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Digital Experience Monitoring | What Is DEM?

What Is Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM)?

Digital experience monitoring (DEM) makes it possible to view application performance issues from a user experience vantage point, isolate service performance problems across the delivery chain, speed up root cause determination and resolution and optimize digital transactions and customer journeys.

According to Gartner’s Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring:

“Digital experience monitoring (DEM) is a performance analysis discipline that supports the optimization of the operational experience and behavior of a digital agent, human or machine, with the application and service portfolio of enterprises. These users, human or digital, can be a mix of external users outside the firewall and inside it. This discipline also seeks to observe and model the behavior of users as a flow of interactions in the form of a customer journey.”1

DEM is an emerging technology that organizations are evaluating as a way to simplify user performance issues while utilizing a single solution to gain insight into a variety of networking tools.

Why Is Digital Experience Monitoring Important?

DEM is a real-time monitoring tool that helps IT operations teams ensure user issues are quickly mitigated, and the network is not disrupted. DEM solutions complement existing application performance monitoring (APM) and network performance monitoring and diagnostics (NPMD) tools. Together, they provide an end-to-end picture, with DEM also adding insight into the user experience. It is those experiences that most directly translate into business outcomes. Read more in our Why Digital Experience Monitoring Is a Must-Have blog post.

Why Is Digital Experience Monitoring Important?

Benefits of Digital Experience Monitoring

DEM offers many benefits to enterprises, including:

  • Obtaining a user-centric view of what is actually transpiring. This helps to answer questions like: How is the endpoint performing? What applications are in use, and how are they performing? What does the underlying network path look like? How are your software-as-a-service applications holding up? How is network traffic behaving?
  • Isolate problems affecting performance, starting with determining whether it’s the end user device, the network or the application.
  • Prioritize performance problems for remediation based on where you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

Analysts are bullish on the DEM market, and DEM is growing at a double-digit compound annual growth rate. This growth highlights the importance of DEM in enterprise digital transformation initiatives.

In addition, by streamlining and automating these digital processes with minimal impact to the user experience, businesses can operate more efficiently and securely.

Digital Experience Monitoring Tools

There are various types of DEM tools out there, so it is important to consider the following when formulating a DEM strategy and evaluating experience monitoring tools.

  • Is the solution cloud- or appliance-based?
  • How much additional instrumentation will be required?
  • Can you consolidate existing tools for greater operational efficiency?
  • How will DEM address new converged SD-WAN and SASE architectures as part of the user-to-application delivery chain?
  • How long will it take before the solution begins delivering results?

Answering these questions will help to ensure you are choosing a solution that will improve end user experience and simplify the challenges IT operations teams often face.

How Digital Experience Monitoring Complements Security

As many organizations shift network and security architectures to the cloud, such as through SASE, balancing seamless digital experience with security enforcement is a constant struggle. When security impacts user experience by adding latency, streaming downtime or renders applications inaccessible, users will often find ways of bypassing security enforcement. Often this includes use of unsanctioned applications or transferring sensitive data to personally owned devices. When remote connectivity is seamless, easy to use, and improves overall digital experience, employees will use it – improving an organization’s overall security posture by keeping users on sanctioned devices and services the organization can control. SASE products that feature native DEM capabilities bridge the gap between network and security teams by addressing both challenges through a single solution.

Digital Experience Monitoring Challenges

While the benefits of DEM are clear, there are challenges to be considered. Not all DEM solutions are the same, and vendors of experience monitoring solutions tend to rely on a mix of technologies, including:

  • Real user monitoring (RUM) or browser telemetry (using JavaScript injection).
  • Synthetic transaction monitoring (STM) for web- and mobile-based end users.
  • Synthetic monitoring for applications and network path analysis.
  • End user experience monitoring (EUEM).
  • Monitoring of endpoints and user behavior via desktop and mobile agents.
  • APM agents and NPMD probes.

In addition, NPMD capabilities such as network traffic monitoring provide increasingly important data sets that make troubleshooting of user experience problems faster and easier.

While some of these technologies are already in use, the trick is being able to pull together the data they collect – or find new data – to arrive at the experience picture. The last thing IT wants to do is add more tools and applications to gain visibility. By simplifying to a single solution that incorporates the necessary monitoring capabilities, organizations will realize improved network and user performance.

DEM Solutions

ccording to Gartner, “by 2023, 60% of digital business initiatives will require I&O to report on users’ digital experience, up from less than 15% today.” The DEM solutions available today can require costly and complex tools to accurately monitor the health of your network. Autonomous Digital Experience Management (ADEM) offers a better solution.

Autonomous Digital Experience Management (ADEM)

ADEM offers SASE-native visibility into digital experience, segment-wise insights across the entire service delivery path. Palo Alto Networks ADEM add-on for Prisma Access, our cloud-delivered security platform, allows IT to easily discover deep insights into network performance.

ADEM provides:

  • Segment-wise insights: Distinct visibility per segment across the entire service delivery path expedites troubleshooting and remediation.
  • Endpoint, synthetic, and real user traffic visibility: Monitoring data collection from endpoint devices, synthetic tests, and real user traffic provides the most comprehensive digital experience visibility in a single solution.
  • SASE-native DEM: ADEM integrates with Prisma Access for deeper visibility into SASE-based service delivery and operational simplicity.

ADEM provides

With ADEM, enterprises are able to troubleshoot and remediate quickly, gain endpoint, synthetic and real user traffic visibility, and improve operations and user experience. As you research various DEM solutions, consider ADEM in your search. ADEM is seamlessly integrated with Prisma® Access to provide a complete SASE solution for your organization. Learn more in our 10 Tenets of an Effective SASE Solution e-book.

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Learn more about Autonomous Digital Experience Management

Why Digital Experience Management is a Must Have for SASE blog post

1. Sanjit Ganguli, Charley Rich, and Federico De Silva, “Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring,” Gartner, 05 September 2019.