Software is transforming almost every part of our lives. There’s hardly a business out there today that’s not using software to transform how it connects with customers. The “new age” digital consumer expects personalized experience everywhere. Because software is how businesses deliver that personalized experience, every business has to become a software business.

“All companies need to become Internet and software companies,” said General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt to Processing Magazine last year. “The industrial world is changing dramatically, and those companies that make the best use of data will be the most successful.” It’s affecting everyone, even burrito shops: Chipotle is becoming data-enabled with its “burrito button” app for the Apple Watch.

What is this data that will separate the winners from all others? We believe that much of it is software analytics—the data produced by all the components of an application, from a swipe on a mobile device to the performance of a server.

Making sense of that data around how customers interact with software and how those applications behave has become a big data problem, and random acts of analytics on narrow portions of your app can’t possibly give you the fast, easy, and comprehensive visibility required to fully understand your applications.

We think you need a Software Analytics Platform: a single platform that is designed to provide the required analytics to software developers, IT operations, and product owners.

What is a software business?

The primary interface to the customer is becoming digital for almost every business. As this trend spreads across industries, companies are seeing themselves as software businesses. They recognize that their customers expect consistent, personalized, and relevant experiences across the various channels they use to interact with the organization and its brands.

To run a software business, you need a Software Analytics Platform

Being a software business requires you to work differently. To meet modern customer expectations and create a successful software business, companies need to drive three critical business outcomes:

  1. Application performance
  2. Customer experience
  3. Business success

Monitoring app performance is table stakes, part of ensuring the store is open for business. But meeting this requirement keeps getting harder as software architecture gets more modernized and distributed.

Customer experience, meanwhile, needs to be awesome across all digital channels. This is the online equivalent of a brick-and-mortar store ensuring that there are products on the shelf and customers can find them quickly and easily.

Software data can drive business success by enabling superior data decisions across product owners, customer support, and technology organizations. It’s all about truly understanding customer behavior—who is buying what—to help provide the right products and “white glove” treatment to the best, most profitable customers.

Making all that happen isn’t always easy. Modern software businesses are built on increasingly complex and distributed software architectures, which requires the business and IT to work differently than they have in the past.

Being a software business requires the business, IT, and executives to work differently

The traditional way of working was to build applications in silos: The business provided the requirements, and the developers would go away for a few months and throw the app across the wall when it was “done.” Ops would “catch” the apps and begin to manage application infrastructure. Customer experience was seldom measured. When customers had issues, they complained to the business (ops would have no idea there was a problem), which would then cause the finger pointing to commence. Clearly, this way of working is not acceptable in the modern software business world.

In the new “software business” world order, developers, ops, and product owners are all first-class citizens. Dev and ops need to work closely together in a DevOps environment, deploying weekly if not more often. Everyone needs to use application data to manage the performance of all aspects of the modern architecture: cloud, microservices, third-party APIs, etc.

In this model, everybody pays attention to customer experience. Ops constantly measures it. Developers use deeper-dive data across the frontend and the backend to optimize it. The product owners leverage software business data to truly understand their customers—and to provide business context that drives the requirements of what to build and how to engage and market to customers.

Software businesses require execs to work differently, too. To better empathize with the customer experience, they need to be hands-on users of their own company’s products. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and even our own Lew Cirne are great examples of hands-on, product-obsessed CEOs able to pair qualitative, anecdotal evidence with statistically relevant analysis that expresses business outcomes as a function of customer experience and app performance. And that’s exactly what Data Apps built on New Relic Insights are designed to provide.

Making sense of complex and distributed software architectures

Not surprisingly, succeeding in the software-business world requires excellence at building and managing software in this complex new architecture. The old architecture was comparatively simple: A Web browser and a 3-tiered architecture comprising a Web server, an app server, and a database. But modern distributed architectures leverage the cloud, deconstructing monolithic applications into interconnected collections of microservices. Data, meanwhile, is being pulled from multiple NoSQL databases and various third-party APIs. That combines to boost the complexity of application performance on the backend.

At the same time, the frontend is having an ever-bigger impact on the customer experience as processing continues to move to the presentation layer, typically either a Web browser or mobile application. The number of dimensions that need to be managed is also rising: multiple form factors, different operating systems, various browsers, different regions, and so on. It all adds up to an explosion of customer experience data that needs to be analyzed.

Managing your “software business” requires you to manage all this data—leveraging business data from your software to drive business decisions. And that makes the issue a “data analytics problem.” Critically, with the requirements cutting across applications, customer experience, and the business, you can’t get the required business impact if that data is siloed across disparate tools.

The New Relic Software Analytics Platform

To make this all work you need to break down the silos by using a single source of software data truth. And that’s the goal of the New Relic Software Analytics Platform.

New Relic provides a category-defining platform: the only pure-SaaS Software Analytics Platform that is designed to combine a curated view of application performance, customer experience, and business success:

  • App Performance (New Relic APM, New Relic Servers, New Relic Plugins, and New Relic Insights): To manage your dynamic application architecture, we have an integrated set of capabilities that can help you achieve proactive application performance. All the data from our curated products feed into New Relic Insights, where developers and ops can perform more granular analytics.
  • Customer Experience (New Relic Browser, New Relic Mobile, New Relic Synthetics): To manage the frontend processing tier (where more and more code is being pushed), our integrated capability can measure customer experience across all digital channels 24/7—even when you don’t have users on the system.
  • Business Success: The various components of the New Relic Software Analytics Platform are designed to work together to help create a data-driven culture across dev, ops, and the business. All data from our curated products—along with other related data—can easily be fed into Insights to create dashboards and perform deeper analytics that drives business success.

New Relic Software Analytics Platform

Here are just some of the ways the New Relic Software Analytics Platform redefines the category:

  • New Relic’s curated products were purpose-built to provide curated experiences to manage different problems of managing modern software and to deliver value in minutes.
  • In addition to its curated products, the platform is designed to provide flexibility to pose ad-hoc queries to improve situational awareness and optimize your software business.
  • New Relic’s multi-tenant architecture can enable processing of billions of events with sub-second query times by utilizing the entire compute infrastructure for a fraction of a second.
  • The New Relic Software Analytics Platform is unparalleled in scale, processing more than 200 million events per second.
  • The SaaS delivery model of the platform helps ensure that the product and platform capability are always up-to-date.
  • The underlying multi-tenant SaaS architecture is highly secure and SOC II Type 2 compliant.
  • As a pure SaaS company, New Relic enjoys an innovation advantage that allows it to invest heavily in R&D instead of infrastructure, and accelerate its time to market.

New Relic is the only company that delivers a broad Software Analytics solution in a multi-tenant SaaS delivery model. With shared platform capabilities including alerts, dashboards, APIs, and more, the New Relic Software Analytics Platform is uniquely positioned to help businesses succeed in an era when every business is a software business.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

 

Abstract background courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

Bharath Gowda is director of market leadership in New Relic’s San Francisco headquarters. View posts by .

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