Digital Performance Management: Today’s Hypercomplex Digital Ecosystem

This post is excerpted from GovLoop’s recent guide, Preparing for the Era of Digital Transformation

An Interview with Steve Tack, Senior Vice President of Products, Dynatrace

Today government agencies are striving to meet citizens’ expectations of digital services. The “every user, every app, everywhere” approach that the private sector has created has brought the demand for end-user experience to the forefront of government digital initiatives.

But as government agencies look to modernize their IT environments, they face the challenge of implementing a digital transformation strategy that will allow them to: update and rationalize legacy technology systems; take advantage of the benefits of a cloud environment; foster a culture that results in faster, higher quality release cycles and continually lift the benchmark on the quality of customer experience.

Digital performance management is giving organizations the ability to monitor and manage the delivery, performance and availability of software applications to disparate, demanding customer stakeholders.

To discuss these challenges and how government can overcome them with a redefined approach to application performance management (APM), GovLoop sat down with Steve Tack, Senior Vice President of Products, Dynatrace, a digital performance management company.

“One of the big challenges we see in government is how to deliver high quality-of-service applications while accelerating investment in new offerings, like the cloud,” Tack said.

One way to overcome these challenges? Digital experience management. “Digital experience management is understanding how users interact and how performance affects user behavior,” Tack said. “So whether it’s on a mobile device, or whether within a government agency branch, digital experience management gives you a real-time feedback loop. This loop enables agencies to see where users are dropping out or having a bad experience and how to prevent these issues from happening in the future.”

“Today, it’s much more than application performance management,” Tack said. “We call it digital performance management because you need to take a full stack, automated approach to monitoring the performance of your applications. You need real-time visibility into the entire application delivery chain – from the end user experience and each application’s performance, to the infrastructure that services those applications all the way to the mainframe. The only way to make sure it all works is to take a holistic, proactive, unified approach to monitoring your IT ecosystem.”

The primary goal of modern digital performance management solutions is the delivery of great digital citizen experience. Real user interactions and business transactions are monitored and analyzed down to code level to provide actionable insights. The right solution will also automatically discover application environments end-to-end and leverage dynamic baselining to resolve performance issues before citizens are impacted.

In the past, APM solutions have not always delivered the insights that government agencies need. They are too narrow in the insights they provide. They struggle to support the volume of data generated by the modern, complex application ecosystem, which results in low value insights and analysis that creates an incomplete and inaccurate picture of performance issues.

Additionally, most basic APM solutions aren’t primed for the cloud (which adds a whole new layer of complexity to the IT environment) and they aren’t typically able to offer the rapid, accurate insights IT requires to foster innovation at high speed – an imperative for today.

Recognizing this, Dynatrace has completely redefined monitoring with a new approach based on an artificial intelligence (AI) engine and automation to eliminate the difficult burden otherwise placed on human operators. The traditional monitoring approach of watching dashboards, responding to alerts and manually analyzing datasets is too difficult for government agencies, because application environments are too complex and move too fast.

Artificial intelligence can absorb terabytes of data and make sense of it instantaneously. AI automates the discovery and analysis that normally take teams of experts hours or days. AI does it in milliseconds and can quickly and proactively identify problems and the underlying root cause. This lets agencies easily gain access to real-time transaction performance data and the impact on mission success.

“Having automation power in your APM is critical because it lets people focus on providing new value and ensures the customer experience is optimal, versus getting stuck in a manually intensive approach of having to sift through volumes of data,” Tack explained.

Dynatrace’s digital performance management solution monitors web scale application environments down to each individual transaction including front end, application performance, infrastructure, containers and cloud.

A modern digital performance management approach, powered by automation, makes sure that government agencies readily have the information to help them shift to the cloud, modernize their IT operations, resolve problems rapidly, proactively manage end user experiences and innovate faster to satisfy the soaring expectations of today’s consumer.

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