Understanding what is happening within the corporate network has always been an important, but often neglected, part of IT. With the mass move to remote working in 2020, this knowledge and insight have never been more important. Experience monitoring bridges this gap, ensuring that IT can deliver the best possible security and end-user experience for remote workers.
Understanding the ever-growing gap between IT and the remote workers that IT is trying to support is key. NetMotion conducted surveys with two groups of employees – one from the perspective of IT professionals, managers, directors and C-level executives; the other survey asked similar questions but from the perspective of office workers who now work remotely.
What is Experience Monitoring?
Experience monitoring involves gathering performance and activity data from the devices that employees are using for work, as well as the networks they connect to and the applications and services being used. Experience monitoring is useful for IT as it provides insight into understanding the user experience in real-time.
Many organisations are already doing experience monitoring to some degree. The vast majority are gaining visibility into device usage when the devices are either inside the corporate network or are using on-premise applications.
However, as employees work remotely and rely on a number of public cloud, SaaS and internet applications, IT is increasingly struggling with controlling and troubleshooting any issues that arise. Shadow IT is also a growing issue when dealing with a remote workforce. As users seek out ways of becoming more productive, they are unwittingly endangering corporate data and systems. Find out why Shadow IT can prove to be a great risk for organisations.
Survey: What type of "Shadow" Software Are You Most Likely To Use?
Productivity tools (Google docs, Doodle, etc.)
Communications (Slack, Zoom, WhatsApp etc.)
Storage, file-sharing (Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc.)
Collaboration (Trello, Asana, Coda, etc.)
Other (games, social media, etc.)
Survey: Does Your Organisation Currently Use Monitoring Tools To Better Understand Employee Experience?
- Around half of all organisations are using a combination of different tools to monitor the remote working experience
- Only 1 in 6 companies are not monitoring the remote working experience at all
- 1 in 3 organisations are actively using a dedicated experience monitoring solution
Why Is Experience Monitoring So Important Now?
Wind the clocks back just one year and the working environment looked very different. Organisations have altered their way of working to adapt to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, employees have been working from home on a scale never seen before.
These employees have left the corporate office, and it’s not just the coffee machines and meeting rooms that they’ve left behind. The secure corporate network perimeter has also been left far behind as users work from home.
Consequently, traditional legacy monitoring tools, which were designed for use with all devices within the corporate network, are proving to be far less effective at determining and troubleshooting issues for remote devices.
Remote working has its benefits and negatives for both employee and organisation. The freedom to work from your own home and removal of the commute may be positives for the vast majority, but these often come hand-in-hand with a range of IT nightmares.
Having employees spread across the country, rather than in concentrated office spaces, means that IT problems are dealt with slower and issues must be prioritised. Cybersecurity is also a major problem for remote workers as well. The need to ensure employees are working as securely as possible means that many organisations rightfully incorporate the likes of VPNs and multi-factor authentication (MFA). However, these technologies often stifle productivity, frustrating employees.
Many organisations are finding that there is a delicate line to tread for remote workers when it comes to balancing risk management with maintaining a good user experience.
Survey: How Has Your Experience Been In Getting Support From Your IT Team While Working Remotely?
- 57.5% of all workers that encountered IT issues while working remotely did not share them with the IT team
- Two-thirds of remote workers have encountered an IT issue during the lockdown
- Only 45.6% of all reported issues to IT were actually resolved
Enter Experience Monitoring
This is where experience monitoring steps in. Typically using an agent on the device, experience monitoring gathers a wide array of information that can be used to evaluate potential stability and performance issues in real-time, helping to speed up the troubleshooting process. Providing IT teams with these tools provides the visibility required to decide which common problems can be automated and significantly reduce resolution time for other issues.
As a result, IT resources can be freed up, ensuring that IT teams focus their attention elsewhere, rather than the time-consuming troubleshooting that often takes place.
Survey: From an IT, tools and technology perspective, how does the experience of working remotely compare to working in the office?
Survey: How would you describe having to use your company's security products, such as VPNs or authentication software?
How does Experience Monitoring Work?
Real user monitoring (RUM) – Real user monitoring evaluates the user experience from the perspective of the application, such as a website or mobile app.
