Data is booming, this is no secret. It is estimated that 90 percent of the data available today was created within the last two years, writes Brightsolid‘s Vicky Glynn.
And it’s likely that over the next two years, we will see data grow by a further 40 times – we are in the midst of a digital boom. This, along with the way we live in an “always connected” world, means that we are now at a real tipping point in how we, as both consumers and employees, behave and therefore expect much more from the businesses we interact and work in.
While it might seem brutal, there is no denying that the ‘always on’ nature of the world has made individuals less patient. There is science to prove just that – it has been coined “The Patience Deficit“. It is therefore vital that organisations ensure that they can manage the balance of lack of consumer patience with ensuring that systems and processes are in place now to live up to future expectations. If this is done successfully, then this will not only benefit an organisation’s reputation, but also its bottom line.
According to Google, 53 percent of consumers abandon their visit to a mobile website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Three seconds…that’s it. For an e-commerce site, it’s estimated that a one-second page delay can result in a 7 percent reduction in conversions. In monetary terms, this means that for a site making £100,000 a day, this one-second page delay could cost that organisation £2.5 million a year.
No small change; highlighting how organisations need to ensure that their infrastructure and support is available 24/7.
Even for organisations that believe they can meet consumer expectations, now is not the time to rest on laurels. As the world changes and technology evolves, every single organisation needs to take the time to reflect on their approach to innovation – from a product, service and process perspective. Ask yourself: if your website can cope with an overload of users and continue to load within an acceptable timeframe, whether your products will continue to appeal to your customers over the next three years and whether your infrastructure could keep up with the speed at which the market will evolve? This is something that even companies like Apple have been looking at (several innovations were announced at CES) to shield itself, particularly pertinent after it recently issued its first sales warning in recent years.
Organisations need to future-proof their commercial properties by ensuring that they have flex within their planning and organisation to scale up or down – but to also ensure they plan for the unknown.
Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report defines this well by noting: “instead of mere efficiency, successful organisations must be designed for speed, agility, and adaptability to enable them to compete and win in today’s global business environment.” No matter an organisation’s make-up or location; political and market conditions internationally will undoubtably hit at some point – to varying results. It’s not feasible for an organisation to truly know how it will be impacted (crystal ball anyone?), so it makes it even more important that no matter the effects – be they good or bad – the organisation must have the process and infrastructure in place to be prepared.
The first step in this process is for organisations to ensure that they underpin their technology and overall infrastructures. No longer is it useful to have a core infrastructure that can be built on top of again and again as it will eventually collapse. There needs to be agility in systems to prepare for an uncertain market environment. By also considering a customer’s patience levels and expectations (and anticipating this heightening further in the future) organisations need to use this as a benchmark – there is no time for even a second of downtime.
Preparing for the “flex” that will be needed by organisations means looking to hybrid infrastructures that match the current need within the business. This flex should be able to support both market conditions, as well as meeting the need to be always responsive. The flexibility will not only help organisations in how they can adapt to change but will in turn attract customers who expect organisations to offer ease of use/access when they choose to interact with them.
It comes as no surprise that a hybrid cloud solution will be intrinsic to this need. One that can be switched on or off and scaled up or down to match the needs to the business. Organisations need to ensure that they have the infrastructure and technology that is ready to act and adapt when they are. This environment will also support future technology developments within an organisation such as IoT or machine learning. This is something that organisations in the public sector are seeing who often need to rapidly increase the amount of their digital services to ensure continual innovation in the delivery of public services. By moving to the cloud, departments are being afforded much more flexibility and capacity to increase services to their own clients.
The agility that is afforded through a hybrid cloud solution will undoubtably support the future-proofing of an organisation’s technology and infrastructure. This move will then mean that businesses will meet the demands of customers both now and in the future, as well as include some buffer to combat whatever market conditions might hit a company in the coming years. While preparing for uncertainty might seem like a needle in a haystack activity, can your organisation afford to lose out on profits from even a second of downtime?