Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

5 Tips for Retooling Your APM for Digital Banking and Insurance

Today’s finance customers are not comparing their experience between banks or insurance companies; instead, they’re measuring customer experience to Amazon, Southwest Airlines, Apple, and Disney, as well as fintech and insurtech companies. Because of this change in consumer behavior, financial services companies must find a way to move at Silicon Valley speeds while maintaining the financial services perfection that is demanded by customers, regulators, and shareholders.

Consider this:

  • The rapid adoption of digital banking will continue to empower customers (78% of bank customers would bank with a tech firm; 38% would like their bank to help with major purchases like sending relevant information in real time; 87% will use their branches in the future – and want human interaction, Accenture Research)
  • A ‘push’ towards digital interaction will continue (71% of insurance customers are willing to purchase at least some products via digital channels; over 40% are likely to switch to another insurance provider over the next 12 months, Accenture Research)

The challenge, then, for banks and insurance companies is to transform digitally while delivering a consistent, amazing customer experience across these channels. As financial services providers transform digitally via the cloud, mobility, and IoT (PAYGO insurance, Alexa-based home banking, chatbot support, and so on), websites need to be available and have instant page load and transaction times. Mobile apps similarly need to be stable, super-fast, and reliable. In-office claims or transactions systems can’t afford to be down or slow and leave customers waiting. Call center agents, who will be increasingly relied upon to confirm transactions, process claims, or respond to technical issues, also need stable, reliable systems with fast response times. And underpinning all consumer touchpoints is a myriad of digital marketing systems working in real time to track, analyze, and act on consumer behaviors.

Traditional application performance management has been the “go-to” tool for financial services for monitoring performance, availability, and end-user experience of software applications – its ability to discover, trace, and diagnose user requests with code-level visibility throughout your service infrastructure is unrivaled. Application performance management tools work when the service infrastructure lies inside your IT’s periphery, typically your data center; however, as bankers and insurers move their digital services to the cloud, traditional application performance monitoring breaks down. Hence, according to Forbes, “While current monitoring tools typically rely on application performance monitoring, these metrics aren’t dynamic or granular enough to provide line-of-business value…to understand software issues experienced by end users.”

To help IT dev and ops leaders stay ahead, I’ve created five actionable tips to guide dev and ops leaders in retooling their application performance monitoring for digital banking and insurance.

1. Bulk up on enterprise-grade API monitoring

http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Untitled-design-29... 300w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Untitled-design-29... 768w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Untitled-design-29... 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" />

In Forbes’s How APIs Help The Financial Industry Keep Up With Apple, “APIs will take center stage because of their crucial role in addressing the needs of financial services companies” to accelerate digital business transformation and promote rapid product development. While Forrester analyst Peter Wannemacher said, “Financial services providers have been relatively slow to recognize and act on APIs as an opportunity to transform their businesses,” bankers and insurers are moving quickly with APIs as a key enabler to innovate new services to delight customers.

The challenge for IT ops leaders is that APIs in financial services are increasingly used for customer-critical services like mobile banking and digital insurance, whereby APIs are embedded as a core part of the digital design often requiring real-time orchestration of a complex host of elements including fintech and insurtech collaboration, third-party data aggregators, mobile service providers, social media, and so on. As Forbes Contributor Dan Woods points out, financial service providers need an “enterprise-grade API management – the kind that can power digital transformation and drive business – that goes beyond an API gateway, and supports an ecosystem of digital collaboration.”

This means your code-level application performance management tooling will need to be complemented to handle such enterprise-grade API monitoring that gives a 360-degree perspective of the processes that make up the application to effectively validate, detect, and identify performance issues before they can disrupt your end users’ experiences widespread. Enterprise-grade API monitoring keeps track of crucial processes – both backend (affecting your database) and frontend (affecting the end-user). This means retooling your traditional application performance monitoring for digital transformation with the following five must-have capabilities for enterprise-grade API monitoring for banking and insurance:

http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 300w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 768w" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" />

Further reading: Ensuring API Reliability; Web Performance 101: Monitoring APIs; API Monitoring Primer Handbook; A Practical Guide to SLAs

2. Add network-centric SaaS monitoring

SaaS adoption is beginning to overtake apps and platforms residing on-premise. Forbes forecasts that “by 2018 the typical IT department will have the minority of their apps and platforms (40%) residing in on-premise systems.” For financial services, this means SaaS adoption will continue to expand beyond general purpose applications such as HR, marketing, and finance, but core banking and insurance process will follow the fintech and insurtech platform trend.

