The digitization of business has created an even bigger opportunity for technology to not only keep the lights on, but drive tangible business value. This is especially evident where we see a recent shift from traditional application performance management (APM) as a stand-alone solution, to digital performance management (DPM). The shift simply means that end user experience can no longer be separated from infrastructure performance and vice versa. Solution providers need to address both sides of the equation and help companies to create a digitally intelligent, customer facing architecture that differentiates them from the competition.
Even before Forrester established DPM as a new discipline, there was another mindset helping companies differentiate themselves—an unyielding focus on the customer experience.
It’s easier than ever to leverage technology making customer experience one of the few chances a company has to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Marketers may already have taken up this charge, but without the technical infrastructure tools and technology it is impossible to know how the interaction between customers and your environment are performing. So it is time for infrastructure and operations to become customer obsessed as well.
What Does It Mean to Have Customer Obsession?
As mentioned previously, before Forrester introduced the concept of DPM, customer obsession was a recognized strategy for a company to differentiate themselves – Forrester laid out an operating model for being customer obsessed. If you are knowledgeable about DPM, the concepts within customer obsession will seem familiar. This is because without being customer obsessed, it is difficult to realize the true value of DPM.
According to Forrester, there are 4 main operating principles that create a customer obsessed business:
- Customer-Based Decision Making: Traditionally infrastructure and operations teams have stayed in the background while the business focused on customers. Customer-based decision making means understanding the “why” for you and your customers—not just the “what” and “how.”
- Making the Most of Customer Data: Technologists have been tasked by marketing with collecting customer data for years. Unfortunately, businesses haven’t been capable of making the most of that data. Being customer obsessed means infrastructure and operations should be equipped to deliver valuable customer insights.
- Agility Is Everything: If there’s one aspect of being customer obsessed that the technology function can relate to is it’s the call for agility. Customer expectations change so rapidly that you can’t risk falling behind. The sense of customer loyalty is disappearing rapidly, so staying ahead of the customer experience means everything to your business.
- Breaking Down Siloes: Siloes have always made sense—you can set up the infrastructure so if there’s a problem with one function it won’t affect overall operations while you troubleshoot. But integration is critical for customer obsession. When you’re focusing on the customer journey, you’re working with sales, marketing, product development and other functions, which means connecting many departments rather than walling them off.
When you put these principles into practice and take up customer obsession within the technology function, you’ll see that application performance management (APM) solutions alone are not enough. Adopting a DPM approach, combining APM with Customer Experience Analytics (CEA) is a way to turn the customer obsessed mindset into tangible business value.
Digital Performance Management Technology for the Customer Obsessed
While you’ve focused on APM, your marketing colleagues have relied on customer experience analytics to tap into their own customer obsession. At the very least, they should also be examining and considering the friction facing users as they interact with the technology.
However, being customer obsessed means going the extra step further to integrate your APM processes with customer experience visibility. In this way, you can tailor business decisions to specific customer experience priorities.
UserReplay works with APM vendors to deliver a DPM vision that drives business value for infrastructure and operations teams. Contact us today for more information on how UserReplay can help you drive business value.
John Thompson, CEO, UserReplay.