Synthetic monitoring: A brief introduction and 5 reasons why you need it

What is synthetic monitoring? Why is it useful? Read here to learn more.

No matter what country you live in, you must be online to stay relevant to your customers. Of course, to be relevant, businesses need their websites and apps to be available, responsive, and working correctly. The slightest error can make a customer leave and make a company lose out on valuable business. For example, one survey by AppDynamics writes that up to 90% of users have stopped using an app due to poor performance. In another example, Justin Mifsud of Usability Geek found that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. If customers leave, businesses lose the income they need to grow or even stay in business. That’s why many enterprises use synthetic monitors. These tools give users crucial insight into the customer experience, driving success and profit. 

What is synthetic monitoring?

Synthetic monitoring, also known as synthetic testing, is a method of simulating user experience to test the performance, availability, and function of apps, websites, and services. Synthetic monitoring uses scripting to generate different scenarios, geographic locations, device types, and other variables. Using these variables, users can then collect performance data.

There are three types of synthetic monitoring:

  1. Availability
  2. Performance
  3. Web Application
  • Availability : 

Availability Monitoring, or Uptime Monitoring, is the most basic form of synthetic monitoring. A monitor checks the uptime and availability of service by sending a test ping and confirming a response. If there are any problems, the monitor can notify the webmaster immediately. The simplest form of a monitor is the ICMP Ping Testing monitor. A step above ping testing is a TCP Connection Request monitor, used to connect to specific ports. More sophisticated monitors can verify SSL certificates, authenticate users, test response times, call APIs and confirm if functions are running correctly. 

  • Web Performance

Web Performance Monitoring is when a monitor loads a website to check loading speed, performance, and the response times of both the frontend and backend. There are two types of web performance monitoring. In Real Browser Monitoring, the monitor will use a browser like Safari or Chrome to load returned content. It will reload the content on an actual browser to capture errors that may not appear in the first instance. Mobile Website Monitoring is similar, but to allow for insight on iOS and Android devices, the monitor will also simulate different screen sizes and resolutions.

  • Transaction Monitoring : 

Transaction Monitoring refers to monitoring customer transactions such as bank transfers, deposits, and withdrawals. The system will attempt to identify suspicious behaviors such as money laundering, fraud, or terrorist financing. To do this, the monitor will track different data points and feed them through a risk-based rules system to confirm that nothing is out of place. Naturally, this is useful for banks, accounting firms, crypto platforms, and any other enterprise that needs to exchange money often. 

Why do you need synthetic monitoring? 

1. Proactively Find and Fix Issues:

Synthetic monitoring helps you find problems before your customers do. By looking from the end user’s perspective, enterprises can learn about performance issues before they impact the customer. Those enterprises can then fix those problems and ensure that the customer journey experience never gets interrupted.

2. Measure Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) :

To modern business, service level agreements are important. However, SLAs can be difficult to measure, report on, and meet. Configuring and changing them also presents a challenge. Therefore, vendors can use synthetic monitoring to learn about availability and performance limitations. Vendors can use this data to create realistic service objectives and avoid unforeseen problems.

3. 24/7 Monitoring

A program does not need to sleep – so users can run as many tests as they want to. Synthetic monitoring can run continuous tests, simultaneous tests, and can always check your service’s availability and end-to-end performance. Your information will always be up-to-date and on time, whenever you need it.

4. Simulated Use Cases

Since synthetic monitoring can simulate simultaneous sessions, users can get meaningful data from areas of their service that haven’t yet experienced any traffic. This is very useful in the case that you are launching your services in a new country or location as you can monitor performance and availability without the need for real users. 

5. Business Agility :

Users can stay flexible with synthetic monitoring, thanks to it being useable according to the pace of your business. Users can turn on infrastructure according to their needs, helping them meet seasonality, unplanned demands, and competitive responses.

In the digital world, knowing how to interact with customers is vital. Synthetic monitoring can help with this – since it lets business owners get insight into the customer journey experience. The many benefits behind the technology, help a service stay active, responsive, and up-to-date, earning businesses profit and keeping customers happy and loyal. 

Foresight Synthetic Monitor is your key to driving customer success and boosting your revenue. Foresight is an innovative new monitor that doesn’t require a coder! All that users need to do is set up the UI and they can get started straight away. As a data-driven solution, Foresight can track a user’s actions, store it in its database, and then convert it into a definable data structure. This means that Foresight’s predictions are quicker and more accurate than other more traditional monitoring solutions. Thanks to Foresight, one of our previous customers went from taking 13 hours to develop one synthetic script to being able to create one in 4.5 hours – less than 38% of the original time! Need that extra boost to maximize your customer journey experience? Try Foresight for yourself today!

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Updated: October 7, 2022

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