Chief Content Officer,
Techstrong Group

A global survey of 15,000 consumers in 13 countries finds nearly two thirds of respondents (64%) are less forgiving of poor digital services than were 12 months ago, with 55% noting that performance issues with digital services make them feel that a brand has no respect for their time.

Conducted by Cisco AppDynamics, a provider of an observability platform for IT environments, the survey also finds on the plus side that 69% feel that application design has improved over the last three years, with nearly as many (67%) reporting applications are now more intuitive and responsive.

The survey makes it clear, however, that in terms of delivering engaging customer experiences the bar has been raised, says Joe Byrne, executive CTO at Cisco AppDynamics.

In fact, two-thirds of respondents (66%) said they now only want to use the very best applications and digital services, with 70% feeling more empowered to find alternative applications. More than half (53%) also noted that some of the applications they relied on during the pandemic no longer meet their expectations for digital experience.

In general, more consumers than ever are primarily relying on digital services to engage with organizations. “The brand now equals the application experience,” says Byrne.

The challenge is not every organization has the level of IT expertise required to meet expectations. Larger enterprises have invested in best DevOps practices to accelerate the pace at which applications are deployed, but as IT environments become more complex the number of dependencies between various services has become challenging to manage. Organizations will need to invest in additional IT management platforms to make it simpler to instantly identify the root cause of issues versus relying on legacy tools that only enable IT teams to monitor a set of pre-determined metrics.

Observability platforms differ from monitoring tools in that they aggregate telemetry data in a way that enables IT teams to launch queries that allow them to identify anomalies and fix issues hopefully before digital services are disrupted. In the event there is a disruption, those same observability platforms help reduce the meantime to remediation.

It’s not clear to what degree Digital CxOs have correlated the need to continuously improve digital services with investments in next generation IT platforms, but as tolerance for any disruption of a digital service continues to decline, it’s now only a matter of time before additional investments will be required. It will usually be the IT team that takes the lead on those investments, but it’s apparent Digital CxOs have a vested interest. It’s not really all that feasible to assume digital services are going to be magically delivered using legacy IT platforms that were designed for a different era of computing.

One way or another, end users will inevitably force the issue. The only thing left to be determined is the degree to which organizations will proactively rise to that challenge versus waiting to respond to an increasing level of dissatisfaction among end users that when confronted with a suboptimal application experience are more willing to vote with their feet for alternatives that, in many cases, are now a simple click of a mouse or swipe of a finger away.