As the only monitoring tool which tells you exactly what experience your users are having, Real User Monitoring (RUM) is more valuable than ever before. Helping you spot code-level issues before they become problems for the user, improve user experience for your customers, and gain insights into what business moves need to be top of your to-do list, RUM is a real game changer for Application Performance Management tools. But what features are must-haves for a real user monitoring tool, and will make a substantial difference to your bottom line?
The more areas which can be traced and monitored, the more insight you’re going to get into what your users are up to behind the scenes. Ideally, you want an APM which allows you to trace transactions across the whole IT stack, from desktop apps and browsers, to mobile devices, Citrix servers, proxies, application servers, databases and third-party apps. If any of the areas that make up your IT environment are missing from your monitoring, you may be left with unanswerable questions when something goes wrong. You want broad coverage, so you can detect and track all performance issues and problems down to code-level visibility, even before your customers notice there is an issue to solve.
Reports from your Real User Monitoring Tool
One of the most important elements of your monitoring is that it can be easily shared with other areas of the business. There’s no use having IT understand what’s happening, but the problems being indecipherable to other departments who need to put changes into action, or whose job it is to speak to customers directly and explain what’s going on. Data visualization in the form of easy to read graphics and charts, as well as all the information without the technical minutia is essential. Some APMs will only have standard reporting functionality, while others will allow you to create your own customized reports, so that you can outline in plain English the facts about performance issues and errors, and share this with all the relevant parties.
The importance of customized alerts cannot be over-emphasized. Firstly, make sure your data is being updates as close to real-time as possible. If customer data is only updated every 24 hours, this hurts your ability to be proactive rather than reactive for your clients. If you’re looking for your Real User Monitoring tool to support you in active operations, the more accurate information you have at your fingertips, the better.
Once you have this, your RUM tool should be able to alert you to issues happening right now, aligned with your own business metrics. This should be true in terms of application availability, response times, service level performance or any number of other essential areas across your whole technology stack.
Real User Monitoring tools can differ in a wide variety of ways. Three of the top things to look out for are wide technology coverage, customized and easy to read reports, and alerts aligned with your business goals for success.