Serving 15 to 30 percent of the Internet at any given moment, cloud computing giant Akamai Technologies is acutely aware of the challenges inherent in Web delivery. The challenges become even more pronounced when dealing with the mobile experience.
According to Akamai (News - Alert), more than 80 percent of mobile users expect an e-commerce site to load in at most five seconds. In reality, a typical e-commerce site on mobile takes about nine – equivalent to a desktop computer 12 years ago. This is in stark contrast to the mere two seconds it takes, on average, for a site to load on a standard computer today. Clearly, users don’t want to wait 12 years for mobile improvement.
As expected, mobile devices have different problems than PCs, laptops, and other “wired” devices. The mobile Web experience is much slower for a lot of different reasons, not the least of which is inefficient coding. Many of these issues relate to responsive Web design, which for mobility, often requires unique coding for each individual device, operating system, and browser. Many companies, however, have neither the time nor expertise to address such front-end optimization issues. They are thus only able to focus on the actual function of the app itself, rather than the richness of design.
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As it’s not currently being met in the market, the immediate satisfaction of mobile users is a priority for Akamai, Vice President of Global Product Marketing at Akamai Neil L. Cohen told TMCnet at Cloud Expo in New York. Recently, the company released several important updates to its Aqua Ion product to improve situational performance of the mobile Web experience. That is, Aqua Ion is designed to help address the staggering range of devices and connectivity situations that can impact the user experience and maximize the performance of content delivered over the Web.
These “situations” include what the user is doing, where the data is located, what platform/browser is being used and where the devices are connecting from, among other variables. Depending on the particular combination of factors, the Web must be rendered differently and the network must undergo performance adjustments to achieve the optimal mobile Web experience for any given user. Such situational complexity clearly requires automated optimization measures, and Aqua Ion provides just that.
"Consumers are now in charge of how, when and where they connect to Web content,” said Mike Afergan, senior vice president and general manager of the Web Experience Business Unit at Akamai.” “These varied situations are powerful for online business but create complexity for content providers and can result in a loss of control over the experience and ultimately how well it performs. Aqua Ion simplifies the complexity of modern Web delivery while at the same time providing a faster experience that is highly available, secure and scalable."
The fact is businesses don’t know how poorly their mobile experience really is because they’re not testing from a user perspective. Therefore, Akamai also provides testing services to obtain the end user insight needed to assess real world performance. As Web pages become more and more complicated, this insight will become increasingly valuable for businesses and e-commerce sites.
Cohen noted that similar user expectations are bleeding over into the enterprise space, especially with the consumerization of IT and BYOD (bring your own device). Corporate users expect their CRM, ERP, and other enterprise apps to perform the same way there favorite website does. Consumer sites and services, like Facebook (News - Alert) and Amazon, are extremely efficient, but in the workplace similar services haven’t kept up. Moreover, restricting access to these apps to in-office only naturally frustrates workers and impedes performance.
Indeed, Akamai services are suitable not only for consumer properties but also for helping enterprises get the production they expect when they build out to serve mobile devices and when new application services roll out. As such, Cohen said, the company is excited to be at the forefront of the cloud revolution and looks forward to working with the entire cloud community to help consumers and businesses adapt.
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Edited by Rory J. Thompson