Forget about writing a letter to your congressman – today citizens use the web, email and social media to make their voices heard on the state, local and federal levels.


Much of this participation is due to the ubiquity of mobile devices. People can do just about everything with a smartphone or tablet and they expect their interactions with the government to be just as easy.


Unfortunately, according to a January 2015 report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, citizen satisfaction with federal government services continued to decline in 2014. This, despite Cross-Agency Priority Goals that require federal agencies to “utilize technology to improve the customer experience.”


IT pros need to design services that allow users to easily access information and interact with their governments using any type of device. Then, they must monitor these services to ensure they continue to deliver optimal experiences.


Those who wish to avoid the ire of the citizenry would do well to add automated end-user monitoring to their IT toolkit. End-user monitoring allows agency IT managers to continuously observe the user experience without having to manually check to see if a website or portal is functioning properly. It can help ensure that applications and sites remain problem-free-- and enhance a government’s relationship with its citizens.


There are three types of end-user monitoring solutions IT professionals can use to ensure their services are running at peak performance.


First, there is web performance monitoring, which can proactively identify slow or non-performing websites that could hamper the user experience. Automated web performance monitoring tools can also report load-times of page elements so that administrators can adjust and fix pages accordingly.


Synthetic end-user monitoring (SEUM) allows IT administrators to run simulated tests on different scenarios to anticipate the outcome of certain events. For example, in the days leading up to an election or critical vote on the Hill, agency IT professionals may wish to test certain applications to ensure they can handle spikes in traffic. Depending on the results, managers can make adjustments to handle the influx.


Likewise, SEUM allows for testing of beta applications or sites, so managers can gauge the positive or negative aspects of the user experience before the services go live.


Finally, real-time end-user monitoring effectively complements its synthetic partner. It is a passive monitoring process that gathers actual performance data as end users are visiting and interacting with the web application in real time, and it will alert administrators to any sort of anomaly.


Using these monitoring techniques, IT teams can address user experience issues from certain locations – helping to ascertain why a response rate from a user in Washington, D.C., might be dramatically different from one in Austin, Texas.


Today, governments are trying to become more agile and responsive and are committed to innovation. They’re also looking for ways to better service their customers. The potent combination of synthetic, real-time and web performance monitoring can help them achieve all of these goals by greatly enhancing end-user satisfaction and overall citizen engagement.


Find the full article on Government Computer News.