An introduction to
experience monitoring

presents

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This report provides an overview of the emerging concept of experience monitoring, including explanations of the underlying principles, and examples of how to apply them. This report also contains original research and data that validates the widespread adoption of experience monitoring, helping IT leaders create best practices that can lead to improved security and end-user experience for any agile or distributed workforce.

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Contents

You can navigate the report
by scrolling down or clicking "NEXT". Or, click a chapter title directly from the table of contents to skip ahead to that section.

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At its core, experience monitoring is the process of gathering performance and activity data from the devices that employees use to work from, as well as the networks they connect to and the applications and services being used, to help IT understand the experience from the user’s perspective in real time.

Most organizations today already enjoy a wealth of visibility into device usage, provided that each device remains inside the corporate network or when using on-premise applications. But very few of these organizations have the same level of visibility into their remote or distributed workforce. With more employees working remotely and depending on an increasing number of public cloud, SaaS and internet applications, it’s become harder to see, control and troubleshoot any issues that arise. While an organization may not ‘own’ the underlying infrastructure, it is still responsible for user experience.

In September 2020 NetMotion conducted two surveys in the US and the UK to understand the divide between IT teams and the remote workers they support. One of the surveys sourced responses from IT professionals, managers, directors and C-level executives; the other asked similar questions, but from the perspective of office workers who now work remotely. These surveys were carried out concurrently and resulted in 500 responses each. The findings present an interesting story.

Remarkably, even though two thirds of remote workers have encountered experience issues, only around half actually report them to their IT team. This points to a major issue in distributed working and the challenge in getting visibility into the remote working experience.

An introduction to experience monitoring
"Technology plays a massive role in employee experience (EX) and engagement, but if you don’t have visibility into technology experience, you won’t be able to improve it."

Now Tech: End-User Experience Management, Q3 2020
by Andrew Hewitt with Stephanie Balaouras, Rich Lane, Tyler Brown, and Diane Lynch August 2020

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Survey: How has your experience been in getting support from your IT team while working remotely?

Issues encountered and not resolved

Issues encountered and not reported

Issues encountered and resolved

I have not encountered any technology issues

Key findings:

• 57.5% of all workers who encountered IT issues while working remotely did not share them with the IT team
• Two thirds of remote workers have encountered an IT issue during the lockdown
• Only 45.6% of all reported issues to IT were actually resolved.

This lack of visibility matters. If IT departments cannot understand the factors impacting remote workers, then they will be unable to support them. This goes some way to explaining the significant disparity between the estimated quality of experience for distributed workforces by IT leaders, and the actual working experience of those employees. The NetMotion study asked both cohorts to rate the experience of working remotely from a tools and technology perspective. IT respondents over-rated the quality of remote working experience by 21% when compared with scores shared by workers.  

This gap represents part of the problem but not all of it. According to the study, only one third of organizations are currently using experience monitoring solutions, with Gartner estimating the adoption rate at even lower.

Tip: click the legend below the chart to toggle a category on or off.

Survey: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate employee experience in your organization?
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The terminology for experience monitoring can be difficult to navigate. Described as digital experience monitoring (DEM) by Gartner and by Forrester as end user experience management (EUEM), it is an evolution of more traditional approaches to application performance monitoring (APM) and network performance monitoring and diagnostics (NPMD).

Gartner first published its Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring by Federico De Silva, Charley Rich and Josh Chessman in 2019, which was followed up by a more exhaustive overview in August 2020. This document outlines three core types of DEM solutions: real user monitoring (RUM), endpoint monitoring (EP), and synthetic transaction monitoring (STM).

Defining the category

DEM gives IT teams the ability to actively monitor and troubleshoot a host of metrics related to device, application and network performance. These can include: device activity, mobile data usage, application and website usage, data destinations (e.g. where data is being sent), productivity and adoption rates, network performance and diagnostics, Wi-Fi security information, application performance, device performance, web activity (including website reputation and risk factors), and data consumption. 

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Business
outcomes

Real user monitoring (RUM)
Real user monitoring evaluates the user experience from the perspective of the application, such as a website or mobile app.

Endpoint monitoring (EP)
Endpoint monitoring provides visibility into end-user devices.

Synthetic transaction monitoring (STM)
Synthetic transaction monitoring, the first and most established form of DEM, focuses on the performance and uptime of SaaS and other services

Real user
monitoring
Endpoint
monitoring
Synthetic
transaction
monitoring
DEM
experience
scores
Gartner's digital experience monitoring components
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Survey: Does your organization currently use monitoring tools to better understand employee experience?

Yes, we use a variety of tools

Yes, we use one dedicated tool

No, we do not monitor employee experience

Key findings:

Around half of all organizations are using a combination of different tools to monitor the remote working experience

Only 1 in 6 companies are not monitoring the remote working experience at all

1 in 3 organizations are actively using a dedicated experience monitoring solution 

One of the undeniable factors driving adoption of experience monitoring today is the enormous shift to remote work seen in 2020. As travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders took effect around the world earlier in the year, for the first time in modern history employees began
working primarily from their homes, outside the safe perimeter of the corporate network. And as a result, traditional monitoring tools such as APM and NPMD became less effective at determining and troubleshooting issues as they appeared on remote devices.

