It’s Raining Apps!

Would you move your apps to the cloud if it meant they would run slower for your customers? Probably not. But you may wind up doing exactly that if you don’t plan ahead. So, how do you overcome the latency and response time inherent in cloud implementations?

Here are a few important steps you should be taking to maximize the value of your investment in cloud infrastructure:

1. Use a CDN

Accelerate your cloud app delivery using the benefits of Content Delivery Network (CDN) services to distribute and cache your content and business logic. A modern CDN can anticipate the demand, pre-fetch data and content, and manage your network utilization so that your users and customers will enjoy the best possible experience when interacting with your business. If, for example, you are hosting a weather app in the cloud, the CDN will recognize that requests from south Florida tend to focus on local zip codes, and cache that data at node servers closer to those users, improving response times, and saving on network usage. With the right CDN, even e-commerce apps featuring personalization can dynamically manage resources to minimize the number of data and content calls traveling all the way to the cloud hosting site.

2. Plan for your mobile users

While a lot of CDNs can help deliver your cloud apps more effectively, it’s also important for you to plan for the growth in mobile Web and mobile app usage. For example, Gartner has published a strategic planning assumption projecting that by 2015, at least 60 percent of information workers will interact with their content applications via a mobile device1. A CDN that streamlines your access path to your mobile users will add immediate value to your business, and improve the return on your cloud investments.

3. Consider mobile app acceleration

A quicker network path to your mobile customers is key. But it’s also important to optimize your apps and content, accelerating their performance. Mobile users expect apps to perform as quickly on a phone or tablet as they would on a desktop or notebook computer. In fact, 60 percent of surveyed mobile users say they expect a Web page to load in three seconds or less on their mobile device, and 50 percent are only willing to wait five seconds or less before abandoning the Web page entirely.  Mobile application and content acceleration are critical features of your CDN eco-system — and your complete cloud infrastructure.

The primary reason CIOs and CTOs are moving to the cloud is to reduce capital and operational costs. But saving money is no bargain if you alienate your customers in the process, because they will remember the good experiences, and they will remember the bad ones, too.  When you evaluate your SLAs, your hosting options, and your data security, don’t neglect the critical importance of optimizing performance and response times in your Web and mobile apps. When planned correctly, you can save money while boosting revenue at the same time. And that means you will find clear skies when you move to the cloud.

What are you doing to reduce costs and improve the customer experience in your move to the cloud? Are you using a CDN? If so, what has your experience been?
The Networking Exchange Blog Team About NEB Team