While SaaS provides speed to market and lower cost, it creates three challenges for IT ops leaders: First, moving to SaaS does not relieve you from owning the problem of poor performance and availability. Who do your users call when your Office 365 service is hindering employee productivity in your New York office, or your FinTech provider is slowing payments in specific regions? Second, over 90% of the delivery paths of SaaS services are beyond your data center and outside of your control. Third, unlike your on-premise in-house applications, with SaaS you do not have access to application code, rendering application performance monitoring inadequate in providing performance and availability insight.

Given the business-critical nature of your SaaS providers, would you bet the ranch that all you need is their SLAs? Think again. Application performance management worked well until services starting to move to the cloud and, in particular, SaaS. To effectively monitor SaaS, you’ll need to upgrade your application performance monitoring tool with the following top seven capabilities to give you complete visibility of your SaaS providers:

http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 300w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 768w" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" />

Further reading:  Monitoring Wherever You Need it with OnPrem Agent; A Practical Guide to SLAs; Using Digital Experience Monitoring for Cloud Performance Management; Troubleshooting Network Protocols in a Complex Digital Environment

3. Integrate tag monitoring

Tag technology has exploded across financial services to boost innovation and customer experience with new digital marketing functions such as live chat, product recommendations or retargeting ads, collecting valuable customer behavior insight to drive revenue and customer experience goals. According to ChiefMartec.com, the number of digital marketing or “martech” solutions (which consume tags) grew 40%  to 5,381 from 2016 to 2017 (5 years ago there were only 150 providers) with social media, email/marketing automation, content/SEO, and mobile marketing adoption leading the way. And the use of tags for digital marketing is amplified when you add in the customer-facing fintech and insurtech ecosystems to collect information about customer behaviors for marketing and customer experience purposes.

http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 300w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 768w" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" />

To deliver highly personalized digital experiences, banks and insurance companies may easily use 20 or more unique tags. The main challenge is the tag execution processes are increasing in complexity and consuming resources that can slow or stall page loads, leading to bad consumer experiences and/or lost dollars. Tag execution complexity grows depending on the depth and speed of information being tracked /passed such as loans being viewed, quotes being requested, incoming URLs, Google UTM parameters, and so on. Further, some tags trigger other tags that are contained within it and/or arbitrary code, thereby adding process complexity. Moreover, any number of third-party digital marketing tools rely on inline JavaScript that is blocking (also known as Single Points of Failure (SPoF)), degrading your website experience when these vendors have performance issues or downtime.

To stay ahead in your performance monitoring efforts, you’ll need to retool your application performance management to effectively monitor a wide range of tag executions including piggyback tags. Tag management systems like Tealium are designed to architect and manage tags; APM can complement this by providing the performance intelligence of tags to improve and/or preempt issues before impacting users widespread.

Here are six critical capabilities to add to your application performance monitoring system to monitor your tags:

http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 300w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 768w" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" />

Further reading: The Performance Impact of Tags 2.0; A Practical Guide to SLAs;  The Omnichannel Retail Banking Experience

4. Extend SLA management to third-party cloud-based services

With more applications and services moving to the cloud, the role of IT shifts from managing performance and availability, changing application performance monitoring to governance. Ensuring service level agreements (SLAs) are being met is important for both the consumer and provider of a SaaS service. SLAs provide the consumer with objective grading criteria and protection from poor service. The provider is able to set appropriate expectations regarding how the service will be judged and is incentivized to improve the quality of service. The 2017 State of SaaS Performance report conducted by Tech Target revealed that over 25% of survey respondents had incurred financial penalties for failing to meet SLAs. Monitoring your cloud providers can improve accountability, and help you potentially recoup costs if an SLA is breached.