Endpoint monitoring (EP) – Endpoint monitoring provides visibility into end-user devices.
Synthetic transaction monitoring (STM) – Synthetic transaction monitoring, the first and most established form of DEM, focuses on the performance and uptime of SaaS and other services.
Digital experience monitoring (DEM) combines a multitude of different components from those mentioned above. By using these components, IT teams have the tools they need to actively monitor, and subsequently troubleshoot, a range of metrics that are related to device, application and network performance. These metrics can include device activity, mobile data usage, application and website usage, data destinations (e.g. where data is being sent), productivity and adoption rates, network performance and diagnostics, Wi-Fi security information, application performance, device performance, web activity (including website reputation and risk factors), and data consumption.
The Benefits Of Experience Monitoring
In an ideal world, IT teams would have complete visibility over network performance and application uptime, user behaviour and online threats. However, as the workplace moves to become more mobile and distributed, employees are accessing a wider variety of SaaS and internet resources from countless unknown networks, over any number of Wi-Fi and cellular connections. Using these tools results in higher risk and presents greater troubleshooting complexity than current legacy tools were designed for.
Many organisations are having to deal with unforeseen issues that have arisen in 2020 during remote working that IT is simply not equipped to support. 75% of all organisations have encountered an increase in support tickets since lockdown began, with over a quarter describing the growth in support tickets as significant. However, this rise in support requests has not been matched by an increase in resources, meaning that IT teams are overstretched.
Experience monitoring can bridge this gap in support. Using experience monitoring enables IT teams to react to support tickets more intelligently, as they can use rich diagnostic features that enable them to better understand and resolve issues. Information about device usage can prove invaluable, particularly if it includes metrics about the number of times employees encounter network disconnects, the times of day that employees are working, or information about which applications consume the most bandwidth. These insights provide IT with the ability to make informed decisions on prioritising and resolving issues as soon as they appear. These remediations can range from policies that block risky websites and limiting access to social media platforms outside of working hours, to mobilising an engineer to push software updates, adjust VPN or Wi-Fi settings and create automatic responses to common problems.
As a result, the employee experience can proactively start being improved, with issues eliminated before employees become frustrated enough to reach out to the helpdesk. 57% of IT issues encountered by a remote workforce don’t get reported to IT. Directly tackling the sources of frustration can boost morale and satisfaction.
The benefits of experience monitoring don’t just stop there. Other benefits include:
- Increased productivity for remote workers – Common experience problems such as network disconnects, outdated hardware and misconfigured apps are eliminated.
- Faster speed of remediation – IT is provided detailed insights, with root cause analysis and problem diagnostics, enabling more effective issue resolution.
- Improved engagement for digital transformation projects – By using experience monitoring, it is easier to measure and encourage the adoption of new programmes, applications and processes.
Survey: How Has The 2020 lockdown impacted the burden upon your organisation's IT department?
Survey: What remote work challenges has your organisation encountered this year?
NetMotion and Experience Monitoring
Experience monitoring can be easily implemented through endpoint agents, by deploying a client onto work devices, such as laptops, tablet and smartphones. These endpoints agents give IT teams insights into the experience of an employee from a device, application and network perspective.
NetMotion provides a solution with unique insights into network data, combined with the most powerful diagnostics and remediation functionality on the market. It can scale seamlessly and is entirely software-based, making it simple to implement.
What benefits does NetMotion Bring?
Remote shouldn't mean invisible. NetMotion 'sees' what's happening, all the way to the edge
- Data from the device
- Data from the OS
- Data from the application
- Data from the network. Any network
Helps customers turn data insights into business vaue, across the enterprise
- Conditional policy engine
- Native remediation
- Integrated VPN and SDP/ZTNA
- Diagnostics-powered policy
- Proactive and reactive
Using the devices you have today
- Lightweight application
- No impact on battery
- Optimised connectivity
- Full OS parity
- Invisible and makes users happy
How Can We Help?
Supporting the remote workforce has never been more crucial. We can work alongside you to identify your business needs, supporting you in your digital transformation. Get in touch to find out more.