As firms continue to get to grips with the new world of hybrid work, the challenge for organisations is not just deploying an infrastructure that can support workers wherever they are, but also understanding how critical applications and internet services are performing across their entire corporate network. With the aim of allowing CIOs to gain such visibility, Cloudflare is launching the Digital Experience Monitoring suite.
Part of the security, performance and reliability company’s Zero Trust platform, the suite comprises an all-in-one dashboard that provides IT leaders with predictive, historical and real-time intelligence around application outages, network issues and performance slowdowns. In other words, it offers the ability to keep employees productive wherever they are working.
Putting the launch into context, Cloudflare noted that when Covid caused an almost overnight pivot to home-based operations for knowledge workers in 2020, the IT teams that helped keep applications running and networks operational suddenly lost crucial visibility into the day-to-day experiences of their users.
The company added that with now very highly distributed workforces, when IT teams learn of an issue, they no longer know, for example, if a video conferencing software is experiencing a localised outage, if a cloud network is down, or if an employee’s home internet connection is causing performance issues. This lack of visibility, said Cloudflare, can slow teams down, waste countless hours in investigation and clog up valuable resources with maintenance.
To alleviate this situation, Digital Experience Monitoring provides businesses with a single dashboard to measure and analyse mission-critical applications and services, such as Microsoft 365, or connectivity issues with local internet service providers.
Functionality-wise, Digital Experience Monitoring will allow users to define and monitor the most critical network resources, offering the ability to measure and analyse controlled flows of data to public or private resources by emulating traffic flows, helping visualise user experiences and allowing them to pinpoint issues as they arise. Users will be able to drill into real-time data visualisations highlighting anomalies in connectivity or performance to keep employees safe, secure and productive.
By gaining what it assured would be a “comprehensive” step-by-step view into employees’ digital footprints, Cloudflare said IT teams would be able to simplify investigations, spending less time trying to identify where issues are occurring and more time helping to resolve them. It added that by plugging into its global network, customers would be able to understand changes in internet behaviour and anticipate how these changes may impact their business.
Cloudflare cited research from Gartner showing that by 2026, at least 60% of I&O leaders will use digital experience monitoring tools to measure application, services and endpoint performance from the user’s viewpoint, up from less than 20% in 2021.
“IT teams have been working in the dark for too long – today, we’re switching on the lights for the modern corporate network,” said Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince. “Our global network powers a huge part of the internet, giving Cloudflare a unique view of what is happening online and allows us to identify trends before our customers do, and now we are sharing these insights with customers. Think of Cloudflare Digital Experience Monitoring as the air traffic control of the modern corporate network, keeping data moving, applications running smoothly, and employees safe.”