Digital Experience Management Is the Rx for DX


Digital transformation, or DX, is the buzz phrase on every CIO's lips these days. It's a catchall term for the process smart businesses are using to overhaul IT, using cloud platforms, mobile applications, next-generation network architectures, and agile development methodologies.

In the new webinar "What's the Rx for DX?", Riverbed Director of Product Marketing, Erik Hille and IDC Program Vice President Stephen Elliot explain how digital experience management is absolutely crucial for helping DX meet its full potential. And you’ll find even more information in the accompanying white paper called "Digital Experience Management: A Foundation for Transformation."

What does this mean for you as a Riverbed customer? Riverbed SteelCentral is an integrated suite of tools that makes it possible to monitor and manage the digital experience, from the cloud and the data center right down to your end user's laptop or smartphone. And without those capabilities, you can't fully understand whether your DX projects are delivering the results you want. To go in-depth on how digital experience management can help with DX, you'll want to watch the whole webinar, but in this article, we'll hit you with the highlights.

“How do you know when your customers’ experiences have improved? If you can't answer that question, then you've spent a lot of money for a benefit you might not ever realize.’’

Erik Hille | Director of Product Marketing | Riverbed

DX: What, why, and how much

DX is an umbrella term meant to encompass a variety of transformative projects companies are undertaking, including re-architecting networks and moving compute and storage to the cloud.

As for the scope of spending, IDC forecasted that “Worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies to be more than $1.2 trillion in 2017, an increase of 17.8% over 2016.” And IDC expects that “DX spending to maintain this pace with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.9% over the 2015–2020 forecast period and reach $2.0 trillion in 2020.”

Enterprises have a number of motivations for tackling these projects, but one stands out: two-thirds of businesses surveyed by IDC say that one of their top goals is to improve customer experiences. That makes sense, but it raises a tricky problem: how do you know when your customers' experiences have improved? If you can't answer that question, then you've spent a lot of money for a benefit you might not ever realize.

Finding causes and ending fights

In a typical scenario, you might have end-users complaining about performance problems, but every individual silo's monitoring tools are showing nothing but green lights, as shown in Figure 1. The result is finger-pointing among teams.

Figure 1. The trouble with silos

The trouble with silos

As companies embark on DX projects, the problem can worsen: infrastructure becomes more heterogeneous, networks become more complex and traverse the cloud, and end user devices grow ever more varied. And your infrastructure probably isn't all getting upgraded at once, so you've got legacy equipment in the mix too. In fact, you may be trying to manage a transformed network with the hodge-podge of legacy tools you've already installed. An initiative meant to improve customer experiences can bog down in complexity and user complaints.

SteelCentral drives a virtuous cycle

Riverbed combines expertise in application, network, and end-user experience monitoring to deliver a holistic and blended approach that monitors and manages across silos. With SteelCentral, you can:

  • Manage issues proactively, before users notice anything's wrong
  • Improve cross-domain performance, visibility, and IT value
  • Improve collaboration and reduce silos across groups

Because SteelCentral tools work together, a network analyst can drill down into a problem to discover that the fault lies with the application — and instead of just passing the buck with a shrug, can give the application team all the data they need to analyze and fix the issue. Naturally, this is true regardless of whether the starting point is the network team, application team, or end-user experience team.

And this insight can drive a virtuous cycle in your DX efforts: because you can understand the performance levels for end users, applications, network, and infrastructure, you can track down the root causes of performance issues and determine which areas would benefit from new development and further transformation initiatives.

SteelCentral's mission is to monitor all types of end-user devices, apps, networks, and infrastructure — wherever they are. With SteelCentral on your side, you'll have the insight you need to make your DX projects a success. For more information, check out the full webinar, or download the free IDC whitepaper, "Digital Experience Management: A Foundation for Transformation."