SaaS Monitoring Best Practices

Expand your APM efforts to include deep visibility across the public internet with a comprehensive SaaS monitoring solution.

What is SaaS performance monitoring?

SaaS monitoring is a performance monitoring solution that allows full visibility into every aspect of your enterprise's digital environment, including cloud-hosted or off-the-shelf Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. Outsourcing employee productivity tools to cloud-based platforms such as Salesforce or Microsoft 365 no longer means fully relying on outside service providers; SaaS monitoring extends beyond your organization's assets to provide monitoring data across the public Internet to allow greater awareness and control of the user experience.

Why is SaaS monitoring important?

Organizations that have fully embraced a DevOps philosophy with the intent of improving efficiency and productivity have experienced growing pains as the digital landscape has expanded to include modular components, such as cloud computing or SaaS solutions. 

While outsourcing the development and maintenance of certain aspects of infrastructure to service providers allows IT teams to focus on deploying software more quickly or reducing MTTR, the cost often came in the form of a lack of insight or control when it came to performance monitoring or troubleshooting. 

Although service level agreements (SLAs) are in place to guarantee a certain standard of quality, confirming that those standards are being met can be challenging without an objective data-driven perspective, such as the information collected by your own application monitoring solution. SaaS monitoring offers another layer of accountability. 

SLAs are also limited to the service provider's networks, servers, and applications, excluding your organization's infrastructure and internet providers. Consequently, there are built-in "blind spots" that can have a negative impact on user experience but aren't considered a breach of the SLA. 

SaaS monitoring helps ensure a seamless user experience by offering real-time data directly from the user's browser, improving visibility, awareness, and the ability to troubleshoot issues without relying on a service provider's help desk.

SaaS monitoring best practices

A comprehensive monitoring plan involves more than collecting and analyzing a few KPIs. Consider the following SaaS monitoring best practices to achieve full stack visibility and to protect the end-user experience:

Understand the impact of performance issues 

The stakes are higher than ever when it comes to doing business online. Not only are consumers living more of their daily lives in the digital landscape when it comes to shopping, socializing, and researching topics of interest, but our workplaces are slowly transforming into virtual spaces as well. 

With the rising popularity of remote work, cloud computing, and digital infrastructures, performance issues can negatively impact everything from brand reputation to employee productivity. Outages, downtime, latency, and error messages are no longer just an inconvenience -- they have a direct affect on business outcomes. Understanding the inherent value of a comprehensive monitoring solution is the first step in securing your online presence as an enterprise. 

Don't rely on service provider dashboards

Digital landscapes have become more complex in recent years, with loosely coupled services and interdependencies multiplying as tech stacks grow. Service provider dashboards, notifications, and RSS feeds cover their own assets, without considering end-to-end service and existing infrastructure. 

Think of SaaS monitoring as insurance on your SLA and your monitoring tools like the independent security guard hired to patrol and protect your digital environment. Incorporating the relevant metrics of your SaaS applications into an existing monitoring service expands your visibility and adds clarity versus adding yet another set of data to collect, compile, and analyze. 

Maintain control of business-critical operations 

Although outsourcing the responsibility of certain aspects of development and maintenance has been advantageous in remaining agile, waiting to hear from end-users that performance problems exist, and then relying on a service provider to fix those issues, is time-consuming at best and possibly even futile if the issue lies with your own infrastructure or internet provider. 

Businesses are highly dependent on technology these days and even something as seemingly simple as an email outage or Slack being down can bring an entire organization's work day to a screeching halt. SaaS monitoring can alert your IT team to anomalies before users are affected, and provide key information that can help troubleshoot the issue before it impacts productivity. The ability to quickly resolve problems is critical to optimizing application experiences for customers and employees alike. 

Create a shared source of truth 

Improving communication and collaboration between teams is an essential component of the DevOps methodology. Having a single, objective source of data that represents a shared source of truth helps break down department silos, eliminates finger pointing, and simplifies the abundance of available information that results from a digital business environment. 

Incorporating SaaS monitoring into your performance management strategy consolidates your IT assets and offers development, operation, and business teams a streamlined source of data from even the most distributed and complex application environments.

How AppDynamics helps with SaaS Monitoring

AppDynamics offers a simplified, singular view of interconnected cloud-based, hybrid cloud, and on-premises application components. Our Central Nervous System expands those capabilities to include deep visibility across the public Internet to deliver seamless customer access and an optimal production environment for employees. 

Incorporate SaaS monitoring to gain an in-depth understanding of how application performance affects business outcomes and improve the customer experience, employee efficiency, and ultimately, your return on investment with a full-stack monitoring strategy that adds clarity to your organization's digital landscape.

“The ability to trace a transaction visually and intuitively through the interface was a major benefit. This visibility was especially valuable when Nasdaq was migrating a platform from its internal infrastructure to the AWS Cloud.”

Heather Abbott, SVP Corporate Solutions Technology, Nasdaq

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