What's driving adoption?
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By contrast, experience monitoring tools typically use an agent on the device to gather a wide variety of informationincluding the
status of the CPU, memory, disk and batteryas well as network metrics, application performance and moreLeveraging these data points directly from the endpoint, it becomes possible to evaluate potential stability and performance issues in real time, helping to speed up the troubleshooting process. This gives IT teams the visibility they need to decide which common problems can be automated and significantly reduces mean time to resolution (MTTR) for any other issues.

Traditional tools are not as effective at monitoring the experience, but is the experience of working remotely any worse? The 2020 NetMotion study would suggest it often is. Almost half of employees considered remote working as worse than in an office, from an IT and technology perspective. Some of this is driven by the reduced priority that distributed workforces often suffer from – a mindset which is changing fast. Cybersecurity clearly also plays a role. Overbearing technologies, such as VPNs and multi-factor authentication, often stifle productivity and frustrate workers. If balancing risk management with maintaining a good user experience is important in office life, then it’s absolutely critical when it comes to remote working. 

Quiz time: following the events of 2020, what percent of companies were more likely to invest in experience monitoring technology?
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Use DEM to Understand and Enhance Your Employees’ Work-From-Home Experiences
Gartner 2020

“Ensure visibility into application performance by deploying endpoint-based digital experience monitoring (DEM) software tools to allow detailed views into user experience regardless of where a user is working.”
Survey: From an IT, tools and technology perspective, how does the experience of working remotely compare to working in an office?
Survey: How would you describe having to use your company’s security products, such as VPNs or authentication software?
Case study: Allina Health

Allina Health operates 11 hospitals, four ambulatory care centers, and 97 clinics. The group’s top-rated homecare and hospice division deployed remote Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software to review patient medical history, update care plans and document other important patient status information.  

Allowing nurses to operate in the field using tablets offered a much richer and more convenient experience to patients, as well as giving healthcare staff more flexibility in their approach to work. The challenge was that nurses were experiencing a host of technical issues, meaning the productivity rate of clinical work suffered. After implementing an experience monitoring solution, the IT team were able to identify lost connectivity as the most common issue, causing critical applications to log out without warning and forcing nurses to re-enter lost data. Some session interruptions resulted in corrupted data, requiring IT to extract files from the central database—a repair that often took half a day. Nurses frequently waited until the end of their shifts to sync from an office or once back at home, lengthening their workday. Several nurses even left the company in frustration.

After identifying the most common issues, Allina Health was able to work on remediating them. Upgrading its remote access software, changing network policies and rolling out new training programs made a big difference - homecare and hospice nurses have since been able to provide secure, stable EMR access at patients’ homes and other sites. Within the first six months of implementing these changes, nurses on average saved enough time to visit eight or nine patients each day instead of five previously, an increase of three additional patients per day. Not only did staff churn decrease, Allina credits DEM as a key factor in helping the organization double its homecare unit's staff. 

Clyde Daisley, system engineer
Allina Healthcare

“The IT team is pleased that connectivity related tickets have effectively been eliminated. Nurses are no longer frustrated with their mobile technology and are now able to see an additional three patients each per day.” 
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The benefits of experience monitoring 

IT leaders expect complete visibility of network performance and application uptime, user behavior and online threats. But athe shift continues towards more mobile, remote and distributed workplace, employees are accessing a wider variety of SaaS and internet resources from countless unknown networks, over any number of Wi-Fi and cellular connections, resulting in higher risk and greater troubleshooting complexity that legacy APM tools simply weren’t designed for 

For many organizations, permanent remote working has surfaced a host of irregular problems that the IT team is not equipped to support. The NetMotion September 2020 study revealed that three quarters (75%) of all organizations encountered an increase in support tickets since the start of the lockdown when compared with before. Over one quarter described the change as being significant, yet most did not benefit from an equivalent growth in available resources.

This is where experience monitoring tools are most valuable, thanks to their ability to monitor and improve the remote working experience. IT teams can react to tickets much more intelligently, using rich diagnostics features to better understand and resolve issues. More importantly, perhaps, they can also start improving the employee experience proactively and eliminate issues before workers get frustrated enough to inform the helpdesk.

Survey: How has the 2020 lockdown impacted the burden upon your organization’s IT department?

There are many tangible benefits to experience monitoring
beyond the measurable improvements to the support team effectiveness.   

  • Increased productivity of remote workers, due to eliminating common experience problems such as network disconnects, outdated hardware or misconfigured apps. 

  • Faster speed of remediation. DEM can give insight to those working in IT, providing root cause analysis and diagnosis of problems, enabling more effective issue resolution. 

  • Improved engagement with digital transformation projects. Experience monitoring can help measure and encourage adoption of new programs, applications and processes – identifying potential blocks and advocating for change. 

  • Overall morale and satisfaction improvements by tackling sources of frustration. This can prove critical for remote workers who all too often ‘suffer in silence’ – 57% of all issues experienced by distributed workforces are not even reported to IT. 

