The ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring, Part 3: Faster Mean Time to Repair
Why invest in Digital Experience Monitoring? It’s a valid question. The answer is that it’s good business, whether you’re a service provider or an enterprise IT shop. We received a wealth of data from a recent TechValidate survey of SteelCentral Aternity customers, which has been useful in determining the ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring.
The previous blog showed how Aternity has helped customers reduce their Help Desk trouble ticket volume. The first blog reviewed how an expanded range of use cases delivers extra value for our Aternity customers. That first blog showed that the top benefit for our customers is speeding up the incident resolution time. So now we’ll review just how well our customers are achieving that goal. This blog covers the next factor in driving the ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring—reducing the Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) of incidents.
Customer survey results on Mean Time to Repair
As part of the survey, TechValidate asked our customers to what extent their use of Aternity has sped up their ability to identify and resolve incidents. The graph below shows the data from all respondents, including IT service providers and enterprises. The weighted average result is a 24% reduction in Mean Time to Repair!
In addition, TechValidate asked customers the same question, in terms of actual time. The graph below shows a weighted average reduction of 3.2 hours. Interestingly, this reduction aligns with results from a 2017 survey of 2,500 IT shops published by Digital Enterprise Journal (DEJ). According to DEJ’s survey, the top 20% performing organizations reported a Mean Time to Repair per incident 206 minutes shorter than that of average organizations.
Variation in Incident Mean Time to Repair by company size
Just as with the previous topics on ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring, results vary by company size. Only slight variations exist in the weighted average percentage reduction in MTTR. Large enterprises, which include service providers, (24.2%) and small-medium enterprises (25.0%) achieved similar results.
However, the survey results show notable differences in the distribution of responses. Large companies were almost twice as likely to achieve incident MTTR reductions in the 15-25% range (29% vs 16%). Smaller companies were far more likely to report reductions in MTTR of greater than 50% (20% vs 13%). The maturity of IT processes and tools likely explains these differences.
Analyzing responses by time shows more significant differences. The weighted average reduction in MTTR reported by large companies (3.3 hours) far exceeds that reported by smaller companies (2.4 hours). 31% of larger companies reported MTTR reductions on the order of 3-5 hours (31%), but only 17% smaller companies did so. On the other hand, smaller companies were more likely to achieve 1 hour reductions (42% vs 17%). This variation could be caused by the difference in complexity of the IT environments being monitored.
Using the cost of incident management to quantify the ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring
Mean Time to Repair reduction provides the basis for quantifying the ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring. First, you need to know the cost of identifying and resolving these incidents, without DEM tools. Of course, costs will vary according to the complexity of the incident, the number of people involved, and their technical expertise. Let’s review some data points.
Data from HDI’s 2016 survey of North American Desktop Services teams show the cost of Desktop Support tickets. Read the blog Benchmarking Desktop Support Cost per Ticket to learn more about how Aternity can help improve this KPI.
Source: Metric of the Month: Desktop Support Cost per Ticket, Jeff Rumberg, HDI, October 2017
More serious incidents are more expensive. According to the Digital Enterprise Journal report, 37% of outages require 6 or more IT Full Time Equivalents to resolve. And average MTTR was 4.2 hours. To get a handle on the ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring, do the following. Look up how many incidents your organization had in the last year. Then use the loaded rate (salary plus benefits) of your senior level IT staff to figure the IT operations cost of those incidents. A potential savings of 3 hours, or 24% of that time, provides a compelling payback. And that doesn’t even include the impact of the incidents on your business – the interruption to your workforce and/or your customers.
Five ways to reduce Mean Time to Repair with Digital Experience Monitoring
So, how does Aternity help our service provider and enterprise customers reduce MTTR? It begins with measuring actual end user experience. And it continues with tight integration to the rest of the SteelCentral Digital Experience Management portfolio. The dashboard below illustrates how SteelCentral monitors actual end user experience.
- Aternity monitors ALL of the user’s applications, whether they’re provided by your company or “Shadow IT.” Local, web, cloud-delivered, or mobile apps. With Aternity, you can monitor the end user experience of the entire app portfolio.
- Aternity can monitor user experience for any of the devices users work on throughout their day. Unlike Device Performance Monitoring (DPM) vendors, Aternity monitors user experience on mobile devices as well as laptops, PCs, and virtual desktops.
- Unlike DPM vendors, Aternity monitors the response time that a users see for the business activities they performs, on any application. Aternity measures the response time of these business activities, and color codes them relative to an automatically generated baseline, or manually set threshold.
These product capabilities help customers drive down Mean Time to Repair in five ways.
1. Identify issues proactively, before users complain
As discussed in the previous article on the ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring, customers use Aternity to identify issues that affect end user experience BEFORE users call to complain. Aternity automatically generates an alert when performance exceeds a baseline, or a manually established threshold, for multiple users of the same application. This gives IT a head start on problem identification and classification.
2. Validate user complaints remotely and non-invasively
Even when end users do complain about app or device issues, Aternity enables your Help Desk team to validate the issue. Without Aternity, the Help Desk wastes time interrogating the end user on basic questions to determine the scope and severity of the problem. Aternity shows all of the necessary information in the dashboard above. The color-coded status provides IT with all of the necessary information, without having to ask the user or obtain remote access to the user’s device.
3. Isolate the source of delay
As shown in the pop-up, Aternity breaks down the overall response time of a business activity to show the contribution by the back end, network, and client device. This enables the Help Desk agent to identify the cause of slow performance so they can rapidly route the ticket to the right team for investigation and resolution. The faster you can isolate the source of trouble, the more you can lower your Mean Time to Repair.
4. Automate recovery actions
With Aternity, IT can build a library of automated remediation actions, which can be executed either by the system or by IT, in response to recurring device problems like hard drive failures, app or system crashes, low disk space, etc. When these problems occur several times on the same device within a certain time, IT can specify the remediation action to be performed. This speeds up problem resolution, or eliminates issues altogether.
The TechValidate results discussed above do not include the effects of automated remediation, since that capability was released after the survey. With remediation, we expect customers to be able to reduce MTTR even further, achieving an even larger ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring.
5. Get cross-domain visibility
With the complexity of today’s IT environments, it’s no wonder that service providers and enterprises want to streamline their monitoring solutions. According to DEJ, 32% of organizations reported consolidation of monitoring tools as a key goal for IT Operations management in 2018. Unlike stand-alone Device Performance Monitoring vendors, Aternity is part of Riverbed’s integrated Digital Experience Management solution. This provides customers with a one-stop shop for visibility into end user devices, applications, networks, and infrastructure.
With an integrated DEM solution, IT teams can reduce MTTR once they’ve isolated the source of the problem. If the problem is in the application, the one-click integration between Aternity EUEM and AppInternals APM enables your App Team can take over the issue and resolve it quickly.
Often times, MTTR suffers because of the “blame game” between the End User Services team and the Network team. Each team blames the other for the user’s complaint. But the bi-directional integration between Aternity and SteelCentral NetProfiler provides complete insight between these two domains. Your teams can rapidly determine whether an end user issue is due to network congestion, traffic mis-classification, or an under-resourced client device. They can isolate the source of the problem and fix it fast.
Tell us what YOU think, and get started today!
These are the product capabilities that help our service provider and enterprise customers drive down Mean Time to Repair. I’d love to hear from you! What’s your experience in quantifying the ROI of Digital Experience Monitoring? What approaches are you implementing to reduce Mean Time to Repair?
You can get started today by registering for instant access to Aternity running in our cloud environment. You’ll get a guided tour through key uses cases for identifying and resolving issues, as well as for many others.