Why does your company rely on IT? Silly question isn’t it? You need computers to process customer orders, run payroll, track your cashflow… For a large organization, there could be hundreds of application platforms, each managing a vital part of the business.
For any company of significant size, IT infrastructure requires dedicated IT support personnel. Engineers ensure servers and networking components operate correctly. Help desk personnel take support tickets from users and—hopefully—remediate issues promptly and efficiently.
All this complexity—even purely internal systems—is there for one primary purpose: to serve your customers. Everything meshes to ensure that your business ultimately delivers goods and services quickly and efficiently to your customers.
Employees are customers too
But you have another set of customers, too, though many organizations forget this. Your employees use your IT infrastructure to do their jobs. Not surprisingly, when this infrastructure doesn’t run smoothly, they rapidly become inefficient and demoralized.
As ‘customers’ of the organization’s IT support department, the users of company IT systems are rarely a happy bunch. Talk to them and you’ll hear stories of slow computers that often crash, lengthy delays in getting problems resolved, and a repeated refrain that the company’s systems are hindering, rather than helping them, do their jobs properly.
IT help desks are often under time and resources pressures
When a user has a problem, they rarely know how to express it in language that makes sense to a technical support person, so every incident consumes time and resources just figuring it what exactly the issue is, let alone getting it actually fixed.
In many cases, the problems experienced by users could have been foreseen and prevented without the user even being aware of it. A computer that’s running out of disk space will start running more slowly as space becomes fragmented, and then fail unpredictably, usually at the worst possible time. Yet it might have been trivial to have emptied the recycle bin or to have run a disk cleanup to remove vestiges of older OS upgrades. Expecting non-technical users to do these things is not realistic. Indeed, in a properly secured environment, they may lack the administrative rights to do so. More often than not, common issues are likely to be a result of slow running machines—endpoints not performing as they should.
Diagnosing common issues such as slow running machines
It’s probably one of the most common help desk issues. A user starts to experience significant delays trying to do work on their computer. Perhaps applications are intermittently unresponsive, or the mouse or keyboard stop working momentarily. Could it be a network problem? A memory issue? Something to do with the application itself?
Traditionally, performance problems are addressed by monitoring CPU and disk usage, along with network traffic. The hope is that somehow a problem will correlate with a spike in one of these parameters and that, magically, this will help to find the problem. Just find the offending application and fix it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work terribly well. Modern computers juggle dozens or often hundreds of concurrent processes, all of which fight for resources with each other.
Sometimes this is done gracefully. Operating system vendors work hard to make sure all the tasks which coordinate to run the computer do so efficiently and cooperatively. At least, most of the time.
But sometimes applications from third-party vendors that have been installed as agents to protect endpoints against malicious software, or to guard against improper exfiltration of company confidential data, can cause subtle and hard to diagnose performance issues.
That’s because these agents take a paranoid interest in everything that’s happening on the computer. Every file that’s opened, every network packet that’s sent and received, could be of interest to them and must be scanned carefully. And if the user’s doing a lot of work, then that’s a lot of stuff to be checked.
So it’s not uncommon for the monitoring agents to start consuming significant amounts of critical resources just when they’re needed most by other tasks.
Solving device performance issues with Tachyon
This sounds like a lot of work. But with 1E’s Tachyon, you can easily automate the capture and analysis of end-user experience metrics. Better yet, Tachyon can then proactively remediate any issue that needs to be addressed. Its guaranteed state subsystem can ensure that disk space is efficiently and automatically reclaimed or that vital services are always up and running when they’re needed.
With Tachyon’s strong integration with the ServiceNow platform, it’s also easy to raise and track incidents and collect the essential technical information required to resolve them—and without requiring the user to tediously interact with help desk staff. Tachyon makes it easy to automatically add details of the endpoint platform and configuration to an incident, along with the software installed and currently running, saving valuable time during the incident response cycle.
Tachyon helps identify these issues. Instead of using crude metrics such as overall CPU usage, it measures the performance of critical low-level operating system functionality that the software running on a computer depends on. At the same time, it carefully monitors agent processes when measuring these key metrics and determines whether these agents are potentially degrading the performance of these low-level operations. It then reports back so you can act on the issues in real-time. In many cases, endpoint protection agents can be configured to run more efficiently and consume fewer resources, thus resolving a challenging performance issue that conventional tools simply can’t identify.
Tachyon measures the ‘responsiveness’ of endpoints and how well they’re responding to different inputs. When using applications, files are found and opened, data is retrieved from the disk or over the network and is loaded into memory, processes and windows are created, and registry keys are read and written.
Using synthetic ‘microtransactions’ (so called, because they execute in milliseconds) to periodically test the impact of a load on the environment, Tachyon will identify which processes are interfering with normal operation, and in what way. For example, if an update to a security tool causes a knock-on effect to process execution or file creation, or if a new network driver causes issues with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Employees demand a productive, secure, and performant experience with their endpoints. A holistic device experience measurement and remediation tool is critical to improving the relationship your employees have with their devices and fixing issues in real-time that can hamper performance and responsiveness.
Give your employees the customer-driven treatment
If your employees are treated like your customers and feel enabled and empowered by your IT and support infrastructure, this can only translate into better customer experience (CX). So why not start treating employees like customers by putting Tachyon to work managing and monitoring your endpoints? From thousands through to hundreds of thousands of endpoints, Tachyon scales effortlessly to meet your EX needs.
Want to learn more about developing a strategy to promote better relationships between your employees and their endpoints?