Overcoming invisible downtime across application user experiences

February 21 2024

Invisible downtime escapes traditional metrics and harms the user experience. Learn how full-stack observability helps defend your application environment.

According to the latest App Attention Index, a staggering 88% of consumers grappled with application performance issues within the past year, and 70% admitted to warning others against using an app, after one bad experience. Combine this with the growing user demand for secure, always-on digital experiences and it’s clear organizations must rise to the occasion and the stakes are high — especially for those depending on traditional metrics to gauge user experience. 

Invisible downtime: What you can’t see might harm application experiences 

Despite the need to deliver exceptional experiences, a major issue persists for organizations that rely only on traditional application performance metrics like error rate and throughput. While important, those metrics alone are no longer enough to understand and safeguard digital experiences. Instead, these traditional metrics can create a visibility gap or invisible downtime that’s characterized by subtle disruptions without immediate and observable consequences. To capture unseen or undiscovered pitfalls, organizations need to observe the entire application environment based on business context. This includes closely monitoring specific transaction-based business KPIs along the application user journey. For example, login and checkout, or digital loan application approval are key transactions for both the users and the business.

Automate downtime detection with full-stack observability 

Invisible downtime in key business transactions can devastate growth and revenue goals. To overcome it, organizations need metrics and insights that are more indicative of what users experience — and this requires observability.  

Four ways Cisco AppDynamics combats invisible downtime:  

Monitoring application environments: Cisco Cloud Observability enables scalable monitoring of cloud, multi-cloud, and hybrid cloud environments by allowing teams to visualize how microservices-based and distributed applications are performing, regardless of the cloud they’re in. This visibility helps identify bottlenecks or performance degradations in different layers that may cause invisible downtime. For traditional on-premises or hybrid environments, AppDynamics application performance monitoring enables robust visibility to help ease cloud migrations and allows technologists to gain insights, automate discovery, and fix anomalies in real-time.  

Monitoring SAP environments: Monitoring and observability are key to delivering operational uptime in SAP environments. AppDynamics Monitoring for SAP delivers continuous insights into how users are using the system and how new releases impact their experiences. With it, companies can de-risk and accelerate migration to S/4Hana and gain supporting features that keep SAP environments running smoothly. These include real-time app performance visibility in custom dashboards that enable comparisons before and after migration, the ability to quickly mitigate risks and address impact before users transition, leveraging AI/ML to understand what’s “normal” in the environment, and setting baselines to detect anomalies. All of which (and more) enable teams to focus and align on achieving business outcomes rather than troubleshooting issues. 

Monitoring business-critical transactions: Business iQ works alongside our application monitoring products to analyze the relationship between performance and critical business metrics like conversions. With it, IT teams can avoid invisible downtime across the most business-impacting transactions. For example, imagine a bank loan application conversion falls below the optimal threshold. The IT team may speculate drop-offs are the result of poor app performance, but traditional metrics indicate everything is working within parameters. Business iQ can detect and alert on the real issue and show how it affects the volume of loans processed, enabling technologists to detect, prioritize, and remediate quickly. 

Remove roadblocks between NetOps and AppOps: Customer Digital Experience Monitoring (CDEM) offers a bi-directional integration between AppDynamics and Cisco ThousandEyes, correlating network and cloud infrastructure metrics with application data. By integrating network intelligence and application observability, teams can quickly identify and address issues affecting user experience. A common scenario might be the network experiencing packet loss, but everything appears fine according to traditional uptime metrics, leaving users to bear the brunt of this invisible downtime. However, with CDEM, teams can find and take immediate action to address the network problem before it impacts users and app performance.  

Detect and prioritize security vulnerabilities: Invisible downtime increases the risk of security breaches but with Cisco Secure Application, teams gain the ability to detect vulnerabilities and see a continuously updated, ranked list of remediation priorities based on the likelihood of impact to business-critical transactions. Working alongside AppDynamics application performance monitoring, business risk observability insights gained from Cisco Secure Application help protect application health and performance while also building security resilience and user trust.

Unveiling the threat of invisible downtime  

Conventional metrics delivered by traditional monitoring tools can constrain the ability to see a bigger picture. In that space between what’s measured and what matters to users, lies invisible downtime. Full-stack observability delivers a real-time, end-to-end view across the application stack that enables organizations to bridge observability gaps, solve the threat of invisible downtime, and proactively ensure a smooth digital experience.  

To discover how full-stack observability solutions can shield your business from unseen threats affecting user experience and business outcomes,connect with a Cisco observability expert 


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