Posted on November 14, 2016 Published by

Website Monitoring: How RapidSpike Can Help Meet The Local Government Digital Service Standard

I have been keeping a careful eye on the Government Digital Service since it was first launched in 2011, in particular the Digital by Default Service Standard. I have seen it mature, gain momentum and as a result we are noticing a ramp up in enquiries related to the local Government Digital Service Standard compliance.

As such, with growing awareness and adoption of this new and exciting standards-based approach to web service delivery I thought I would highlight where and how RapidSpike can help meet the Local Government Digital Service Standard.

I have simply listed the controls below with a simple explanation detailing how we can help. Before I go on, I think it only right that I state that I am not saying RapidSpike has all the answers. I do feel however that we can certainly help and support your Digital Service Standard compliance in more areas than one.

Control 5:

Evaluate what tools and systems will be used to build, host, operate and measure the service, and how to procure them, looking to reuse existing technologies where possible.

The great news is that RapidSpike measures many aspects of your site from user journeys, to conversions, to uptime and so much more. This provides many ways to measure your digital platform. RapidSpike can be used to measure a specific user process, the site uptime/downtime, port responses, individual page load speeds, conversion rates and more.

Control 8:

Be able to test the end-to-end service in an environment similar to that of the live version, including all common browsers and devices.

RapidSpike’s Real User Monitor collects and measures data from your user’s browser. The data captured allows the digital team to understand and test how the user experience differs depending on the browser and device being used.

Control 9:

Make a plan for the event of the digital service being taken temporarily offline, and regularly test.

RapidSpike is designed to help digital teams to monitor, measure and analyse digital platforms. A core part of that value is problem detection and alerting. Naturally, the first part of an escalation plan would be to identify a problem or outage and this can be achieved in a number of ways using the RapidSpike service. I have highlighted three below:

  1. Uptime Alert – If one of our Uptime Monitors fails then RapidSpike sends an alert via a variety of channels: email, SMS, voice call, Slack message and so on.
  2. User Journey warning or failure – The user journey monitor will alert when a process fails or starts to slow down. A slowing down of user journey time is often a very good early warning signal that a problem is emerging.
  3. Real user page monitoring and alerting – If the number of page impressions starts to drop dramatically then this is often another good way to identify a problem.

Using all three together helps to assure your platform both before and during an outage. In addition each alert above can help to identify where the problem is occurring and could be used to kick-start the fault escalation process.

Control 13:

Identify performance indicators for the service, incorporating existing indicators and publishing to a performance platform, if appropriate.

RapidSpike allows digital teams to baseline and measure key aspects of the site. From the data gathered, performance KPI’s can be agreed and measured.

A really good base line is the time it takes a user to complete a process. RapidSpike’s user journey service can record and measure the time it takes to login to a user account for example.

Control 15:

Test the service from beginning to end with an appropriate council member or senior manager responsible for it.

RapidSpike tests many aspects of the site helping to provide robust and comprehensive site reliability and performance metrics. In addition we provide a straightforward and comprehensive interface that will help you to quickly and easily set up your account. Once the data is coming in the dashboards and reports present a simple, easy management tool that will best enable you to analyse your results.

Summary

Like I said, there isn’t one product or tool out there that does everything but RapidSpike can certainly help cover several controls and can absolutely play a part in support digital teams meeting this emerging and growing standard.

Furthermore by leveraging the Public Status Pages feature and TV Mode you can show all stake holders that you are on top of your game.

 

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