Guest post by Jim Rapoza, Senior Research Analyst at Aberdeen Group
If you’re like me, you probably know at least one person who is a gear-head, someone who spends lots of time fine-tuning and optimizing their car so that they get the best performance out of it. Interestingly, you can see much the same thing with the staff who are dedicated to keeping the websites and online services of today’s businesses running at their best.
These people utilize testing, application performance management and monitoring tools to ensure that their web systems are fully optimized, reliable and able to handle the heaviest traffic. They are “gear-heads” whose job it is to keep their online presence running like a finely tuned machine.
But just as happens with cars, having a high performance machine doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get where you want to go quickly. In fact, all it takes is bad traffic.
In the world of cars, it’s pretty easy to see. Stuck in a traffic jam on a busy interstate, that super-fast 1967 Shelby Cobra isn’t moving any quicker than the beat-up junker stuck next to it on the highway.
But the same thing happens to websites and online services every day on the Internet. A business puts a lot of time and resources into having a high performance and fully optimized web site. And then visitors to that site find it slow, or even completely unavailable, not because of anything that the business did, but because of, essentially, traffic jams on the Internet.
So because of something completely out of your control, your company is losing money, potential customers and maybe even brand reputation. Or is it really out of your control?
Anyone who uses modern GPS systems knows that it’s now possible to avoid those traffic jams on the highway. You know how it works. You see that bad traffic taking shape on the highway ahead, and then your GPS says, “Faster Route Available”, leading you to jump off the highway, avoid the traffic and get to where you’re going on time.
The GPS can do this because it’s constantly monitoring traffic conditions in real-time and can quickly switch users to the fastest routes. And a new technology in performance management is doing much the same thing for online properties.
Called Internet Performance Management, it’s like a GPS linked to the capabilities of a self-driving car, but for your Internet traffic. IPM solutions are constantly monitoring traffic across the Internet, and, when there is a problem on a route that your business uses for its web sites and services, they can quickly and proactively switch to a faster route, saving the business from slow or disruptive services and keeping visitors and revenue happy.
That’s the cool thing about IPM: it caters to the driver of the ‘67 Cobra, who wants the latest route information but prefers to keep the wheel in their own hands, and it also allows the passenger of the fully-autonomous 2018 Tesla to just hit “go” and kick back for a nap on the way to work.
This kind of capability can be a real game changer for businesses today. Aberdeen Group research has shown that lack of visibility into Internet traffic and lack of tools to monitor Internet performance are top challenges for organizations today.
The research also shows that, by adopting tools and strategies to get end-to-end visibility into everything that impacts performance, including issues on the Internet, businesses can reduce downtime, keep performance high and customers satisfied.
No one likes a traffic jam. But avoiding them is often simply a matter of knowing a better route. With tools like Internet Performance Management, businesses today can avoid Internet traffic jams and keep their online presence running like a finely tuned sports car with nothing but open road ahead.
For over 20 years, Jim Rapoza, Senior Research Analyst and Editorial Director at the Aberdeen Group, has been using, testing, and writing about the newest technologies in software, enterprise hardware, and the Internet. He previously served as the director of an award-winning technology testing lab based in Massachusetts and California. Rapoza is also the winner of five awards of excellence in technology journalism, and co-chaired a summit on technology industry security practices. He is a frequent speaker at technology conferences and expositions, and has been regularly interviewed as a technology expert by national and local media outlets including CNN, ABC, NPR, and the Associated Press.