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Synthetic Monitoring
End-user experience

The importance of synthetic monitoring for DevOps

Pattern Background

As businesses strive to reduce waste, contain costs, and boost profits in today's hyper-competitive tech ecosystem, increasing launch speeds has become critical. The faster and smarter you launch, the quicker you reap the rewards. In fact, in 2018, over 46% of dev teams used agile project methodologies to hack their launchpad and create more streamlined pipelines.

But, while many organisations are nailing the 'speed' part of launches, few have taken steps to optimise the delivery value stream. What good is rapid deployment if your product is filled with errors? That's a prevailing challenge in the dev world. The average app loses 95% of its users after just 90 days.

Why? Because our intrinsic focus on launch-to-market speeds has caused us to sideline a continuous testing framework, the same one that would allow us to adapt quickly to evolving market demands.

Want to know the #1 reason for high customer attrition rates? It's poor app experiences. 67% of customers who stop doing business with a company cite poor experiences as their top reason for leaving. So, the question is, how do you increase your testing capabilities AND boost speeds to remain competitive? The answer is DevOps.

What is DevOps?

Let's start with a complicated definition. DevOps is a blend of business philosophies, organisational culture, tools, and strategies that help businesses launch faster by deconstructing the siloed nature of traditional ops. At its heart, DevOps isn't a single tool or philosophy. Instead, it's a combination of tools and philosophies that help do one major thing—bring development and operations teams together under the same banner to tap the benefits of enhanced collaboration.

In a traditional ops model, dev and ops teams exist in their unique, fractured ecosystems. In other words, they're suspended in communication silos that lead to operational inefficiencies. Both teams track differing KPIs, work on different components of an app, and have little to no real-time visibility into the delivery value stream.

DevOps tears down these walls by removing siloed dev processes. It also incorporates early, frequent testing into the SDLC and fosters responsible, collaborative relationships between dev and ops teams.

In all, DevOps decreases launch times, facilitates collaborative efforts, and tears down silos that can clutter delivery pipelines. However, one DevOps benefit is particularly important for brands in 2020 — shift-left testing.

While traditional ops treat testing like a tiresome uncle no one wants at a party, DevOps makes the uncle feel like a critical part of the event's success. The result is a less cranky uncle who understands his importance in the larger scheme of things. It's easiest to think of DevOps as the combination of Dev, Ops, and QA. Dev and Ops teams collaborate and leverage automated testing to deliver continuous quality assessment.

In a sense, DevOps is the kryptonite of user errors. But it doesn't do that job alone: its side-kick is automated, shift-left testing. Google says that the three primary goals of DevOps are to "deliver software quickly, reliably, and safely." You don't just want faster app launches; you want secure launches that are reliable and deliver a greater ROI.

And the best testing automation technique that facilitates DevOps is synthetic monitoring.

Synthetic Monitoring + DevOps

Automated testing tools like synthetic monitoring are the reason 63% of DevOps teams report improving the quality of their app deployments. Let's consider how testing works in traditional ops. If traditional ops teams implement quality assurance testing at all, the testing phase is often pushed off until the end of the development process.

Once the app is finished, manual testers begin identifying code anomalies. This results in overlooked issues in the delivery value stream, scope creep, slower time-to-market launches, and friction-filled environments between dev and tester teams.

DevOps flips this framework on its head. Instead of testing ad-hoc and post-dev, DevOps teams implement shift left (continuous) testing using automated synthetic monitoring software. A key component of synthetic monitoring is that it can automatically predict and proactively correct bugs, UX challenges, and performance issues 24/7 and at every stage of the SDLC.

So, after every new change has been implemented, you can test it immediately. This means building a smarter, consistent, reliable, and ultimately more secure app from the start. Synthetic monitoring has presented itself as the de facto testing methodology for DevOps for three reasons:

  1. It satisfies the need for shift-left, automated early testing.
  2. It requires minimal setup and can be instantly integrated into any Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.
  3. It's fast and capable of simulating actual user actions — making it scalable, flexible, and affordable.

Imagine an automated testing solution that can detect issues 24/7, enable waterfall analysis of each issue, provide granular insight into issues within user-defined testing parameters, run scripts simulating real-user actions, and be implemented at any stage in the DevOps cycle. That's synthetic monitoring in a nutshell.

This means no more paying for crowd-sourced QA testing, a leaner manual testing team, and better visibility into your app environments. Shift-left testing can define your DevOps transformation. With faster, smarter, automated testing, you can avoid typical testing pitfalls while improving your overall user experience. Who says you have to trade speed for reliability?

Are You Ready to Test Earlier, Faster, and Smarter?

Believe it or not, not all synthetic monitoring solutions improve DevOps experiences. 2 Steps isn't just another synthetic monitoring solution. We built 2 Steps to facilitate shift-left DevOps from the start. With baked-in Splunk integration, intelligent testing scripts, and the ability to monitor third-party architecture (over 90% of projects use third-party open-source components and libraries), 2 Steps makes DevOps testing a breeze.

Are you ready to create an automated testing environment to facilitate your DevOps transformation? Google studies show that "automated testing positively impacts continuous integration (CI)." The tech giant recommends that DevOps teams invest in automated testing suites to improve CI.

Ready to join the testing revolution, accelerate time-to-market, and build more effective apps? For powerfully effective DevOps solutions, contact us today.

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