Do You Speak the Same Language as Your Business?
By Aaron Rudger | December 15, 2014
Getting businesses and their IT departments to speak the same language to promote growth is gaining considerable traction of late. At this past Velocity 2014 in Barcelona, I had the opportunity to evangelize about the idea of performance in context.
When it comes to managing applications for web and mobile devices, speaking the same language is about how IT, the department who tracks technical metrics to gauge an app or a site’s success, translates those metrics into easily understood business measures of success.
Let’s take a look at how the language is spoken today.
|Growth - new users who register for the mobile app||Page time to load or time to interact|
|Retention - number of repeat visitors||Queries per minute|
|Abandonment - customers who leave the app without buying||HTTP errors|
While this communication gap affects websites, it’s becoming a growing problem for mobile apps. This year, mobile sales were up 27.6 percent. While the use of mobile apps is growing exponentially, measurement of the technical specifications for mobile apps is a fairly nascent practice compared to that on the web.
Real User Monitoring Key to Speaking Consumer’s Language
At Velocity, Keynote introduced our Real User Monitoring service, a new addition to our Performance Management Suite. It provides real time information on the performance of web apps so IT can fix problems quickly to keep the apps running right and customers satisfied. Real User Monitoring also measures user behavior, so teams can understand the influence and impact of performance on business goals like engagement and conversion.
I told my audience in Barcelona that the language barrier between business and IT is the only way to elevate the conversation around performance. This communications gap has long been an issue. In fact, a Forrester survey released within the last year shows that 43% of marketers actually believe that IT hinders business performance. What often happens is that marketing has all sorts of ideas to improve retention and conversion rates through new content and features, but IT comes in and plays the bad guy. They have to tell marketing that adding all those features will be a drag on app performance. The friction also relates to the history of IT as a “service provider” to the business rather than an equal partner. That is changing, but changing the way both sides relate to each other through the lens of customer experience will make it happen sooner.
Improving communication between the lines of business and IT will help the overall business understand the technical implications of their feature ideas for the app. Marketing departments will have numerous ideas for new functionality to add but they don’t realize how the changes can adversely affect page load time or time to interact.
Do we really expect the business to understand what all of our user experience metrics mean? It’s not enough to talk about latency and errors without the proper context. We need to be able to relate those metrics to the business context. That requires correlating performance in the context of delivery through multiple digital channels, impact on user behavior, and competitive relationship.
Our message about overcoming this language barrier resonated with people I met at Velocity, and with customers we met in Europe.
Website Monitoring Demonstrates You Talk the Consumer Talk
Keynote’s advice on how to bridge the gap is to make performance measurement more easily understood by people on the business side. One of our customers, a large American multinational retail corporation, set up big screen monitors on the executive floor of the company that display the performance of its web and mobile sites in comparison to its competitors in order to elevate attention on the importance of performance. Appealing to competitive instincts is a great strategy.
I invite you to hear firsthand how attendees at Velocity at Barcelona said they are bridging the language gap between the business and IT. We interviewed several people and believe you’ll find the feedback useful as you strive to elevate the conversation with your business and marketing peers.