How to Achieve Full IT Visibility Across the Enterprise

Revealing user-behavior data and device performance metrics can help organizations improve digital employee experience, business outcomes

For organizations that want to optimize their IT environments, much of the work starts and ends with visibility. IT leaders need to have a complete view of the organization from the inside out to truly understand what interventions are needed and what proactive improvements will be most effective.

In fact, recent research has found that 76% of organizations considered IT leaders have visibility into how their technology performs and how it impacts employee experiences. By contrast, 33% of IT beginners do.

Of course, full visibility into the IT environment isn’t always easy to achieve. There are a number of visibility challenges that organizations have to contend with. Finding solutions to these challenges, however, can put you on the path toward successful IT optimization.


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Common Barriers to Full Visibility

There are a few common obstacles that can make complete organizational visibility difficult.

The first is the challenge of fragmented data. There are many IT monitoring solutions on the market, but most of them are narrow in scope. They may specifically monitor network performance, for example, or collect data on endpoint uptime. Although these are valuable metrics, they don’t tell the full story.

When visibility is fragmented like this, issues that may require attention could easily slip through the cracks. It also means that IT can’t measure the impact of technology on users. When IT data is taken out of context, it’s harder to arrive at the critical insights that reveal how downtime or disruptions impact employees’ abilities to do their jobs.

These challenges are further complicated by the emerging challenges of hybrid work. Remote and hybrid employees are more likely to use “shadow IT” — unauthorized apps or devices — to do their work. This increases the chances that unexpected problems will emerge and makes troubleshooting these problems more difficult.

Overcoming these challenges is often an ongoing process, but it can be aided by taking steps to collect data about IT performance. Specifically, organizations need both a thorough approach to performance data collection and a strategy for gathering subjective user sentiment about digital experiences.

Gathering Robust Performance Data

The first step to complete IT visibility is to collect data on how everything in your IT environment is performing. It’s generally best to eliminate solutions that provide fragmented data and instead invest in one holistic solution. This ensures that you have a full view of everything that happens in your organization.

An ideal IT visibility solution should have multiple levels of insight into the IT environment, including a high-level health score the illustrates the average quality of the user experience as well as more granular data on specific devices, applications, and other endpoints.

In addition, visibility into specific devices is necessary for troubleshooting urgent issues. Device-specific visibility also allows IT staff to perform advanced root cause analysis on unexpected issues, run automated fixes, and otherwise operate the help desk more efficiently.

Having this breadth of data — broad overviews, insight into specific categories of users or technology, and visibility into individual devices — means your IT team will always have the information necessary to take action to improve the user experience.


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Making Subjective Data Actionable

Hard numbers can tell IT teams a lot, but they can’t reveal everything. What may at first appear to be a small problem can sometimes be a major nuisance to a user, and objective data doesn’t always reflect this.

For that reason, qualitative data is needed as well. The most common way to collect qualitative data is through surveys, specifically surveys that include free-response questions. However, manually reading through hundreds of survey responses is time consuming and can be difficult to pull actionable insights from.

In these situations, it can be helpful to use sentiment analysis for each free-response question. Sentiment analysis tools can track the occurrence of words with positive and negative connotations to score individual responses.

Once responses are scored, you can obtain an average of overall user sentiment. You can then read individual positive and negative responses to get an idea of why users may feel a certain way. Subjective data is turned into concrete data without losing the nuances that make it so insightful.

Full Visibility for Optimized IT

There’s a lot that goes into gaining full organizational visibility. Any organization consists of such a diverse array of technologies and user interactions that full visibility can only be gained by gathering an extensive amount of performance data and supplementing it with occasional user surveys.

Not all data collection is up to the task, though. It’s important to look for holistic IT monitoring solutions that give you insight into every aspect of your environment at both a broad and granular level. At the same time, the qualitative data from surveys needs to be collected in a way that makes it usable.

This all may sound like a big ask, but it’s achievable with the right tools. As IT continues to evolve and ways of working continue to introduce new complications, achieving full IT visibility has become an imperative.

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