As mobile device usage surges, and they become a top tool of choice, businesses need to be able to provide customers with easy mobile access and give employees tools to do their job while on the go. Still, questions remain: When is it necessary for a business to deploy mobile friendly interfaces or dedicated applications? And, once you’ve made the decision to do so, how do you monitor those mobile applications to make sure they are actually meeting your business and your users’ needs?
Proof in the Numbers: Log Data Shows Mobile Need
Answering the first question is very simple if you use the log data from your existing web servers. One of the items you should be watching is what type of device is being used to access your web services. If you’ve reached a point where the log data shows mobile devices make up a significant amount of your traffic, it’s time to take the next step and provide a mobile-friendly web experience, apps for mobile devices, or perhaps both.
Doing this means you will likely be building HTML5 web pages or dedicated applications for iOS or Android. These are all solid methodologies for delivering services to your users, both internal and external, but there is no standardized methodology for monitoring and managing the performance of these applications that goes across all three platforms. And given that you will be providing services in all three formats, the ability to log data and analyze app performance, usage patterns, compatibility issues and provide problem solving analytics without regard to platform will improve the user experience in the mobile environment, making customers more likely to return and employees more productive.
If you are deploying your new apps and web pages internally on devices owned by the company, you have good control over the environment and can vet installed applications and services on the devices to insure that your own app runs without interference. But it is more likely that you are deploying to devices owned by the user and have little to no control over what else is going on with the phone or tablet. This makes the need to be able to log data and events from your app even more acute. It’s too easy for an ill-behaved application to negatively impact your app, or a new version of an operating system to cause problems as the vendors make changes as they update the system software.
Mining Log Data to Make Mobile Better
This is where the advantages of a tool such as Logentries Mobile Insights come to the fore. With the ability to deploy in-app logging tools you are able to watch the behavior of your application on deployed devices, in real-time if necessary, to get a handle on where potential problems and bottlenecks might be occurring. And because you can deploy natively cross-platform you are able to more easily narrow down issues that impact the performance and usability of your applications, be it response time, crash issues, application bugs or even simple compatibility issues with the underlying OS or other installed applications.
Given the amount of resources that could be consumed while trying to find sporadic app issues across multiple platforms, and the large number of potential causes, deploying a logging tool for your mobile apps with the ability to manage log data, alert on events, and provide performance monitoring across the scope of the application, should be a basic part of your mobile application program.