Businesses are increasingly running the applications they use to automate and manage their operations, both internally and to connect with customers in the cloud. They are taking advantage of always-on, anywhere access via mobile devices which have become vital to us in both our work and everyday lives.
For example, recent research has found that a third of ecommerce transactions are, on average, already made via mobile devices. So, it is understandable that most business leaders are aware they have to optimise their applications and ecommerce presence to capitalise on the shift of online activity to mobile.
Indeed, Shopology™, a global consumer poll of 90,000 consumers conducted every year across 15 countries by Planet Retail found 40% of all those surveyed last year said that, if they could, they would do all of their shopping online.
So, it stands to reason that managing mobile and cloud application performance (even for those not in the business of selling direct to consumers or via the Internet) will become an even more critical capability for enterprises to master – which the research also bears out.
This same research found 72% of business and IT senior decision makers agreed with the prediction that almost all procurement of their organizations’ sales would be conducted online and via mobile devices within the next five years.
And the impact of mobile is not likely to stop there: while respondents revealed that, on average, around two thirds of these applications are already accessed via mobile, a further 69% also agreed that all applications would need to be mobile in the future.
Moreover, while the research strongly supports the view that mobile applications are currently strategically important, it is worth noting how the same survey also found that they will only become even more critical within the next three years.
So now is the time to capitalise on, as well as prepare for, this shift. This complex set of new IT management requirements ushered in with this brave, new mobile world can seem onerous – not least of which is to develop application functionality and management capabilities that can consistently extend the user and/or customer experience (UX/CX) beyond the traditional PC, to the myriad of mobile device form factors, functionality, and operating systems (OS).
Just because an application works, and is fast and available when accessed via a fixed internet connection on a desktop or laptop, through a browser or direct connection to a server, this does not necessarily mean the UX will translate to an identical experience on a tablet or smartphone.
Instead, slow application performance and content delivery can have a negative impact on potential mobile conversion rates and sales, as well as organisational efficiency and operational effectiveness. And the majority (63%) of survey respondents reported that customer satisfaction would improve if application speed could be doubled.
As a result, Brocade works to help organizations make sure their applications are used to their full potential – especially during periods of peak demand. Issues associated with network variability, around bandwidth, latency and switching can sometimes mask application development or management-related problems.
Speed of response and unpredictable behaviour, such as app crashes or irrelevant error messages; user interface-related errors, including incorrect image sizes; and, database corruption are just a few examples of how various other aspects of performance can impact the CX. But simply throwing more bandwidth or servers at the problem may not be the answer.
Traditional ADCs can help with application performance, but they can be time and cost-intensive, especially if they are difficult to tailor to meet individual application needs. Virtual ADCs (vADCs), such as Brocade vADC, offer a highly flexible and programmable alternative to traditional hardware ADCs, with the ability to scale workloads dynamically, so they can adapt rapidly to meet changes in user demand across any type of network.
Not only can organizations realize the full potential of their application development and management using vADCs and optimize performance, they also agreed that such optimization could deliver other significant benefits to the bottom line.
Consider, for example, that 56% of US smartphone owners abandoned a mobile transaction in 2015. This led the company carrying out the research to estimate that these high abandonment rates lost $24.5bn in potential sales due to poor speed or performance.
Bearing the scale of the both the risks and opportunities available in mind, respondents to the most recent research suggested that it was possible to average increase revenue by an average of 11 percent and productivity by 13 percent as a result of optimising application performance.
2 Planet Retail Shopology™ data gathered from 1,500 consumers in each market per quarter, across Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the UK and US. Period covered: YTD Nov 2014 to Oct 2015.