“The post-pandemic workforce will remain more distributed and remote, limiting I&O leaders’ visibility into endpoint, connectivity and application performance from everywhere, leaving them vulnerable to issues beyond their control, such as an ISP or home Wi-Fi issue.” 

Gartner Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring, August 2020 
by Federico De Silva, Charley Rich, Josh Chessman 

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Creating business value

One of the best ways to improve the situation is to start with clear objectives. Experience monitoring tools excel at gathering data, but data itself is of little value if the organization doesn’t draw appropriate insights and take action to fix (or at least minimize) risks and issues. 

This is where IT leaders often struggle. They are not accustomed to quantifying ‘soft’ metrics such as user experience, so this is where setting specific KPIs around quality of experience and employee engagement can help. For example, information about device usage can prove invaluableparticularly if it includes metrics about the number of times employees encounter network disconnectsthe times of day that employees are working, or information about which applications consume the most bandwidth 

For example, the NetMotion study showed that network performance was the most commonly cited contributor to remote working challenges, with one quarter of respondents also sharing that simply diagnosing the problems in the first place was difficult – an issue exasperated by the fact that most remote workers are operating on unmanaged networks and in unknown conditions.

Based on these kinds of insights, an IT team can make informed judgements about the user experience to make decisions about how to prioritize and resolve issues as soon as they appear. This can range from rolling out policies that block risky websites or limit access to platforms like Facebook until after normal working hours, but it can also include mobilizing an engineer to push software updates or scripts, tweak VPN or Wi-Fi settings and create automatic responses to common problems.

50%

30%

40%

20%

10%

0%

Reliable network performance

Software/application
issues

Remote worker cybersecurity

Hardware performance

Root cause analysis
of problems

Survey: What remote work challenges has your organization encountered this year?

“Fundamentally, DEM must be a key component of a holistic IT monitoring strategy spanning the infrastructure, applications and network that generate data as well as the analytics to make sense of that data.”

Gartner Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring, August 2020
by Federico De Silva, Charley Rich, Josh Chessman

Framework for making experience monitoring data actionable

Data

Insights
Action

•        Device

•        Application

•        OS

•        Cloud

•        Network

•        Filter

•        Automate

•        Summarize

•        Analyze

•        Distribute

•        Block

•        Optimize

•        Prioritize

•        Notify

•        Configure

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action.png
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Case study: US law firm

With offices in 20 countries around the world, this global law firm has always prided itself on investing in technology to support its 3,000 lawyers and administrative staff. As the Covid-19 pandemic forced employees to work from home, the company has actively encouraged open dialog about workplace flexibility and agility, to cater to the needs of employees while ensuring that productivity can be maintained. This has included offering employees flexible start and finish times, modified ‘core’ hours to allow for other non-work-related commitments. Crucially, it needed to ensure the productivity of ‘fee earners’ did not significantly drop. Clients are typically billed in increments of just six minutes, meaning that any impediment to the working experience of fee earners could be directly attributed to revenue loss.

In response to the changes created by this working environment, the company was able to roll out new policies for all of its employees, allowing them to work remotely across its global network. Rather than simply waiting for support tickets to flood in, the firm’s IT team can take proactive action. By using an experience monitoring solution, it could actively track the most commonly technical issues and remediate them before many employees even knew they existed. Within days, the firm actually started seeing an increase in the billable productivity of fee earnerswith the remote working program heralded as a major success.

Managing partner

“The Covid-19 pandemic has allowed us to take stock of how we approach agile and remote working. This experience has demonstrated that (...) the location of our employees should not be a factor in how easy it is for them to get their jobs done. Monitoring the experience of remote workers has been vital in ensuring that this remains the case in 2020
“Technology used to get in the way of me doing my job – now it’s quietly in the background helping me get my work done. I’m more used to directing complaints than compliments to the IT team, but they have genuinely done an amazing job." 

IT director

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One thing is clear from the events of 2020 – distributed working is not just a short-term trendAs IT leaders face the reality that a large percentage of the workforce will remain distributedmany of them are quickly realizing that they lack visibility into endpoints, connectivity and application performance – exposing their organizations to greater risk and bottlenecks, and in many cases leaving employees frustrated and underperforming. 

With abundant dissatisfaction and many workers electing not to report issues to IT teams, it should come as no surprise that remote employees have embraced shadow IT even more so than they have in years past. The NetMotion study found that 62% of remote workers are using applications unknown or unsanctioned by IT teams – with 25% using a significant number of unapproved tools outside of those that have been provisioned. 

Understanding shadow IT

Survey: Do you use any applications outside those recommended by your IT department?

Shadow IT, contrary to how it is viewed by some, is usually a result of workers seeking to be more productive; not less. The majority of people simply wish to get their jobs done. It is well documented that productivity can be linked to morale, and workers will turn to alternative tools if the ones provided are not good enough. This is all linked to the overall employee experience, and monitoring solutions can be used to better understand it. DEM tools can keep track of adoption rates for new applications, as well as detecting workarounds and rogue alternatives being used by employees. Often, this will present an opportunity for IT leaders to adjust their own strategies in response to real-time employee feedback. 

The data supports the productivity hypothesis. Most workers are not inherently lazy – productivity tools are the most likely to be adopted by remote workers.

