Your work doesn’t end after you’ve signed the dotted line of a well-negotiated cloud services SLA. Even after you’ve settled on an SLA with your service provider, it’s your job to make sure you’re getting what you pay for.
This is why service-level agreements are coming under fire as they’re applied to cloud application services. Because SLAs set a minimum standard for performance, service providers don’t have incentives to go deeper and maximize end-user experiences.
When it comes to keeping your cloud service providers accountable, the name of the game is tracking end-user experience and its impact on business performance. But so many companies have trouble quantifying and tracking end-user experience for their cloud applications.
Quantify End-User Experience With Response Time
There are many different metrics you can pay attention to when assessing the performance of cloud applications. (We just looked at 5 network metrics that impact end-user experience.) Your organization will decide which mix of metrics makes the most sense, depending on your apps, users, customers and business needs.
But when you’re thinking of how to quantify user experience — something that typically seems abstract — the key is response times across your cloud services.
It’s easy to see when cloud-based applications are experiencing downtime, and the impact on employee productivity is obvious. Your ability to track application performance internally has to go a step further and recognize how services are performing against the standard agreed to in the SLA.
Even seemingly insignificant delays in application response time—whether they’re due to geographic issues, infrastructure flaws or network constraints—can have a significant effect on employee productivity. Because employees expect unhindered application performance, their experience is dictated by these minor delays.
When you can quantify the response times for your cloud applications, you can get out ahead of potential end user experience issues by holding your service provider accountable.
3 Metrics that Complete the Cloud App End-User Experience Story
While response time is the key to quantifying the end-user experience for your cloud applications, holding service providers accountable will require additional metrics as well.
Here are four other cloud application performance metrics to keep an eye on:
- Throughput: This metric doesn’t track user experience directly. Instead, it concerns the service provider’s ability to handle your demands. If you’re assessing a bandwidth-heavy application like an HD videoconferencing solution, insufficient throughput will lead to service disruptions that ultimately diminish end-user experience.
- Number of users impacted: Ideally, you and your service provider will be able to mitigate any and all issues when they emerge. However, there will be times that you have to prioritize the issues you escalate to service providers. Knowing how many users are impacted by delays will help you maximize end-user experiences across the organization.
- Invocation time: This metric contributes to response time quantification. Specifically, invocation time focuses on the time it takes the application to perform transactions through APIs, servlets, XML, etc.
Knowing if your service providers are meeting the standards set in your SLA means understanding the experiences your employees are having with critical applications. These metrics will help you build a story around end-user experience for individual cloud-based applications that will reflect your organization’s users, apps and business needs.