The public sector frequently provides services and information via websites, and it’s important that these websites are up and running properly. And that’s not just for citizen-facing websites. Federal IT managers face the same challenge with internal sites such as intranets and back-end resource sites.


So what can federal IT pros do to keep ahead of the challenge, catch critical issues before they impact the user, and keep external and internal sites running at optimal performance?


The answer is three-fold:


  1. Monitor key performance metrics on the back-end infrastructure that supports the website.
  2. Track customer experience and front-end performance from the outside.
  3. Integrate back- and front-end information to get a complete picture.


Performance monitoring


Federal IT pros understand the advantages of standard performance monitoring, but monitoring in real time is just not enough. To truly optimize internal and external site performance, the key is to have performance information in advance.


This advance information is best gained by establishing a baseline, then comparing activity to that standard. With a baseline in place, a system can be configured to provide alerts based on information that strays from the baseline. And troubleshooting can start immediately and the root cause can be uncovered before it impacts customers. By anticipating an impending usage spike that will push capacity limits, the IT team can be proactive and avoid a slowdown.


That historical baseline will also help allocate resources more accurately and enable capacity planning. Capacity planning analysis lets IT managers configure the system to send an alert based on historical analysis.


Automation is also a critical piece of performance monitoring. If the site goes down over the weekend, automated tools can restart the site if it crashes and send an alert when it’s back up so the team can start troubleshooting.


End-user experience monitoring


Understanding the customer experience is a critical piece of ensuring optimal site performance. Let’s say the back-end performance looks good, but calls are coming in from end-users that the site is slow. Ideally, IT staff would be able to mimic a user’s experience, from wherever that user is located, anywhere around the world. This allows the team to isolate the issue to a specific location.


It is important to note that federal IT pros face a unique challenge in monitoring the end-user experience. Many monitoring tools are cloud based, and therefore will not work within a firewall. If this is the case, be sure to find something that works inside the firewall that will monitor internal and external sites equally.


Data integration


The ultimate objective is to bring all this information together to provide the visibility across the front- and back-end alike, to know where to start looking for any anomaly, no matter where it originates.


The goal is to improve visibility in order to optimize performance. The more data IT pros can muster, the greater their power to optimize performance and provide customers with the optimal experience.


Find the full article on Government Computer News.