The focus on end user activity monitoring (EUAM) continues grow in importance due to the end user influence on how IT is used and how applications are sourced. Forward thinking IT organizations recognize the value of gaining insight into end user activity as it can enable more effective applications support, improved IT service and ensures end users are more productive.
However, EUAM not something readily embraced by end users who consider anything that tracks and monitors their activity a personal infringement. In some countries privacy hurdles will need to be overcome requiring the tools that provide activity monitoring to establish levels of interaction.
Highway cameras are used to take pictures of cars breaking the speed limit policy with all vehicles under the limit passing with no picture and no record of their presence. The same can be said for EUAM, the objective is to identify trends, abnormalities and performance degradations not to track and record all activity. Today’s EUAM tools will understand what devices are used, the configuration, specified software loaded, application performance, activations and where appropriate, the location. However, unlike the speed camera the job of EUAM is focused on enablement not policing.
EUAM augments and enhances existing application performance monitoring tools, by providing a ‘front-end’ end user understanding of how IT is being experienced. It allows IT organizations to tie the end user experience with the ‘back-end’ data center applications infrastructure. This can be incredibly powerful as it allows a full end-to-end view of the entire application interaction from mouse click to database record retrieval.
So what capabilities should be expected from an end user applications monitoring solution? It’s certainly more than has been available for years, which is typically a combination of synthetic transaction monitoring, desktop management and end user issues opened at the service desk. EUAM provides real end user activity in one tool. Depending on how intrusive a company needs to go (or allowed to go) the following EUAM capabilities should be considered when looking for the right EUAM product;
- Real-Time Application Response Monitoring
- Information in real-time revealing degradations in applications performance preferably before the end user sees the impact.
- End User Behavioral Analysis
- Information on how end users access applications, when the applications are used and even where the access is required.
- Visibility through service providers, clouds and content delivery networks
- End-to-end visibility of applications performance irrespective of where the applications are sourced and the cloud environments between the source and the end user.
- Application Activations
- Visibility into when and how long applications are used enabling IT support to schedule and plan IT operational activity more effectively.
- Keystroke/Activity Logging
- Increasing root-cause capabilities by allowing IT support to see what was happening on the end user device when an issue occurred.
- Device Information (type, software revisions, configuration)
- Ensuring that the end user has the required configuration to support effective application release processes and allowing more effective issue identification.
- End user location (*if company policy and/or privacy laws allow)
- Allows IT to track where end users access applications and on what devices. This helps with performance degradation issue analysis and root-cause analysis.
Recent coverage of EUAM;