Survey: what type of “shadow” software are you most likely to use?

Yes, lots
Yes, some
No, none
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Other (games, social media, etc.)

10.4%

Collaboration (Trello, Asana, Coda, etc.)

7.0%

Storage, file-sharing (Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc.)

12.2%

Communications (Slack, Zoom, Whatsapp etc.)

32.6%

37.8%

Productivity tools (Google docs, Doodle, etc.)

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Case study: Alan Boswell Group

Alan Boswell Group is an independent insurance broker and financial planning firm, known for exceptional customer service and expert advice on matters of insurance, risk management and financial services. The company serves clients all over the UK from ten regional offices, with financial advisors, claims personnel, and management frequently needing to access sensitive data from home or while at a client’s
location. 

With cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity not always being available, the company’s remote employees already faced challenges with productivity. Experience monitoring was implemented to better understand the nature of these issues, flagging those that were causing the biggest problems. Employees using Microsoft Surface devices at client sites – often restaurants and other hospitality venues – were spending far too long with the authentication process in logging into mission critical applications. Unreliable Wi-Fi and legacy software meant that simple tasks were needlessly problematic for frontline staff.

Identifying these issues meant that the IT team could work on some smart remediation strategies, helping employees reduce the amount of time wasted on technical issues. This knowledge was extremely valuable at the onset of the global lockdown. Equipped with battle-tested technologies and policies, the firm was able to enable the traditionally mostly fixed workforce into an entirely distributed one in just 72 hours. While rival firms struggled with business continuity and diagnosing major disruptions to productivity, Alan Boswell managed the transition seamlessly.

"The remote user experience of NetMotion is worlds apart,” said Tom Fisk, IT operations manager. With NetMotion, IT can easily troubleshoot issues remotely, and quickly deploy company-issued devices that are configured to connect to the network securely. This has given the IT team the confidence to roll out new applications such as  Microsoft Teams for virtual client meetings” 

Tom Fisk, IT operations manager
Alan Boswell Group

“We managed to get 360 employees working from home in less than 72 hours thanks to NetMotion’s simple install and seamless user experience."
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Remote shouldn’t mean invisible. NetMotion
‘sees’ what’s happening, all the way to the edge

• Data from the device
• Data from the OS
• Data from the application
• Data from the network. Any network.

We help customers turn data insights into
business value, across the enterprise

• Conditional policy engine
• Native remediation
• Integrated VPN and SDP/ZTNA
• Diagnostics-powered policy
• Proactive and reactive

Using the devices you have today

• Lightweight application
• No impact on battery
• Optimized connectivity
• Full OS parity
• Invisible and makes users happy

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As this report has demonstrated, the enormous shift to remote working has created problems that experience monitoring
solutions are uniquely capable of resolving. The ability to gather real-time, actionable data about the experience of workers can have a massive impact on the success of a business.
Satisfied employees help reduce churn, and almost always make
more productive workers. The knock-on effect of having a high-quality employee experience from happier employees has tangibly positive results on customer experience and will indirectly contribute to improved employee retention and hiring rates.  

Forrester and Gartner divide the market in different ways. Gartner splits the ‘DEM’ market into real user monitoring, endpoint monitoring and synthetic transaction monitoring, while Forrester categorizes ‘EUEM’ into pure-play tools, endpoint management specialists and monitoring suites. As a nascent market, the edges aren’t entirely clear yet, making the decision-making process for IT leaders much more difficult. Ultimately though, every organization is unique – finding the right fit for yours will require some reflection.

Implementing experience monitoring
“Gain visibility into remote worker user experience by deploying endpoint monitoring technologies from the user device perspective. Extract business insights from their monitoring tools by deploying DEM technologies in the context of monitoring 'North Star' business metrics, such as orders per minute or conversion rates, instead of infrastructure-centric metrics only

Forrester Now Tech: End-User Experience Management, Q3 2020
by Andrew Hewitt with Stephanie Balaouras, Rich Lane, Tyler Brown, and Diane Lynch August 2020

NetMotion DEM provides real-time data about the device, application and network performance in a single pane of glass. No other DEM solution can provide the same level of insight into mobile workers, showing real-time, non-synthetic information on networks, applications, devices and much more. NetMotion is entirely software-based, making it easy to implement in the cloud, on-prem, or as a service. It scales seamlessly, without new investments or headaches. Other experience monitoring products can reveal what’s wrong, but few can help resolve issues. NetMotion’s policy features and optimized tunnel do exactly that.

Consider NetMotion

One of the most popular ways to implement experience is through endpoint agents. This typically works by deploying a client on work devices such as laptops, tablets and mobiles. These agents give IT leaders added insight into the experience of workers from a device, application and network perspective.
NetMotion is an endpoint-based experience monitoring solution with unique insight into network data, combined with the most powerful diagnostics and remediation functionality on the market.

"NetMotion is an ideal solution for the frontline workforce. The company’s mobile carrier and internet focus gives it a unique advantage in situations where employees aren’t connected to the corporate network, such as frontline and remote workers.” 

