Blog Feed Post

Why a Digital Operations Center (DOC) must be a central part of your digital strategy

I usually don’t mix business and politics — especially with the 2016 US presidential race heating up like beach sand on a hot, sunny July day in Florida — but I’m going to break from that rule just this once. Why, you ask? Well, in US politics, these early days consist of a stage full of podiums in order to accommodate every candidate running for the office.

Kind of reminds me of something I see almost every day in my travels around the globe.

Today’s e-business and e-commerce leaders typically have a “stage” full of podiums for each and every different type of customer experience (CX) metric that they wish to measure or monitor during their typical business day. Why? Well, just like all the different political candidates, each and every metric has a different platform. And, each and every metric has its own display mechanism, usually consisting of its own window to the world, as in the case of the fictional (?) digital operational center below.


And, frankly, if you’re serious about your digital strategy, you can’t be serious if the pulse of your business relies on a room full of people keeping their eye on a room full of individual monitors, each loudly displaying their own view of the world.

To put it frankly…

You have no control

You can’t easily change views, change roles, change outcomes.

You have no correlation

None of the data that these monitors displays has the capability to interact with another set of data being displayed on another monitor, thus allowing the different siloed organizations in your company to share data, share insights, and resolve problems (That’s why they are on different monitors, yes?)

You have no collaboration

Each team or group within your organization is responsible for a different view of your business. And none of these silos interact with other. Your marketing team watching Adobe Analytics watches one set of displays. Your IT Operations team watches another set of displays showing application performance monitoring (APM) data.

Neither team views, understands or takes action on, any data in in any view that is not their own.

Is that really a best practice going forward in your digital strategy?

There has to be a better way. And there is. It’s time for you to see the DOC. Meet SOASTA’s game changing DOC, your Digital Operations Center.

You want digital transformation? Start with measuring the entire CX process

Today’s digital world has been laser-focused on user experience (UX), and rightly so. However, user experience only looks at users. Part of any digital strategy must be an attention to detail around the most important experience of all: customer experience (CX). After all, that’s where the revenue is, right?

In both of the photos above, the silos jump right out at you. Whether it’s the presidential candidates standing at the podiums, or the 2×2 rows of displays in the operations center above, they are still silos.

In the case of the US politics and podiums, the solution is: only one survives. In the case of the operations center, there is a solution that’s far better than the survival of the fittest.

Collaborate, correlate and control: A real-world DOC use case

Let’s take a use case around the silos that I identified above: Marketing and IT Operations. And let’s make the example even more real world by sprinkling in the performance team, because, after all, they are a responsible party to this as well.

Let’s define the use case/scenario

Let’s say an e-retailer frequently runs A/B tests. They would like to keep a continuous eye on conversion rates and revenue on both sides. In addition, they would like the ability to correlate any IT-related performance issues using their APM suites. They also run SOASTA CloudTest for low-level performance testing during this period. Ditto for another solution that drives synthetic traffic randomly across the site.

They would like this information correlated and displayed on one view when certain conditions are hit (e.g. conversion rate or revenue dips due to impact from the performance issues, or response time slows which impacts conversions.) The key data metrics that they are interested in during this scenario are:

  • conversion rate, revenue (from Adobe Analytics in this use case),
  • application performance (from several network and application monitoring solutions in this case),
  • page load times, response times, and other key user/customer experience data (in this case from SOASTA’s mPulse), as well as
  • active low-level performance test metrics (in this case from SOASTA CloudTest).

As it stands now, they have about 6-12 people sit in a room watching stacks of monitors, much like the room shown above. The only way collaboration occurs is if the people doing the watching turn around and talk to one another.  The only way correlation of the displayed data occurs is if this collaboration involves discussing the data points that they may be monitoring.

What about control? Each one of them may have the ability to drill down into a deeper level within their own data set, but certainly not across the silos.

So, what would this use case look like with the DOC?

Now let’s walk through that same use case, except slide the SOASTA DOC in place of the silos and rows of eyeballs watching a 2×2 row of monitors.


In our retail example, the DOC is the central point for the digital business, as this retailer has removed the 2×2 rows of monitors and replaced them with the SOASTA DOC.

In addition — as the IT Operations team resides in Florida, and the QA Performance team resides in Bangalore, and the marketing team sits in Washington, DC — the DOC actually sits in three different locations.  During normal operations, each group/silo has their own role-based, customized views. As marketing measures revenue and conversion rates (with SOASTA mPulse) and other marketing analytics (from Adobe or Google Analytics), the IT Operations has chosen to have all their traditional APM solutions fed into the DOC display as their central view. And meanwhile, in Bangalore, the QA Performance team is watching their low-level performance tests with SOASTA’s CloudTest and their synthetic monitoring data from another outside solution, such as Rigor or Gomez.

So as the dawn of a new business day starts for the marketing group in Washington, DC, so does a day of A/B testing using coupons which have been e-mailed/advertised for this week’s special sale. Of course, the retailer’s social media feeds have also posted information on the sales and are being monitored in the DOC by the marketing/social media team.

As the morning wears on, and the sun rises across the USA, the site starts to have performance issues on the “B” side.

However, instead of a slow — or no — reaction time from the eyeballs watching rows of 2×2 monitors, the DOC picks up the trends of declining conversion rate, revenue, page load time and other UX and CX data, at the same time that the DOC is also picking up an issue from the performance test metrics in form of an edge server from the CDN provider having performance issues impacting the delivery of content to the “B” side users and APM alerts from the IT Operations systems.

The DOC correlates this data, and alerts each team in more than one manner. As the DOC correlates the data and issue, the DOC changes the view for each remote DOC (e.g. Marketing, IT Operations, and the QA Performance team) to centrally highlight the issues being seen (e.g. declining revenue and conversion rate) as well as what appears to be the root cause — the edge server delivering content from the CDN provider. As these changes cascade across the DOC,  key personnel also having personal versions of the DOC, in the form of mobile tablets (iPads) and mobile phones (iPhones), are receiving the alerts and changed displays highlighting the current issue.

Now doesn’t this scenario sound a lot better than relying on a vast swath of monitors and a room full of people watching those monitors? (Assuming that they are watching the monitors and haven’t stepped out for lunch or distracted by text messages and email on their smartphones!) Of course it does.

And just imagine — this is only one use case.

The DOCtor is in!

FREE DOWNLOAD: Getting started with a digital operations center ebook

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By SOASTA Blog

The SOASTA platform enables digital business owners to gain unprecedented and continuous performance insights into their real user experience on mobile and web devices in real time and at scale.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices t...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to clos...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...