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OPINION: Managing apps for business success

Brad Goddard | May 28, 2012
This challenge for organisations is compounded by technologies such as virtualisation, cloud computing and emerging trends such as mobilisation of the workforce and accessibility.

Cloud and application performance

In a recent study by KPMG, more than 40 percent of businesses surveyed in the AP region indicated that they intend to spend more than 10 percent of their IT budget on cloud projects in 2012, with 22 percent of those surveyed indicating they are willing to spend more than 20 percent of their IT budget.[4] While it is still a relatively small percentage of the overall budget, many of these organisations believe that moving operations to the cloud will help to significantly reduce costs, accelerate time to market and change the way they interact with their stakeholders.

The benefits of the cloud are clear - on-demand, real-time network access and the provisioning of services to many people located anywhere around the world.  However, businesses need to take into account two critical issues before adopting cloud initiatives. Firstly, how the cloud will impact the end-users' Web experience and secondly, what level of control will the cloud give them over Web application performance.

Consistent testing and monitoring of cloud-based Web applications from the user's point of view are important to ensure the best experience for end-users and website visitors. Businesses can adopt an outside-in approach to performance monitoring by taking into account performance across geographies, the elasticity or scalability of the cloud and the last mile view to determine the final connectivity to the end-user.

The mobile revolution

A study commissioned by industry association GSMA revealed that by 2020, there will be at least 12 billion connected mobile devices, accounting for half of all devices connected to the Internet.[5] Another report by IDC predicted that China and India will be leading the charge in smartphone consumption in AP and globally, making up a fifth of the global smartphone market share in 2012 and at least a third of that in 2016.[6]

What this essentially means is that more and more users will expect access to applications on their mobile devices quickly and reliably at any given time.

A recent Compuware survey of global tablet users found that there are high expectations for Web experiences and about 33 percent of users are less likely to make a purchase from a company if their website performance does not deliver the optimal speed, availability and reliability.

A further 46 percent admitted they will actually turn to a competitor's website instead if they feel that their Web experiences are below expectations. This reinforces the importance of monitoring and ensuring fast and consistent mobile application performance for businesses to remain competitive and generate revenues.

The end-user experience

 No matter what the trend, be it virtualisation, cloud computing or mobile access, one thing remains clear - end-user experience and expectations matter. Gartner's 2012 CEO Survey revealed that CEOs cited customer experience management as the most important area of investment to improve their business over the next five years.[7] A similar survey with CIOs ranks customer experience management among the top 10 technology priorities for 2012.


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