The Forrester New Wave™: End-User Experience Management, Q4 2020  
by Andrew Hewitt with Stephanie Balaouras, Shannon Fish, and Diane Lynch 

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Ready to learn more?
Access your complimentary copy:

Gartner is the world's leading research and advisory company. This guide offers I&O leaders a market analysis with recognized vendors (including NetMotion), use case examples, and actionable recommendations to consider.

"Gartner Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring,”
25 August 2020, Federico De Silva, Charley Rich, Josh Chessman

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An introduction to experience monitoring

This report provides an overview of the emerging concept of experience monitoring, also known as DEM or UEUM, including explanations of the underlying principles, and examples of how to apply them. This report also contains original research and data that validates the widespread adoption of experience monitoring, helping IT leaders create best practices that can lead to improved security and end-user experience for any agile or distributed workforce.

nm-blue-transparent-01.png

presents

PLEASE NOTE:

We strongly recommend viewing this
report on desktop rather than mobile.

You can navigate the report
by scrolling down or clicking "NEXT". Or, click a chapter title directly from the table of contents to skip ahead to that section.

Contents
An introduction to experience monitoring
remote-worker2.png

At its core, experience monitoring is the process of gathering performance and activity data from the devices that employees use to work from, as well as the networks they connect to and the applications and services being used, to help IT understand the experience from the user’s perspective in real time.

Most organizations today already enjoy a wealth of visibility into device usage, provided that each device remains inside the corporate network or when using on-premise applications. But very few of these organizations have the same level of visibility into their remote or distributed workforce. With more employees working remotely and depending on an increasing number of public cloud, SaaS and internet applications, it’s become harder to see, control and troubleshoot any issues that arise. While an organization may not ‘own’ the underlying infrastructure, it is still responsible for user experience.

"Technology plays a massive role in employee experience (EX) and engagement, but if you don’t have visibility into technology experience, you won’t be able to improve it."

Now Tech: End-User Experience Management, Q3 2020
by Andrew Hewitt with Stephanie Balaouras, Rich Lane, Tyler Brown, and Diane Lynch August 2020

In September 2020 NetMotion conducted two surveys in the US and the UK to understand the divide between IT teams and the remote workers they support. One of the surveys sourced responses from IT professionals, managers, directors and C-level executives; the other asked similar questions, but from the perspective of office workers who now work remotely. These surveys were carried out concurrently and resulted in 500 responses each. The findings present an interesting story.

Remarkably, even though two thirds of remote workers have encountered experience issues, only around half actually report them to their IT team. This points to a major issue in distributed working and the challenge in getting visibility into the remote working experience.

Survey: How has your experience been in getting support from your IT team while working remotely?

Issues encountered and not resolved

Issues encountered and not reported

Issues encountered and resolved

I have not encountered any technology issues

Key findings:

• 57.5% of all workers who encountered IT issues while working remotely did not share them with the IT team
• Two thirds of remote workers have encountered an IT issue during the lockdown
• Only 45.6% of all reported issues to IT were actually resolved.

This lack of visibility matters. If IT departments cannot understand the factors impacting remote workers, then they will be unable to support them. This goes some way to explaining the significant disparity between the estimated quality of experience for distributed workforces by IT leaders, and the actual working experience of those employees. The NetMotion study asked both cohorts to rate the experience of working remotely from a tools and technology perspective. IT respondents over-rated the quality of remote working experience by 21% when compared with scores shared by workers.  

This gap represents part of the problem but not all of it. According to the study, only one third of organizations are currently using experience monitoring solutions, with Gartner estimating the adoption rate at even lower.

Tip: click the legend below the chart to toggle a category on or off.

Survey: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate employee experience in your organization?
Defining the category

The terminology for experience monitoring can be difficult to navigate. Described as digital experience monitoring (DEM) by Gartner and by Forrester as end user experience management (EUEM), it is an evolution of more traditional approaches to application performance monitoring (APM) and network performance monitoring and diagnostics (NPMD).

Gartner first published its Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring by Federico De Silva, Charley Rich and Josh Chessman in 2019, which was followed up by a more exhaustive overview in August 2020. This document outlines three core types of DEM solutions: real user monitoring (RUM), endpoint monitoring (EP), and synthetic transaction monitoring (STM).

Real user monitoring (RUM)
Real user monitoring evaluates the user experience from the perspective of the application, such as a website or mobile app.

Endpoint monitoring (EP)
Endpoint monitoring provides visibility into end-user devices.

Synthetic transaction monitoring (STM)
Synthetic transaction monitoring, the first and most established form of DEM, focuses on the performance and uptime of SaaS and other services

business-outcomes.png

DEM gives IT teams the ability to actively monitor and troubleshoot a host of metrics related to device, application and network performance. These can include: device activity, mobile data usage, application and website usage, data destinations (e.g. where data is being sent), productivity and adoption rates, network performance and diagnostics, Wi-Fi security information, application performance, device performance, web activity (including website reputation and risk factors), and data consumption. 

Survey: Does your organization currently use monitoring tools to better understand employee experience?

