According to Forrester, the SaaS application and software market is expected to reach $75 billion in 2014. Forrester goes on to quote that the, “browser-based access model for SaaS products works better for collaboration among internal and external participants than behind-the-firewall deployments.” When you think about it, today’s users at organizations spend most of their time accessing various “smart applications”. Whether it’s applications like Office 365 or salesforce, the user base accessing and using these applications are increasing tremendously.
Monitoring the performance of these applications will make a huge difference considering more and more users are adopting the use of SaaS and cloud based applications. Monitoring the load on the server, user experience, and bottlenecks are crucial to optimize the overall performance whether the application is hosted on-premise, in a public cloud, or using a hybrid approach. If your organization is using several SaaS based applications, you can look at the following considerations if you choose to monitor performance and availability of such applications.
Monitor User Experience: Since users are going to be accessing the application extensively, you should monitor overall user experience and users’ interaction with the application. This allows you to analyze performance from the end-users perspective. Slow page load times or image matching issues can be a first indication that there’s an issue with the application. By drilling in deeper, you can determine if the problem is related to a specific page and location. Ultimately, monitoring user experience allows you to improve and optimize application performance, which results in improved conversion.
You could also look at this in two ways: from the perspective of the service provider, and from the perspective of the service consumer.
Service providers need to focus on:
- User experience: It’s likely service providers have SLAs with end users and they need to demonstrate they are meeting uptime and other SLA considerations.
- Infrastructure: There are many factors that can cause a service failure, therefore all aspects of the infrastructure must be monitored. These aspects include applications, servers, virtual servers, storage, network performance, etc.
- Integration services (web services): Services provided are dependent on other SaaS providers or internal apps.
Service consumers need to focus on:
- User experience: If part of your web application consumes web services, this can be the first indication of a problem.
- Web service failures: This can help identify a failure in communication.
Focusing on these aspects are essential when you’re monitoring SaaS applications. These key considerations help IT admins to take proactive measures to ensure applications don’t suffer downtime during crucial business hours. At the same time, each application will be optimized by continuously monitoring, thus improving overall efficiency.
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