it that way because doing their jobs depends on a fully functioning application.
Finally the report points out that it is from this end user perspective that you can actually justify your budgetary requirements. As the report states, “Everyone understands what it means and can guess the impact of an unavailable or high end-user latency application on business process execution or customer satisfaction.”
Indeed, and that’s exactly why what you do is so important. It is the intersection of IT and business where you watch the business unit’s back. If something is about to go wrong or has gone wrong, you use these monitoring tools to figure out exactly what’s happened and how you can fix it.
It’s not as though you needed an analyst firm to tell you all of this, but it does bring together in a series of succinct points, why what you do is so important to the organization as a whole, and why, even if end users don’t know you’re there or understand for a second what you do, they certainly get when things aren’t working and when they are.
End users are your not-so-silent backup alarm system because they will let you know very quickly when something isn’t working right. In that regard users are your best friend and your worst enemy, depending on the circumstances, but they always provide justification for your work and you shouldn’t ever forget that.