The performance of your SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) infrastructure is directly proportional to your conversion rates and customer satisfaction. As organizations have grown in size and complexity, the importance of cloud performance has only continued to rise.
Businesses that seek to maintain an edge over their competition must make the most of tools and techniques that ensure their SaaS infrastructure, applications, and services are always running reliably and efficiently. The following are the basic principles you must adhere to when establishing a SaaS monitoring mechanism.
- Recognize the Importance of SaaS Monitoring
Realizing how important monitoring is to the organization is a crucial first step. Technology managers usually have to make any major system acquisition decision in consultation with finance departments and with the approval of senior management. The deeper your understanding of why monitoring matters, the better equipped you will be to persuade key decision makers that you need SaaS network monitoring software.
Monitoring means higher reliability and a better customer experience. Today’s customers and users have lofty expectations and will accept nothing less than applications that work as they should 99.99 percent of the time. Monitoring tools give you deep insights in your SaaS network so you can investigate the root cause of any emerging system problem.
- Develop a Monitoring Strategy at the Beginning
While SaaS monitoring applications are a must-have, they will not automatically detect and resolve your cloud computing problems. Monitoring success is heavily dependent on the overarching strategy behind the process. Developing a strategy will help you craft a systematic, organized approach to monitoring that will reduce the likelihood of anything falling through the cracks.
Define key scenarios and set realistic goals for performance, capacity, and stress. For the best results, you must keep an eye on specific traffic, user engagement, errors, and other metrics that show system health. These metrics can form part of your organization’s overall service level indicators (SLI) that measure how well your business and technology are serving customers.
- Automate SaaS Monitoring
Today’s businesses prefer SaaS environments due to the ease of tearing down, restarting, and modifying the SaaS platform’s configuration. Despite the advantages, manual monitoring of SaaS applications and servers can be a laborious and time-consuming undertaking especially for large organizations that have hundreds of systems. Manual monitoring increases the risk of losing visibility when some of your virtual servers stop working or when you introduce new ones.
Automating cloud monitoring, configuration, and deployment makes it easier to capture changes and attain real-time universal coverage of your system’s behavior. Automation comes in particularly handy when recovering from an outage or testing a new SaaS platform. Cloud monitoring software typically comes with agents that are installed in the virtual servers and stream metrics in real-time.
- Setup Alerts
Monitoring tools provide insights into any changes to the SaaS predefined metrics such as error rates. However, the information is not of much use if it isn’t promptly communicated to the appropriate persons for requisite corrective action. That’s why you must design monitoring alerts for different event types that are then sent out to the relevant IT staff when an anomalous or suspicious event is detected.
Alerts should also have a tiered escalation process whereby the notification is copied to an increasing number of higher ups if it fails to be resolved within a specified period. Escalation timeframes must, however, vary depending on the severity of the issue. For example, a problem that’s crippling a mission-critical system should be escalated every 30 to 60 minutes. On the other hand, an issue with a low priority application can be escalated after as much as a week.
Monitoring your SaaS has an impact on your company’s bottom line. It must, therefore, be carefully planned for, applied, and instrumented at every stage of cloud design, implementation, and configuration. Good monitoring will allow your business to extract useful intelligence in real time that can in turn be used to further improve your operating environment.