For years, users have had little patience for unresponsive websites, slow load times and multiple click-throughs. But today, user expectations are even higher with both employees and customers demanding digital experiences that are easy and seamless.
As a result, organizations are turning to software that monitors and manages the user digital experience. This class of technology allows executives to collect, view and analyze a range of metrics that help them ensure applications are engaging users in the ways that users want -- and ultimately in ways that support the organization's own key performance indicators. There are, however, some distinctions between vendors and products.
Forrester Research, for example, defines digital experience monitoring (DEM) as those products that monitor customer-facing websites and experiences. And Forrester classifies products that focus on internal employee experiences as end-user experience management (EUEM). Forrester analyst Andrew Hewitt noted that some vendors and analysts use the term DEM to describe both customer and employee-facing monitoring products, but he said there's more than semantics at issue.
"EUEM measures the real-time user experience from the perspective of the user's device. It is not focused on browser, app or server monitoring. It's important because it gives a more holistic view of the technology experience for employees," Hewitt said. "If you're measuring from the perspective of the user, you can understand what's happening on their devices, apps, networks, authentication mechanisms, etc. It's also commonly used for surveying employees with push notifications, which can be used for change management, feedback collection, etc."
Hewitt also noted key differences between experience monitoring software and experience management software.
"Digital experience monitoring is very tactical -- using tools only to reactively respond to issues in real time," he said. "Digital experience management goes a step further and is much more strategic. It includes the monitoring tools but also includes other strategic considerations, such as organizational support for tech experience, new metrics [and] qualitative feedback. So, think about monitoring as reactive and tool-centric, whereas management is more proactive and strategic."
Forrester has found growing demand for monitoring technology. According to its 2019 "Business Technographics Infrastructure Survey," 50% of organizations have EUEM tooling and its 2020 survey found that 25% were implementing it.
Other analysts also found growing demand for this technology. It's estimated that by 2025, 70% of business initiatives will require IT leaders to use business metrics when assessing the digital experience metrics -- up from the 15% who expect those types of assessments today, according to the August 2020 "Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring" from Gartner.
Such technology works by monitoring application attributes that impact the UX. Enterprise IT can opt for products that monitor the experiences of different constituents, such as external customers, partners and employees, with some products also offering the capacity to monitor the experiences of digital agents.
As such, organizations have a choice of digital experience monitoring vendors as well as digital experience management and EUEM vendors. Here are nine leading options according to analyst reports.
The company's digital experience monitoring and management offering uses synthetic transactions to simulate user behavior to identify and notify IT about issues within employee applications before those issues become a problem for the employees. Additionally, the product provides diagnostics -- giving IT information about what's causing problems -- as well as real-time remediation capabilities to quickly resolve the issues.
Aternity's digital experience management platform provides end-user experience monitoring, application performance monitoring and device performance monitoring. It utilizes a range of technology capabilities including analytics, telemetry collection, root-cause analysis, remediation and dashboards to help optimize the employee experience.
Organizations can use Catchpoint's digital experience intelligence platform to gain visibility into their end users' experiences. The platform tracks various components of service delivery, from network performance to the impact of third-party providers to the status of API calls. It gives organizations a consolidated view of all performance data, provides interactive dashboards and features dynamic alerting, with capacity to analyze and resolve issues quickly.
Datadog's suite offers a real-time end-to-end view of an organization's front-end systems through the lens of the user experience. Its dashboards offer insights into a range of metrics, such as page views and load times and it provides usage information by URL, country and browser type. It has customizable dashboards including one that allows for a high-level view of all applications, as well as capabilities to drill down into data to help identify root causes of the issues identified.
Dynatrace describes its software intelligence platform as an "all-in-one" offering that features infrastructure monitoring, business analytics and digital experience in addition to other capabilities. Its digital experience component uses synthetic monitoring to automatically discover issues before they become problems for customers, with organizations using the technology to optimize application performance, IT infrastructure and UX. Its DEM capability works to ensure that applications are not only available and functional but fast and efficient across every channel.
By collecting and analyzing a range of telemetry data, Lakeside's cloud-native digital experience platform helps organizations understand the digital experience from the individual employee's perspective. According to the company, its technology enables enterprise IT teams to "accurately measure the entirety of user experience" so they can improve and optimize it even in a highly distributed environment.
Nexthink's offerings use real-time analytics, instant remediation, automation and employee feedback across all devices to give IT team members the insights they need to not only monitor and manage but also improve the employee's digital workplace experience. Its offerings capture critical information related to both employee devices and the applications they use. Nexthink's dashboarding with experience optimization offers instant visibility so IT can respond to immediate needs, but it also supports the IT team's efforts to deliver continuous improvement to the employee experience.
Pingdom, a performance and availability monitoring software for websites, applications and servers, features real user monitoring as well as transaction, page speed and uptime monitoring to help organizations deliver faster, more reliable digital experiences. The software also features uptime monitoring, immediate alerts and root cause analysis.
Employing both active and passive monitoring techniques, Cisco's ThousandEyes digital experience monitoring product aims to give "deep insight into user experiences across the applications and services" that organizations provide to both customers and employees. It provides visibility into the numerous service delivery layers via a single view. The company's product also uses internet monitoring data to provide real-time internet outage detection.
Editor's note: TechTarget editors focused on leading digital experience monitoring vendors with strong reputations. Our research included data from TechTarget surveys and reports from respected research firms, including Gartner. This list is not ranked.
As a freelance journalist, Pratt has authored articles that appear on various sites, including a blog post about digital experiences used by Nexthink. None of the entries in this list of vendors is sponsored or promoted, and all vendors selected were held to the same criteria.