Application performance management tools were engineered to monitor applications at the code level and where the service infrastructure is under a company’s control or data center – but they cannot provide the monitoring visibility required to effectively govern third-party services against service level agreements. Application performance monitoring needs to be extended with comprehensive SLA management capabilities that can handle virtually any kind of cloud-centric third-party service including tags, FinTech, InsurTech, APIs, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), DNS providers, SaaS, and the list goes on. While having multiple vendors means more SLAs to manage, the benefits of less downtime far outweigh the consequences of sustained outages. SLAs provide value and protection to both the consumer and the vendor.

The framework outlined here can help consumers monitor and track the various service levels holding vendors accountable and potentially recouping costs. Here are 5 must-have capabilities to upgrade your application performance monitoring:

http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 300w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 768w" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" />

Further reading: A Practical Guide to SLAs; The Dos and Don’ts of SLA Management;  SLA Monitoring Handbook; DevOps for Finance

5. Integrate end-user experience monitoring

The growth of cloud and mobility has given financial service providers unlimited opportunity to rapidly innovate (and renovate) their businesses to outperform competitors and new entrants in delivering exceptional customer experiences, new products, and higher business productivity. In the context of application performance management, your consumer, internal user, and/or devices require the performance and availability of your applications and services to be fast and reliable, but watching your application code or infrastructure availability is useless when it comes to services that run over infrastructure outside your IT periphery. Moving parts like web objects, APIs, SaaS or browser code can severely degrade performance and availability. While back-end metrics like server, operating systems, and memory are useful when all is in your control, they’re essentially “blind” when it comes to providing you visibility and analytics of the end-user experience.

A Gartner survey of enterprise IT leaders concluded that end-user experience monitoring was the most critical dimension of application performance management. Of the respondents that cited application performance monitoring as either important or critical, 46% (the most) cited end-user experience monitoring as the most critical dimension of APM. And in Gartner’s “How to Start and IT Monitoring Initiative” report, their analysis advocates deploying monitoring technology that “can collect telemetry from the end-user perspective,” reversing the conventional wisdom of starting with hardware level, moving to application code and “up the stack.” This approach worked well until cloud and mobility took over (SaaS, APIs, network paths, microservices, etc), but today, building monitoring tools from the infrastructure and application code amounts to “chasing rabbits.” Thus, Gartner states, “it no longer makes sense to begin data collection efforts from a perspective that is unlikely to provide insight into the end-user experience.”

In terms of retooling your application code and infrastructure monitoring capabilities with end-user experience monitoring, here are five must-have capabilities:

http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 300w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 768w, http://blog.catchpoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-0... 750w" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" />

Further reading: Closing the End-User Experience Gap in APM; Closing Costly Visibility Gaps in Application Performance Management; Gartner: How to Start an IT Monitoring Initiative

This post was written by Yancy Oshita, with contributions by Robert Castley, Dawn Parzych, and Drit Suljoti.

 

 

The post 5 Tips for Retooling Your APM for Digital Banking and Insurance appeared first on Catchpoint's Blog - Web Performance Monitoring.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Mehdi Daoudi

Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.

Founded in 2008 by four DoubleClick / Google executives with a passion for speed, reliability and overall better online experiences, Catchpoint has now become the most innovative provider of web performance testing and monitoring solutions. We are a team with expertise in designing, building, operating, scaling and monitoring highly transactional Internet services used by thousands of companies and impacting the experience of millions of users. Catchpoint is funded by top-tier venture capital firm, Battery Ventures, which has invested in category leaders such as Akamai, Omniture (Adobe Systems), Optimizely, Tealium, BazaarVoice, Marketo and many more.

Latest Stories
The technologies behind big data and cloud computing are converging quickly, offering businesses new capabilities for fast, easy, wide-ranging access to data. However, to capitalize on the cost-efficiencies and time-to-value opportunities of analytics in the cloud, big data and cloud technologies must be integrated and managed properly. Pythian's Director of Big Data and Data Science, Danil Zburivsky will explore: The main technology components and best practices being deployed to take advantage...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busi...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Today, we have more data to manage than ever. We also have better algorithms that help us access our data faster. Cloud is the driving force behind many of the data warehouse advancements we have enjoyed in recent years. But what are the best practices for storing data in the cloud for machine learning and data science applications?
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science" is responsible for guiding the technology strategy within Hitachi Vantara for IoT and Analytics. Bill brings a balanced business-technology approach that focuses on business outcomes to drive data, analytics and technology decisions that underpin an organization's digital transformation strategy.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...