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Riverbed UK Customers Discuss Importance of Application Performance in The Digital Age

Steve Foster
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The C-Suite and IT decision makers tell us they want to affect digital changes to their organisation, but more than half tell us they struggle to find clear metrics for success. This is Gartner talking, but I also hear comments like this all the time. Waiting to see if digital initiatives positively contribute to business is too old-school, instead we should be using technology to measure the benefits of transformation.

Organisations Recognise The Importance of Digital

For many businesses, the digital experience is becoming the primary experience. Although many industry disruptors (think Tesla or a more recent innovator – Upside) have built around digital, this is not a ‘new vs old’ battle. We see many established, bricks-and-mortar businesses embracing digital and the effect promises to be transformative.

The concept of digital as a ‘good thing’ seems to be accepted, however, many organisations are struggling to back up that hunch. Gartner’s 2017 CEO survey tells us 53% could not provide a clear metric for success, 47% were simply making digital changes and checking whether revenues had shifted. Worthy, but nowhere near granular enough to support investment decisions. If the business is going to hand IT funds to invest in new technology, it’s going to want proof this investment is making the right kind of impact.

It’s clear there is a knowledge gap. We wanted to bring together a group of our UK customers, all some way along their own digital transformation journey, to share lessons learned from their own experiences and how they overcame current challenges. On November 16, we invited a small group of customers to a forum in London to share their experience of moving to digital. Three hours, plenty of coffee, Chatham House Rules, and continuation of discussion over lunch.  I kept my speaking duties to a minimum!

Application Performance Plays Key Role in Digital Transformation

Universally, it was clear that applications are at the centre of our customers’ digital transformation. Applications deliver every promise of digital: employee productivity, cost savings, customer satisfaction, and faster time to market (or product delivery).

Unsurprisingly though, IT and business leaders want to see the impact of implementing the new digital first business processes and need an end-to-end visibility view of how these critical applications are performing day-to-day to ensure that they continue to deliver.

Our customers agreed a single view of user experience, networks, infrastructure and applications provides the ability to monitor services being delivered by third parties to meet required SLAs and an ability to be proactive before end-users notice any degradation in service.

I was taking notes, and although the comments remain anonymous, I’m sure our guests won’t mind me repeating some of the memorable statements from the day:

  • “You can’t manage what you can’t measure – and you can’t fix what you can’t see.”
  • “My focus is time to resolve. If I can quickly articulate what the problem is, get rid of all the noise, then I can proactively plan how to resolve it.”
  • “I’m now able to go back to our procurement team with clear evidence of how an application is being used. I’m getting ahead of problems a user may experience. This is front-foot IT.”
  • “It’s a lot easier to sell the importance of visibility when you’ve just headed off a major problem.”

I’m sure much of this sentiment will resonate with you. It’s typical of the statements I hear from customers every week, and it was interesting to hear the commonalities amongst our customers during the discussions.

I think it’s hugely important we create space for our customers to talk openly and share experiences so we’re looking at running more of these discussion forums next year. Thanks to everybody involved – for making the time, and for taking part. It was a really informative day, certainly for us and I’m sure for our customers too.

To find out more about how Riverbed enables its customers to excel in an ever-changing digital landscape. Contact the team and continue the conversation.

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