Yes, we use a variety of tools

Yes, we use one dedicated tool

No, we do not monitor employee experience

Key findings:

Around half of all organizations are using a combination of different tools to monitor the remote working experience

Only 1 in 6 companies are not monitoring the remote working experience at all

1 in 3 organizations are actively using a dedicated experience monitoring solution 

What's driving adoption?
remote-worker3-01.png

One of the undeniable factors driving adoption of experience monitoring today is the enormous shift to remote work seen in 2020. As travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders took effect around the world earlier in the year, for the first time in modern history employees began working primarily from their homes, outside the safe perimeter of the corporate network. And as a result, traditional monitoring tools such as APM and NPMD became less effective at determining and troubleshooting issues as they appeared on remote devices.

By contrast, experience monitoring tools typically use an agent on the device to gather a wide variety of information, including the status of the CPU, memory, disk and battery, as well as network metrics, application performance and more. Leveraging these data points directly from the endpoint, it becomes possible to evaluate potential stability and performance issues in real time, helping to speed up the troubleshooting process. This gives IT teams the visibility they need to decide which common problems can be automated and significantly reduces mean time to resolution (MTTR) for any other issues.

“Ensure visibility into application performance by deploying endpoint-based digital experience monitoring (DEM) software tools to allow detailed views into user experience regardless of where a user is working.”

Use DEM to Understand and Enhance Your Employees’ Work-From-Home Experiences
Gartner 2020

Traditional tools are not as effective as monitoring the experience, but is the experience of working remotely any worse? The 2020 NetMotion study would suggest it often is. Almost half of employees considered remote working as worse than in an office, from an IT and technology perspective. Some of this is driven by the reduced priority that distributed workforces often suffer from – a mindset which is changing fast. Cybersecurity clearly also plays a role. Overbearing technologies, such as VPNs and multi-factor authentication, often stifle productivity and work to frustrate workers. If balancing risk management with maintaining a good user experience is important in office life, then it’s absolutely critical when it comes to remote working.

Survey: From an IT, tools and technology perspective, how does the experience of working remotely compare to working in an office?
Survey: How would you describe having to use your company’s security products, such as VPNs or authentication software?
desks-left.png
Case study: Allina Health

Allina Health operates 11 hospitals, four ambulatory care centers, and 97 clinics. The group’s top-rated homecare and hospice division deployed remote Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software to review patient medical history, update care plans and document other important patient status information.  

Allowing nurses to operate in the field using tablets offered a much richer and more convenient experience to patients, as well as giving healthcare staff more flexibility in their approach to work. The challenge was that nurses were experiencing a host of technical issues, meaning the productivity rate of clinical work suffered. After implementing an experience monitoring solution, the IT team were able to identify lost connectivity as the most common issue, causing critical applications to log out without warning and forcing nurses to re-enter lost data. Some session interruptions resulted in corrupted data, requiring IT to extract files from the central database—a repair that often took half a day. Nurses frequently waited until the end of their shifts to sync from an office or once back at home, lengthening their workday. Several nurses even left the company in frustration.

“The IT team is pleased that connectivity related tickets have effectively been eliminated. Nurses are no longer frustrated with their mobile technology and are now able to see an additional three patients each per day.” 

Clyde Daisley, system engineer
Allina Healthcare

After identifying the most common issues, Allina Health was able to work on remediating them. Upgrading its remote access software, changing network policies and rolling out new training programs made a big difference - homecare and hospice nurses have since been able to provide secure, stable EMR access at patients’ homes and other sites. Within the first six months of implementing these changes, nurses on average saved enough time to visit eight or nine patients each day instead of five previously, an increase of three additional patients per day. Not only did staff churn decrease, Allina credits DEM as a key factor in helping the organization double its homecare unit's staff. 

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The benefits of experience monitoring 

IT leaders expect complete visibility of network performance and application uptime, user behavior and online threats. But athe shift continues towards more mobile, remote and distributed workplace, employees are accessing a wider variety of SaaS and internet resources from countless unknown networks, over any number of Wi-Fi and cellular connections, resulting in higher risk and greater troubleshooting complexity that legacy APM tools simply weren’t designed for 

For many organizations, permanent remote working has surfaced a host of irregular problems that the IT team is not equipped to support. The NetMotion September 2020 study revealed that three quarters (75%) of all organizations encountered an increase in support tickets since the start of the lockdown when compared with before. Over one quarter described the change as being significant, yet most did not benefit from an equivalent growth in available resources.

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Survey: How has the 2020 lockdown impacted the burden upon your organization’s IT department?

This is where experience monitoring tools are most valuable, thanks to their ability to monitor and improve the remote working experience. IT teams can react to tickets much more intelligently, using rich diagnostics features to better understand and resolve issues. More importantly, perhaps, they can also start improving the employee experience proactively and eliminate issues before workers get frustrated enough to inform the helpdesk.

“The post-pandemic workforce will remain more distributed and remote, limiting I&O leaders’ visibility into endpoint, connectivity and application performance from everywhere, leaving them vulnerable to issues beyond their control, such as an ISP or home Wi-Fi issue.” 

Gartner Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring, August 2020 
by Federico De Silva, Charley Rich, Josh Chessman 

There are many tangible benefits to experience monitoring
beyond the measurable improvements to the support team effectiveness.   

