Why Synthetic Monitoring is a Must for SaaS-based Solutions

Bounded to service level agreements (SLAs), vendors must monitor performance of their SaaS-based solutions for an optimal user experience. Monitoring performance of a SaaS-based solutions is a challenge since it varies extensively across user locations and geographies. These applications and their content need to travel a rigorous path of geography-specific variables (CDNs, local ISPs, etc.) en route to users. This level of complexity can eventually effect the experiences of end users differently.  The idea is to identify most critical user segments and measure performance from locations closest to these segments in order to get the most accurate results. However, even if your SaaS application’s built-in monitoring system indicate it’s up and running, it won’t necessarily translate to excellent application performance to each user. Many things can go wrong along the way and external synthetic monitoring is an effective way to manage and monitor SaaS performance.


Why Synthetic Monitoring is Effective

To ensure efficient monitoring of applications at an end user level, synthetic monitoring is the most effective method that works by simulating users and mimicking their actions on your websites or applications. Synthetic monitoring provides essential information to common paths in an application and performance reports on business-critical transactions.  A synthetic monitoring tool not only makes it easier to monitor the performance of your SaaS, it also helps put monitors on the powering APIs. API monitoring can find potential problems with the performance of third-parties that your applications rely on to perform key functions.  By providing objective, stable, and predictable performance measurements that facilitate alignment between IT, business stakeholders and third parties, synthetic monitoring can validate performance prior to creating an SLA and to ensure consistent delivery of services over the subscription period.


Baseline, benchmark, and analyze performance trends across geographies

Baselining and analyzing performance with synthetic monitoring tools is an everyday practice to deliver top-of-the-line performance and experience to the customers.  Synthetic monitoring offers an even and predictable environment for SaaS vendors to measure performance 24/7. Synthetic monitoring allows baseline tests to mimic the actions of your application.  These tests are integral to testing transactions and geographic locations over multiple browsers and devices.  Baseline tests from synthetic monitoring tools will tell if you are meeting requirements, help you find areas of improvement and present you results for planning capacity.  Set your baseline metrics before agreeing on an SLA provides you actual data to negotiate with and continuously monitor after.


Measure the impact of third-party components and hold them responsible

To ensure a consistent user experience, SaaS vendors rely on a bunch of third-party components and APIs: ecommerce carts, online ads, reviews and ratings systems, analytics engines, social networking integrations, search engine optimization tools, embedded videos, the list goes on and on. An average SaaS application communicates with components from eight or more external providers during a user interaction.  These components are a necessary evil, they boost conversions, improve customer satisfaction.  However, one bad component could slug the performance of your application and take down user experience with it. You may blame the SLAs for it, but at the end of the day your subscribers will hold you responsible.  Synthetic monitoring solutions protects SaaS vendors from abuse of third-party services. They monitor and log service level objectives, performance issues, and downtime to hold the vendors accountable at the time of any disputes.


Catch issues before they impact your end users

Synthetic monitoring simulates typical user interactions and can run those test scripts from various monitoring locations across the map. These tools can watch your SaaS applications even when the traffic is low and send alerts to the appropriate teams in case of performance issues.  The early detection system gives you team extra bandwidth to detect the problem, bring in experts to point the root, and remedy it before they affect the users.  Monitoring becomes more critical when expanding your SaaS base to a new territory. You wish to measure impact of performance on your business goals.  With synthetic monitoring, you can find, and fix problems tied to real-world variables, such as page speed, before offering the software subscriptions to new customers.

Synthetic monitoring allows you to monitor test features of your SaaS application that doesn’t have actual traffic yet. Imagine the enhanced version of your analytics engine crumbling under its very load during peak traffic times and you have to abruptly roll back to the previous version. Synthetic monitoring can save you the embarrassment by simulating traffic of various degrees ensure performance and availability of your SaaS application.


Test from the end user perspective at every stage of development

Synthetic monitoring can simplify the performance testing of your cloud-based applications in pre-production. It will check whether the performance will live up to end users’ expectations (or not) and can emulate network traffic conditions. The results will act as the baseline to set up performance thresholds at the time of production. The synthetic monitor will trigger performance alerts whenever end user experience is about to go out of the spectrum.  Synthetic tests can simulate the persona, behavior, and perspective of your end users across all locations, multiple web browsers and devices, and varying internet speed.  Synthetic monitoring is advantageous at any stage of software development, from the launch of new features to minor overhauls and content updates.


Performance Monitoring for Your SaaS Applications

Performance issues can happen anywhere, anytime due to the complex architectures of SaaS offerings.  Issues may be prevalent while accessing the services from the browser on a person’s computer, an app on a mobile device, across the web or an enterprise WAN, across third-party vendors and public cloud vendors, to the IT infrastructure running inside data centers.  Synthetic monitoring lets you measure application performance 24/7 from every vantage point and alerts you to issues before they affect your users.  Even if an issue arises during non-peak hours, or other low-traffic periods, you must quickly find, isolate and fix the issue to protect revenue and brand equity.

Dotcom-Monitor provides performance monitoring solutions to help ensure all your SaaS KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are met, such as availability, functionality, uptime, page load speed, as well as individual page components. With enterprise-grade monitoring and performance testing capabilities, Dotcom-Monitor has all the features your teams require: real browsers, real-time dashboards and alerts, global locations, point and click scripting tool, third-party integrations, and more.

Try the full Dotcom-Monitor platform for free.


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