Authored By: Gregg Ostrowski, Executive CTO, AppDynamics
Since the start of the pandemic, consumers everywhere, including Singapore, have relied on digital services for almost every aspect of their life. Be it to study or work, exercise, or entertain, and everything in between, applications and digital services have been here every step of the way as we navigate this challenging period. The role that they play has never been more prominent. In fact, in the recent AppDynamics report, The App Attention Index 2021: Who takes the rap for the app?, we found that the number of applications used on a daily basis has increased by 30% globally, compared to before the pandemic.
But how has this prominence of applications and digital services impacted consumer expectations of digital experiences? And what does this mean for the brands that deliver those services?
Embracing the Total Application Experience
With this widespread transition to the online world, consumers have been exposed to limitless possibilities and options as to what a ‘perfect’ application can be like, as they enjoy the very best digital experiences. Wowed and impressed by the many intuitive and personalised services over the last 18 months, their expectations have evolved and only applications of the highest quality are now accepted. Increasingly discerning and sophisticated, consumers demand the ‘total application experience’ - a high-performing, reliable and secure digital service that is tailored to their needs.
What’s also interesting is that in addition to skyrocketing expectations for consistent app performance, data security and privacy remains a priority for consumers. Indeed, 62% of the people we surveyed highlighted security as the most important factor for an optimal digital experience.
Evidently, reliability rests on more than just how fast an application runs. With so much of our lives being put online, it’s no wonder that 90% of consumers expect their data to be kept safe and secure. While consumers demand the most innovative and experiential digital services, security must not be compromised. After all, how trustworthy a brand is also depends on how well it protects its customers.
Brands have one shot to impress
Businesses cannot afford to underestimate the stakes surrounding digital experience. Those who have successfully delivered a ‘total application experience’ during this period have been rewarded by grateful customers who display higher loyalty and likelihood of repeat transactions. Meanwhile, those who fall short are met with unfiltered disdain. However, don’t ease up on innovating and introducing new features, as you need to continuously keep your customers engaged and happy with your services.
No longer as forgiving, almost 70% of Singaporeans say that their expectations of digital services have changed forever, and they won’t tolerate poor performance. 60% say that brands only have one shot to impress, the implications are clear - one mistake, from a data breach to a minor technical disruption, is more than enough to turn away plenty of customers.
In a world where applications are a lifeline to normality, anything less than optimal performance is failure.
Who takes the rap for the app?
To add more fuel to the fire, brands need to be aware that consumers do not pay heed to reasons for application failures. When encountering any issue, they automatically assign blame to the business behind the app. This may be justified in certain instances where performance issues result directly from the application itself - for example, slow loading pages, security breaches, or poor response time.
But in others, such as external factors like bad internet connectivity or network issues, the brand still takes the ‘rap for the app’.
78% of consumers in Singapore say it’s the responsibility of the brand to ensure that the digital service or application works perfectly.
Connecting business and IT performance to safeguard performance and reliability
To meet rising expectations and address the risks of performance issues, technology teams need the right tools to provide real-time visibility across their entire IT environment. Increasingly technologists are deploying full-stack observability solutions to connect the dots up and down the stack — from the customer or employee-facing application, all the way down to the lowest level infrastructure (compute, storage, network, and public internet).
To respond to the needs of end users, enterprises need a platform which is capable of receiving data from multiple sources to accurately understand and represent topologies and dependencies, and to drive actions. Full-stack observability delivers maximum benefit to IT teams when IT performance is linked with business context - such as customer experience, sales transactions, and revenue.
Full-stack observability with business context will empower technologists to progress beyond firefighting and proactively manage app performance. In this competitive landscape where customer loyalty is built on digital performance, maintaining reliability and security are absolutely critical for brands to not just survive, but thrive.