  • Increased productivity of remote workers, due to eliminating common experience problems such as network disconnects, outdated hardware or misconfigured apps. 

  • Faster speed of remediation. DEM can give insight to those working in IT, providing root cause analysis and diagnosis of problems, enabling more effective issue resolution. 

  • Improved engagement with digital transformation projects. Experience monitoring can help measure and encourage adoption of new programs, applications and processes – identifying potential blocks and advocating for change. 

  • Overall morale and satisfaction improvements by tackling sources of frustration. This can prove critical for remote workers who all too often ‘suffer in silence’ – 57% of all issues experienced by distributed workforces are not even reported to IT. 

Creating business value

One of the best ways to improve the situation is to start with clear objectives. Experience monitoring tools excel at gathering data, but data itself is of little value if the organization doesn’t draw appropriate insights and take action to fix (or at least minimize) risks and issues. 

This is where IT leaders often struggle. They are not accustomed to quantifying ‘soft’ metrics such as user experience, so this is where setting specific KPIs around quality of experience and employee engagement can help. For example, information about device usage can prove invaluableparticularly if it includes metrics about the number of times employees encounter network disconnectsthe times of day that employees are working, or information about which applications consume the most bandwidth 

For example, the NetMotion study showed that network performance was the most commonly cited contributor to remote working challenges, with one quarter of respondents also sharing that simply diagnosing the problems in the first place was difficult – an issue exasperated by the fact that most remote workers are operating on unmanaged networks and in unknown conditions.

Survey: What remote work challenges has your organization encountered this year?

“Fundamentally, DEM must be a key component of a holistic IT monitoring strategy spanning the infrastructure, applications and network that generate data as well as the analytics to make sense of that data.”

Gartner Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring, August 2020
by Federico De Silva, Charley Rich, Josh Chessman

Based on these kinds of insights, an IT team can make informed judgements about the user experience to make decisions about how to prioritize and resolve issues as soon as they appear. This can range from rolling out policies that block risky websites or limit access to platforms like Facebook until after normal working hours, but it can also include mobilizing an engineer to push software updates or scripts, tweak VPN or Wi-Fi settings and create automatic responses to common problems.

Framework for making experience monitoring data actionable

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Data

•        Device

•        Application

•        OS

•        Cloud

•        Network

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Insights

•        Filter

•        Automate

•        Summarize

•        Analyze

•        Distribute

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Action

•        Block

•        Optimize

•        Prioritize

•        Notify

•        Configure

Reliable network performance


Software/application issues


Remote worker cybersecurity


Hardware performance


Root cause analysis of problems

45.6%

43.2%

42.8%

37.6%

27.2%

Case study: US law firm

With offices in 20 countries around the world, this global law firm has always prided itself on investing in technology to support its 3,000 lawyers and administrative staff. As the Covid-19 pandemic forced employees to work from home, the company has actively encouraged open dialog about workplace flexibility and agility, to cater to the needs of employees while ensuring that productivity can be maintained. This has included offering employees flexible start and finish times, modified ‘core’ hours to allow for other non-work-related commitments. Crucially, it needed to ensure the productivity of ‘fee earners’ did not significantly drop. Clients are typically billed in increments of just six minutes, meaning that any impediment to the working experience of fee earners could be directly attributed to revenue loss.

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“The Covid-19 pandemic has allowed us to take stock of how we approach agile and remote working. This experience has demonstrated that (...) the location of our employees should not be a factor in how easy it is for them to get their jobs done. Monitoring the experience of remote workers has been vital in ensuring that this remains the case in 2020

IT director

In response to the changes created by this working environment, the company was able to roll out new policies for all of its employees, allowing them to work remotely across its global network. Rather than simply waiting for support tickets to flood in, the firm’s IT team can take proactive action. By using an experience monitoring solution, it could actively track the most commonly technical issues and remediate them before many employees even knew they existed. Within days, the firm actually started seeing an increase in the billable productivity of fee earnerswith the remote working program heralded as a major success.

“Technology used to get in the way of me doing my job – now it’s quietly in the background helping me get my work done. I’m more used to directing complaints than compliments to the IT team, but they have genuinely done an amazing job." 

Managing partner

Understanding shadow IT
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Survey: Do you use any applications outside those recommended by your IT department?

Yes, lots
Yes, some
No, none

Shadow IT, contrary to how it is viewed by some, is usually a result of workers seeking to be more productive; not less. The majority of people simply wish to get their jobs done. It is well documented that productivity can be linked to morale, and workers will turn to alternative tools if the ones provided are not good enough. This is all linked to the overall employee experience, and monitoring solutions can be used to better understand it. DEM tools can keep track of adoption rates for new applications, as well as detecting workarounds and rogue alternatives being used by employees. Often, this will present an opportunity for IT leaders to adjust their own strategies in response to real-time employee feedback. 

The data supports the productivity hypothesis. Most workers are not inherently lazy – productivity tools are the most likely to be adopted by remote workers.

Survey: what type of “shadow” software are you most likely to use?

37.8%

Productivity tools (Google docs, Doodle, etc.)

