The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

Getting Started with a Digital Operations Center [FREE EBOOK]

If you’ve been in the performance space for any period of time, you’re probably very familiar with the fact that performance isn’t the sole concern of developers and operations teams. Slowdowns, outages, and other performance issues affect every area of business, from marketing and sales to C-level executives. The challenge has been finding a way to pull the relevant data about each area of business under one roof, and then make all this data actionable.

Last week at Velocity, we here at SOASTA were extremely excited to announce the launch of our newest performance solution, the world’s first Digital Operations Center (DOC) for performance. The DOC gives a 360-degree view of every measurable facet of the user experience — pulling in data from all the disparate tools and feeds you’re already using — and it lets you correlate everything so that you can understand the impact of facet A on facet B.

If you’re interested, check out the video of the launch, which was emceed by O’Reilly VP Mike Hendrickson on the Velocity expo floor:

Sample chapter: Getting Started with a DOC

Because the concept of a performance DOC is such a new one, O’Reilly asked me to write a short book — Getting Started with a Digital Operations Center (available as a free download) — that explains what a DOC is, as part of of their “Getting Started” series. (The book is vendor neutral. In other words, I promise I’m not shilling product.) In the book, I talk about what “performance” means to different people throughout a company, I present a use case for a war room scenario that benefits from a DOC, and I share some examples of organizations that have implemented their own DOCs in different contexts.

To give you a taste of what the book covers, here’s a short sample chapter:

What is a Digital Operations Center?

At the beginning of this book, we talked about the impact of one second on business metrics. A DOC brings all the dimensions of what that second means for a customer into a single view, controlled by a single application.

Getting-Started-with-Digital-Operations-Center-eBook-Cover-e1432821393321A Digital Operations Center (DOC) is a next-generation network operations center (NOC). It gives you the ability to access information with extensive visibility across multiple external data sources, brings broader intelligence to your day-to-day operations, and enables collaboration among stakeholders across the organization.

A DOC is a single command center for your organization’s digital performance and user experience. It gives you the ability to access information with extensive visibility across multiple external data sources, broader intelligence of your day-to-day operations, and increased collaboration among stakeholders across the organization.

What can a Digital Operations Center integrate with?

A DOC integrates all the live and synthetic data and analytics channels relevant to your business’s performance, with customizable views for every business function in your organization. This includes — but is certainly not limited to — the following:

  • content delivery network (CDN)
  • load balancer
  • server configuration manager
  • availability monitoring
  • DDoS protection
  • cloud providers
  • tag management system
  • marketing analytics
  • customer relationship management (CRM)
  • customer support tools
  • sales campaigns
  • social media feeds
  • organizational communication platforms (e.g. Slack, Yammer)
  • news channels
  • synthetic measurement
  • application performance management (APM)
  • real user monitoring (RUM)

In the past, integrating such disparate data sources and such massive amounts of live data was extremely expensive and labour-intensive — and in the case of some data channels, impossible due to the fact that they had yet to be invented. Today, thanks to cheaper bandwidth, evolving device form factors, increasing numbers of new data channels, and the movement toward open APIs, Digital Operations Centers are accessible to many companies.

But a DOC is more than just a set of views or dashboards.

By integrating data from disparate channels, a Digital Ops Center provides a cross-functional understanding of the impact of performance issues on multiple business units.

A DOC doesn’t just offer the ability to glean quick insights. It empowers you to make those insights actionable. It gives you a single point of control, so that when you identify a performance problem, you can highlight that view, pinpoint the root cause, see its impact on user behavior, distribute the information in a timely manner, collaborate with other stakeholders, optimize, and see results — all within a single environment. A DOC also enables you to configure alerts — for example, via your real user monitoring and continuous load testing integrations — so that issues proactively bubble up.

The result is dynamic, real-time, always-on insights into every performance metric you care about.

Download the free ebook: Getting Started with a Digital Operations Center (O’Reilly)


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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