Building big picture insights for better digital public services

June 21 2023

Leverage context and insights across applications and infrastructure to deliver high-performing public sector digital experiences for citizens and staff.

Digital transformations are accelerating everywhere, and the public sector is no exception. Like most organizations, federal, state and local agencies rely on infrastructure to deliver the most critical applications and services to citizens. They are also deploying cloud and network environments that power everything from city web portals to public safety, health and human services and transportation systems. And pressure mounts because even the briefest slowdown or interruption can inconvenience people, waste public money or even put lives at risk.

Today’s environments are extremely complex and more difficult to manage and optimize than ever before. Legacy transformation means applications no longer reside exclusively onsite but are becoming increasingly hybrid, dispersed across the data center and the cloud. In addition, new hybrid work models are changing the way public employees work, and we’re seeing more users and devices in more places. Thus, the changes go beyond technology. Adding to these challenges, organizations are increasingly scattered, siloed and complex with multiple teams responsible for infrastructure and applications — each with its own agenda, tools, processes and limited visibility into the big picture.

Solving issues requires visibility and context

With so much uncertainty, gaining the insights needed to understand what’s happening is a big challenge. To give citizens the digital experiences they expect, agencies need a complete view across the digital journey from end user, through the Internet and network and into back-office systems. If an issue occurs within an application — or its infrastructure, IT teams need to act fast, discover the problem, determine its root cause and fix it — before it impacts the user. Each step of the process brings its own distinct challenges, particularly if remediation processes lack automation. To chase down the actual cause of an issue, resolve it and prevent it from happening again, organizations need to:

Identify the issue: In increasingly hybrid, complex environments, taking the first step to identify an issue can be a stumbling block. A single problem might generate a flood of alerts that can quickly overwhelm staff. These multiple alerts are hard to correlate, and the data they include may not be actionable.

Investigate: Once identified, the investigation begins. But without the right context, it can be hard to gain the insight needed to solve the issue. In a busy fact-finding scramble, IT is under pressure to track down leads from multiple sources. And in today’s complex environments, there may simply be too many places to look to investigate an issue manually.

Diagnose: To properly diagnose the issue, IT teams must find the root cause — and acquire context to fully understand the problem and what to do next. Neither task is easy when facing information overload and limited, siloed views of the data they need.

Remediate: After the issue is diagnosed, it’s time to remediate. All too often this requires inefficient workarounds like manual rollbacks of new configurations — which are especially difficult for teams with limited resources.

Monitor and optimize: Even after an issue is fixed, there’s still work to do. To continue monitoring and optimizing systems moving ahead, teams may be working with reports and analytics from different sources. Slow, manual reporting processes can slow them down, and it’s not always easy to connect the dots between different pieces of telemetry to build insights.

Visibility and an advanced tool set bring IT teams together

To help solve these challenges, we integrated the power of Cisco AppDynamics with Cisco ThousandEyes. This powerful duo delivers the automation, insights and context needed to solve issues faster and optimize for the future. Now, agencies can reduce the time to identify if a code-level issue or internet misrouting is the root cause of poor user experience. Built for hybrid environments, the solution provides a common dashboard that pairs anomaly detection capabilities with advanced AI to deliver immediate alerts that help pinpoint the exact location of an issue.

Acquiring a holistic view to accelerate issue resolution

With Cisco AppDynamics and Cisco ThousandEyes, when an application issue occurs, teams can quickly identify root cause based on how the application is relating to the infrastructure and determine whether issues originate in the application environment or the network. For example, if an agency’s health insurance eligibility tool, unemployment insurance portal, college registration or enterprise resource planning (ERP) starts behaving badly — Cisco empowers IT with the visibility, context and control needed to address the issue fast and continue monitoring the baseline to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Helping public agencies work smarter

With a single source of truth for application and network visibility, public sector technologists can standardize processes across operations, IT, applications and network teams. That means less finger-pointing while working on issues and faster mean time to resolution (MTTR). Now, instead of chasing issues, technologists can work on more strategic priorities like new citizen services, capacity planning, personal development and other long-term goals.

Learn more about how Cisco AppDynamics can help you acquire the visibility and insights needed to deliver high-performing digital experiences for citizens and staff.

Jamie Fancher is an accomplished regional sales leader at Cisco AppDynamics where he heads a team of sales professionals and engineers focused on sustainable and scalable technology initiatives for public sector IT organizations. As a strategist, innovator and tactical leader, Jamie’s expertise enables state and local government and higher education entities to build, protect, monitor and observe complex application environments. Prior to joining Cisco AppDynamics, Jamie served as a decorated sales leader for IBM, ScienceLogic, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and CA Technologies.

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