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What Is Digital Experience Monitoring?

What is digital experience monitoring?

Digital experience monitoring (DEM) technology measures performance by monitoring the health of all systems between an end user and an application. A fast user experience is key to the success of digital transformation and work-from-anywhere initiatives, and it’s incumbent upon IT infrastructure and operations leaders to optimize the user experience. Not only is a fast user experience essential to productivity, but it prevents users from bypassing security controls and introducing risk.

Optimizing user experience requires the ability to identify performance issues quickly, wherever they may occur. It’s not easy. Enterprises are forced to deploy more and more tools that specialize in monitoring end user devices, network paths, or SaaS apps.

How does digital experience monitoring differ from network monitoring?

Network monitoring tools have been around as long as networks themselves, and they were sufficient when you owned and controlled everything from the endpoints to the network to the applications running on your own hardware in your data center. In those days, tools that relied on SNMP, NetFlow, network-based PCAPs, or DSCP markings were enough to get predictable network performance and troubleshoot any performance issues. But these domain-centric monitoring tools do not provide visibility into all the issues that can impact end-user experience, particularly as users move off the network and applications and services move to the cloud.  

As a result, most issues are discovered as a result of a user’s helpdesk reports, whereas problems should be detected and remediated before they can significantly affect end user productivity.

Existing device-centric network monitoring does not scale or provide the needed visibility for cloud and digital-business-era applications.

Gartner, Rethink Network Monitoring for the Cloud Era, December 2018

Digital experience monitoring provides visibility into issues that affect the end user experience

Digital experience monitoring provides deep insight into end user experience, proactively monitoring performance and pinpointing issues, whether they are in the local network, on an end user’s device, with the ISP, or within your data center or SaaS applications, such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and Box, among others. Some of its functionality includes:

  • Active and passive monitoring, benchmarking, and measuring the digital experiences for every end user within your organization
  • Monitoring SaaS and cloud and private applications using HTTP, ICMP, or UDP protocols and running on end-user devices
  • Collecting real-time device health information (CPU percentage, memory usage, Network IO, Disk IO, Wi-Fi signal strength, etc.) for end user devices
  • Hop-by-hop network path visualization from the endpoint to the application
  • Remote troubleshooting to isolate and resolve end user IT issues.

I&O leaders must use digital experience monitoring to optimize business transactions and customer journeys regardless of where workloads reside.

Gartner, Market Guide to Digital Experience Monitoring, September 2019

How does Zscaler do digital experience monitoring?

Zscaler Digital Experience (ZDX) is a cloud-delivered digital experience monitoring service, part of the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange. ZDX measures end-user experience for every user within your organization from every device that they use—without the need to deploy multiple point products. It gives you a unified view to allow you to identify performance issues, whether they are due to the end user device, network path, or the applications users are accessing. 

The Zscaler Digital Experience service:

  • Benchmarks and monitors the experience of all your end users from every device they use
  • Provides a company-wide, location-wide, and department-wide view of experience
  • Uses proven agent (Zscaler Client Connector, formerly Zscaler App) as the single app for all Zscaler capabilities
  • Offers full-path visualization and monitoring for SaaS and custom apps
  • Leverages the Zscaler global cloud for monitoring; protects your IPs from denylisting; and measures your performance against peers so you can see if others in your region are experiencing similar issues


Single-pane-of-glass visibility

SaaS technology vendors provide self-reporting on uptime and availability of their services. Self-reporting is done to prove innocence when service quality deteriorates. As a result, organizations are left with a variety of monitoring sources, causing “alert fatigue.” 

ZDX offers a unified view to enable you to identify performance issues, providing rich insights into the digital experience of your employees and enabling you to quickly identify the source of any issues that are affecting performance, so you can answer questions like:

  • How is the employee user experience after moving to SharePoint online?
  • Is my network underlay for SD-WAN causing slowness?
  • Is the problem WAN, internet, or Microsoft?
  • Why are Singapore users experiencing slow Microsoft 365 performance?
  • Is my new carrier in Dallas optimally connected to my key SaaS apps?
  • Are my SaaS vendors meeting their SLAs?
  • Are Wi-Fi issues impacting end users?

ZDX leverages the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange, the world’s largest inline security platform built for the cloud, to optimize monitoring behavior and it uses a proven agent, Zscaler Client Connector, that runs on many millions of devices today. ZDX can be set up in a few hours, with no need to deploy any additional hardware, software, or massive storage clusters to store a lot of raw and meaningless alerts.

Zscaler Digital Experience (ZDX)

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Zscaler Digital Experience (ZDX)

Introduction of the Zscaler Digital Experience Service

Introduction of the Zscaler Digital Experience Service

Digital Experience Monitoring in the Age of Cloud and Mobility

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Digital Experience Monitoring in the Age of Cloud and Mobility

Gartner Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring

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Gartner Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring