Are You as Fast as the Speed of Your Customer?
Last year, SanDisk® commissioned a study by the analyst firm Forrester Research to gain a better understanding of the role and impact of performance latency on businesses. This is something we understood from our customers: performance issues result in revenue losses. Be it missed revenue opportunities by analyzing data too slow, bad user experience with lag in ecommerce applications, loss of employee productivity due to poor VDI performance, or database queries that deliver too slow of results.
Through the online survey of 162 business and IT professionals, we learned that businesses are facing several challenges in making sure that system performance is optimal and future proof for both their internal as well as external IT systems. Organizations are not just contending with Big Data, and the demands of the exponential growth in capacity, but the need for “fast data”- data that is ready to be analyzed and mined as close to real time as possible.
The market today is the market of now. Companies are seeking real-time insight to drive new business opportunities ahead of the competition, and be as fast as their customers.
More Growth, More Challenges
Many organizations have made significant efforts to establish, expand and improve their Big Data initiatives. The initial Big Data challenge that needs to be overcome has been expanding infrastructure to support the retention of more data than ever before. ComputerWeekly magazine published a case study last year in which they analyzed eBay’s mind-boggling data needs: 50TB of data produced every single day.
But storing this data is only the first part of the challenge. When the case study was written, eBay was already processing 100PB of data! Data is useless if it’s not mined for gaining insight and harvested quickly enough to impact the behavior of the customer when they’re online making a purchasing decision.
The Spell of Now
Today’s customers are accustomed to incredibly fast-paced standards when it comes to online services. We’re all living under the spell of NOW, and that is non-negotiable. Be it banking, shopping, checking the stock markets, publishing content or syncing devices- any lag will sacrifice trust, confidence and satisfaction in the services provided.
Lagtime and downtime can destroy your business. Online customers lack patience (and ultimately: loyalty) when the user experience isn’t its best. We all know this from our own online behavior: it is highly unlikely for us as a customer to return our business if, for example, we can’t see a quick list of the lowest-priced flights to our needed destination, or the online booking of the flight fails for the third time in a row because a query can’t be completed. I’m likely to never visit that site again. What about a news site that takes too long to load? I’m likely to navigate away to another news source.
But it’s not just the consumer end of things where performance matters, but also in our professional environments. Slowness and lack of availability of our IT resources are causing loss of employee productivity and motivation. We expect VDI to respond like a local resource. We want great experiences using our internal systems just as we expect the services we procure as customers.
Fast Data: Accelerating Revenue
The bottom line is that our infrastructure needs to respond as fast as the user, and business relies on speed to make sure revenue is not lost. We need to retain existing customers by delivering best-in-class experiences, and we need the ability to capitalize on opportunities by utilizing collected data in the timeliest fashion, before the opportunity is gone.
You can learn more about accelerating revenue with reduced latency in Forrester’s ‘Fast Data’ thought leadership paper, available for download from the SanDisk website.
John is SVP, Advanced Storage Technologies group, under the CTO's office at Western Digital with 25+ years in the storage industry.