32.6%

Communications (Slack, Zoom, Whatsapp etc.)

12.2%

Storage, file-sharing (Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc.)

7.0%

Collaboration (Trello, Asana, Coda, etc.)

10.4%

Other (games, social media, etc.)
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One thing is clear from the events of 2020 – distributed working is not just a short-term trendAs IT leaders face the reality that a large percentage of the workforce will remain distributedmany of them are quickly realizing that they lack visibility into endpoints, connectivity and application performance – exposing their organizations to greater risk and bottlenecks, and in many cases leaving employees frustrated and underperforming. 

With abundant dissatisfaction and many workers electing not to report issues to IT teams, it should come as no surprise that remote employees have embraced shadow IT even more so than they have in years past. The NetMotion study found that 62% of remote workers are using applications unknown or unsanctioned by IT teams – with 25% using a significant number of unapproved tools outside of those that have been provisioned. 

Case study: Alan Boswell Group
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Tom Fisk, IT operations manager
Alan Boswell Group

"The remote user experience of NetMotion is worlds apart,” said Tom Fisk, IT operations manager. With NetMotion, IT can easily troubleshoot issues remotely, and quickly deploy company-issued devices that are configured to connect to the network securely. This has given the IT team the confidence to roll out new applications such as  Microsoft Teams for virtual client meetings” 

Alan Boswell Group is an independent insurance broker and financial planning firm, known for exceptional customer service and expert advice on matters of insurance, risk management and financial services. The company serves clients all over the UK from ten regional offices, with financial advisors, claims personnel, and management frequently needing to access sensitive data from home or while at a client’s
location. 

With cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity not always being available, the company’s remote employees already faced challenges with productivity. Experience monitoring was implemented to better understand the nature of these issues, flagging those that were causing the biggest problems. Employees using Microsoft Surface devices at client sites – often restaurants and other hospitality venues – were spending far too long with the authentication process in logging into mission critical applications. Unreliable Wi-Fi and legacy software meant that simple tasks were needlessly problematic for frontline staff.

Identifying these issues meant that the IT team could work on some smart remediation strategies, helping employees reduce the amount of time wasted on technical issues. This knowledge was extremely valuable at the onset of the global lockdown. Equipped with battle-tested technologies and policies, the firm was able to enable the traditionally mostly fixed workforce into an entirely distributed one in just 72 hours. While rival firms struggled with business continuity and diagnosing major disruptions to productivity, Alan Boswell managed the transition seamlessly.

"We managed to get 360 employees working from home in less than 72 hours thanks to NetMotion's simple install and seamless user experience."

Implementing experience monitoring

As this report has demonstrated, the enormous shift to remote working has created problems that experience monitoring
solutions are uniquely capable of resolving. The ability to gather real-time, actionable data about the experience of workers can have a massive impact on the success of a business.
Satisfied employees help reduce churn, and almost always make
more productive workers. The knock-on effect of having a high-quality employee experience from happier employees has tangibly positive results on customer experience and will indirectly contribute to improved employee retention and hiring rates.  

Forrester and Gartner divide the market in different ways. Gartner splits the ‘DEM’ market into real user monitoring, endpoint monitoring and synthetic transaction monitoring, while Forrester categorizes ‘EUEM’ into pure-play tools, endpoint management specialists and monitoring suites. As a nascent market, the edges aren’t entirely clear yet, making the decision-making process for IT leaders much more difficult. Ultimately though, every organization is unique – finding the right fit for yours will require some reflection.

“Gain visibility into remote worker user experience by deploying endpoint monitoring technologies from the user device perspective. Extract business insights from their monitoring tools by deploying DEM technologies in the context of monitoring 'North Star' business metrics, such as orders per minute or conversion rates, instead of infrastructure-centric metrics only

Forrester Now Tech: End-User Experience Management, Q3 2020
by Andrew Hewitt with Stephanie Balaouras, Rich Lane, Tyler Brown, and Diane Lynch August 2020

Consider NetMotion

NetMotion DEM provides real-time data about the device, application and network performance in a single pane of glass. No other DEM solution can provide the same level of insight into mobile workers, showing real-time, non-synthetic information on networks, applications, devices and much more. NetMotion is entirely software-based, making it easy to implement in the cloud, on-prem, or as a service. It scales seamlessly, without new investments or headaches. Other experience monitoring products can reveal what’s wrong, but few can help resolve issues. NetMotion’s policy features and optimized tunnel do exactly that.

"NetMotion is an ideal solution for the frontline workforce. The company’s mobile carrier and internet focus gives it a unique advantage in situations where employees aren’t connected to the corporate network, such as frontline and remote workers.” 

The Forrester New Wave™: End-User Experience Management, Q4 2020  
by Andrew Hewitt with Stephanie Balaouras, Shannon Fish, and Diane Lynch 

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• Data from the device
• Data from the OS
• Data from the application
• Data from the network. Any network.

• Conditional policy engine
• Native remediation
• Integrated VPN and SDP/ZTNA
• Diagnostics-powered policy
• Proactive and reactive

• Lightweight application
• No impact on battery
• Optimized connectivity
• Full OS parity
• Invisible and makes users happy