The Performance Beacon

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13 predictions about DevOps, mobile, APM, Big Data, user experience, and more

2016 predictions about DevOps, mobile, APM, Big Data, and user experience

We have a lot of experts at SOASTA. This is great year-round, for obvious reasons, and it’s extra great at the start of the year when you want to assemble a list of top-drawer predictions (read: most of them could actually happen) for what’s around the corner. Read on to find out what our different domain experts have to say about the future of web performance.

End user experience monitoring

1. The UX role in agile will become the hot new engineering role in every ecommerce organization.

“Performance metrics from real user monitoring (RUM) data will transform the role of agile software development.” [Dan Boutin, VP Digital Strategy]

2. Fear of ad-blocking will drive APM investment by media companies.

“In 2016, APM investments will grow the most among media companies, driven by fears of consumers blocking ads on slow sites. There will be a shift in online advertising towards tracking ad views instead of ad delivery.” [Buddy Brewer, VP Business Development]

3. End user monitoring will increasingly be recognized by business analysts as a critical source of KPIs for digital business.

“The integration of end user metrics with other customer behavior, business operations, and financial data will become a key focus of corporate data scientists.” [James Urquhart, SVP of Performance Analytics]

4. The industry will evolve from “sampling” to “continuous” user experience monitoring.

“Approximation of performance is no longer sufficient. Businesses will actively transition from reactive to proactive performance management in order to deliver great customer experiences and revenue contribution on a dynamic basis.” [Ann Ruckstuhl, CMO]

5. “Front-end APM” will rise as a new APM subcategory

“Growth in single-page app architectures will give rise to a new sub-category within the application performance monitoring space. Front-end APM will differ from traditional APM in its focus on client-side performance versus server telemetry. Its users will primarily be JavaScript developers who combine network response time data with JS application logging to diagnose client-side issues in production.” [Buddy Brewer, VP Business Development]

6. UserTiming will continue to trend — for good reason.

“UserTiming is a great way to log your performance metrics into a standardized interface. At a practical level, what this lets you do is measure the render time of specific page assets — and ultimately get a much more specific and nuanced understanding of the real end-user experience. As more services and browsers support UserTiming (right now it’s supported by 69% of browsers), you’ll be able to see your UserTiming Data in more and more places. Currently less than 10% of leading retail sites have adopted UserTiming. This is a great opportunity to get ahead of the curve.” [Tammy Everts, Senior Researcher and Evangelist]

Download your free UserTiming ebook

Real-time Big Data

7. AI will become an essential part of all Big Data analytics engines.

“There is simply too much data and too little time to manually drill down into all that data.” [Tom Lounibos, CEO and founder]

8. Cloud-based Big Data analytics will be used as the basis for predicting future metrics.

“And this capability will extend across business and IT.” [Ken Gardner, Executive Chair and founder]

9. APM will move to a Big Data analytics strategy.

“Those who win will be those who have captured all the data and have architected an environment that can provide meaningful real-time insights all the time.” [Gamiel Gran, Chief Strategy Officer]

10. Digital systems monitoring will become mission critical for a growing number of event-driven activities.

“These activities will include straightforward use cases — such as troubleshooting and mitigating the effects of negative events — to more sophisticated operational activities, such as scaling distributed services or triggering “just-in-time” supply chain for ecommerce.” [James Urquhart, SVP of Performance Analytics]

Internet of Things

11. Embedded software — aka IoT — will become the new third-party headache.

“Testing challenges will cause performance to take a hit until tooling technology catches up.” [Dan Boutin, VP Digital Strategy]


12. Business owners will embrace mobile performance measurement and testing.

“As mobile usage has overtaken desktop, the tools we use to measure mobile performance and user engagement have finally caught up. Today’s real user monitoring tools let business owners understand how mobile users are interacting with their sites and mobile apps across a huge swath of metrics: bounce rate, session length, conversion rate, location, network connection, operating system, ISP, and more. Site owners can even gather data around how visitors engage with specific page elements, such as spinners and animated features. We’re going to see business owners embrace mobile performance measurement and testing, and then harness the power of their user data to develop better mobile experiences.” [Tammy Everts, Senior Researcher and Evangelist]


13. As DevOps teams grow, demand for self-service capabilities around automated testing and monitoring will expand.

“But companies will find themselves with neither the skills to fulfill that demand nor a good source for hiring those skills directly. The concept of ‘performance management as a service’ will begin to emerge in 2016.” [James Urquhart, SVP of Performance Analytics]

Your turn

This is your chance to call us on what you think we’ve gotten right — or wrong — and tell us your big performance predictions for 2016. Fire away in the comments!

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Tammy Everts

About the Author

Tammy Everts

Tammy has spent the past two decades obsessed with the many factors that go into creating the best possible user experience. As senior researcher and evangelist at SOASTA, she explores the intersection between web performance, UX, and business metrics. Tammy is a frequent speaker at events including IRCE, Summit, Velocity, and Smashing Conference. She is the author of 'Time Is Money: The Business Value of Web Performance' (O'Reilly, 2016).

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