London School of Economics Gains Improved User Experience with AppDynamics

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This blog post is based on the London School of Economics and Political Science press release published on September 15. 

This week, I had the chance to learn about an exciting new partnership we kicked off with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

LSE is a world-renowned institution that serves approximately 9,600 full-time students and more than 125,000 alumni. As they open their doors to more overseas students from over 140 countries, the demand for digital student resources to enable remote access before term starts has skyrocketed. Today’s software-defined business crosses into higher education more than ever as everything from connected devices and digital academia become a best practice as opposed to a supplement within academic institutions.

At the start and end of the academic year, LSE experiences a staggering rate of visits and usage of its digital properties from both students and faculty. Academic coursework at LSE functions on a first-come, first-served basis, and when IT operations are not scaled to respond to peak visitation rates, students risk losing the chance to enroll in courses required to graduate.

At LSE, an internal application development team works alongside the systems and databases teams, looking after student and staff portals and enterprise applications across the greater organization. These core applications are used by students to choose courses, check their fees and grades, and pay for services. Staff utilize them to keep tabs on their students, and the Student Union uses them to run their elections. With so many different players in their digital resources, LSE needed to define a set process to integrate their back-end development teams with their end users–the students and staff who continue to grow with the school. 

To break down the silos between IT operations and academic functions within the university, LSE recognized the need to implement an application performance management solution to troubleshoot the causes of their performance issues. This would further integrate IT capabilities into the university’s academic framework.

LSE needed to scale and improve its online performance before their students and faculty lost valuable time and course work. They recognized and selected AppDynamics as the provider to quickly improve performance of their digital resources to maintain student interest and competitive enrollment in the higher education market.

AppDynamics supported LSE to streamline management of online services and enable a better overall quality of education for their growing student body. “We want to move towards a DevOps model where we can deploy rapidly and more cost effectively, and respond quicker to end user demands,” says Ron Riley, enterprise technology manager at LSE.

AppDynamics enables end-to-end visibility for LSE across all digital operations to improve monitoring, quickly locate standout issues, and resolve potential system threats. AppDynamics’ deployment speed and quality customer support created the ideal relationship with LSE. “LSE’s complex architecture has many moving parts, which can make it challenging to identify and remediate bottlenecks that impact the performance of our services. AppDynamics has been paramount to improving this. It allows us to drill down into every line of code. Before it was more of a guessing game, but now we can spot issues quickly and resolve them before they affect user experience,” says Riley.

Today, LSE is already seeing success with the AppDynamics platform, and the university hopes to roll out operational and business dashboards across other areas to provide wider visibility and strengthen performance across the institution. LSE further intends to extend beyond Unified Monitoring to include comprehensive Application Analytics in the future, which enables organizations to capture and analyze every performance detail of every business transaction flowing through their applications. By integrating IT capabilities and academic functions, the London School of Economics and Political Science is not only scaled to serve a growing demand base, but they also create the potential for a more innovative higher education model in today’s software-defined economy.

Saba Anees

Saba Anees

Saba is the Content Marketing Specialist at AppDynamics. She grew up in the SF Bay Area, graduated from UC Berkeley, and joined AppDynamics' Marketing team in 2015. You can follow her on Twitter at @sabaanees.