This post previously appeared on InformationAge.
Does the country you come from impact your digital experience at the Rio Olympics?
‘Improving the digital experience for end-users starts with visibility’
The Olympics Games are underway and invariably generating huge spikes in internet traffic and live streaming – both in Brazil and around the world – so maintaining the best possible digital experience for end-users is critical.
But, people’s tolerance for poor internet performance is pretty low. Consumers expect rich content at fast speeds viewed on any device – and there is little understanding for slowdowns and delays.
If the delivery is poor, consumers blame the website more often than the content provider. Latencies or inability to access content can then have a trickle-down effect – limiting online viewing and online ad revenue.
The problem is that the richer the content, the longer it takes to load. In addition, consumers are receiving and streaming these large, content-rich files across a network that is not only unpredictable but it also has more than three billion users connecting to it – and in cases like the Olympics, massive spikes in mobile data usage on infrastructure components that may not be prepared for the massive spike in demand.
With this in mind, businesses need to find a way they can use the internet to their competitive advantage, without falling victim to latencies or outages, particularly during peak times like the Olympics.
Mapping the internet
Improving the digital experience for end-users starts with visibility. By visualising the paths data is travelling on the global network, and identifying the best-performing routes, businesses can ensure content reaches end-users much faster.
Internet performance management company Dyn looked at performance figures linking some of the largest cities in the world to determine the digital experiences tourists from those cities might expect while in Rio at the games.
New York was almost twice as fast as Sydney, Australia. Of course, the distance from Rio to New York is shorter than the distance to Sydney and this will be a factor in performance. But as more businesses rely on cloud and CDN resources, businesses need to get their content as close as possible to their users to ensure that latencies are eliminated or minimised – in spite of these slower internet connection speeds.
Visibility isn’t just insight into the global internet network but also about seeing where all of a business’s internet infrastructure assets are right now, where its customers are and how they connect to it.
Once companies know this, they can deploy the right technology and the right infrastructure to deliver the ultimate user experience to their customers, regardless of where they are and what time of day it is.
Whereas previously, companies tended to manage user experience once their customers had connected to them, nowadays it’s about knowing how they connect to their customers. The whole infrastructure is inverted.
While the internet is unpredictable and constantly changing, it is not out of a company’s control. Using multiple cloud or CDN configurations will ensure businesses can balance cost, manage performance and mitigate against risk.
Improving performance can be as simple as monitoring network performance and managing resources based on demand and other load considerations.
When high traffic volumes affect one part of the global network, end-to-end path analysis can alert IT managers to latencies and outages, allowing them to carry out remedial actions much more efficiently.
Managing traffic through the DNS layer, too, enables IT teams to select alternative routes and take preventative action to avoid downtime, slowly loading pages and uncompleted transactions caused by traffic spikes.
An internet performance management approach underpins the digital supply chain, ensuring online infrastructure is working properly regardless of demand, geography or time.
Any business wanting to provide an exceptional customer experience in the increasingly digital market must ensure a well-executed technology strategy is in place to support the company’s ability to monitor, control and optimise online infrastructure.
Only then can businesses guarantee their online solutions will be consistently available, efficient, secure and reliable.
The internet is only getting larger and more complex. Performance and reliability will be two of the most important factors to consider as we become more reliant on it.
Internet performance management must be a priority for those companies hoping to keep customers loyal and engaged throughout major global events such as the Olympics.
Paul Heywood is the EMEA Director of Revenue at Dyn, the world leader in Internet performance solutions. Follow at Twitter: @Paul_Heywood and @Dyn.