Guest author Kara Ntumy is Operations product owner at News UK, the publisher of three of the most popular news brands in the United Kingdom, The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun.

Pre-New Relic days

Prior to the New Relic revolution at News UK, the Development and Operations teams within the globally renowned media brand were relying on a variety of analytics tools to provide insights into the performance of their digital products.

To support a rich digital product suite consisting of some of the biggest brands in the news industry, including The Times, we knew we had to take the same approach to monitoring and reporting on our applications that we took to our award-winning journalism.

The New Relic revolution at News UK

The Times’ digital product suite includes a state-of-the-art website, a beautifully designed smartphone app, and a tablet app that has earned a 4.5-star rating in the Apple App Store.

news uk mobile interfaces

The architectures of each of these product stacks consist of numerous applications—so it was quite remarkable that we got New Relic implemented with all of these in less than three months! Our approach meant that Operations would handle the monitoring and reporting, and Development would be responsible for zooming in on the root cause to optimize applications. In almost no time we created detailed dashboards and status alerts, and we were able to monitor all performance metrics to get access to insights to which we were previously oblivious.

A brilliant example of this was our realization of the factors slowing down our website, or more interestingly, the fact that only a minority of our visitors were experiencing these slow speeds. Having the ability to zero in on the web transactions that were impeding the performance of our tablet app is another example of how the data and insights provided by New Relic has given us power to further improve our digital offering day-to-day—or as we like to say, “keep the lights on.

The future with New Relic is bright

New Relic is now a company-wide standard at News UK. New Relic APM, Browser, Mobile, Synthetics, and Insights are critical tools used by both Development and Operations. We simply cannot remember how we dealt with application performance before we adopted New Relic.

We have many plans for leveraging various New Relic features, including the use of high-level service maps that will give us accurate real-time dashboards of every module in our various product stacks. We are confident that accepting New Relic service maps as the official performance analytics map within the company will give us yet another competitive advantage.

Join us at FutureStack London

Mehdi Ali, digital platform manager at News UK, will be speaking at the upcoming FutureStack 16 Tour: London event, which will be held on July 5, 2016, at 155 Bishopsgate in central London. Mehdi will discuss how monitoring efforts give the company a data-driven picture of what’s working and what needs improvement. For the full agenda—and to register—go to


Note: Event dates, participants, and topics are subject to change without notice.

Kara Ntumy is the Operations product owner of The Times digital product suite at News UK. Prior to joining News UK, he worked as a digital analyst for HarperCollins Publishers UK, and designed his own smartphone app. His love for design and optimization has led him to designing websites and even offering an online digital design course. View posts by .

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