In the webinar, Expert Insights: Navigating Outages Like a Pro, Howard Beader, VP of Product Marketing at Catchpoint, interviewed Howard Holton, the CTO and Lead Analyst at GigaOm. The two Howards delved deep into the critical subject of Internet Resilience and its significance in today’s digital age. Here’s a recap of the key takeaways.
What makes Internet Resilience even more important today?
Holton answers that it all starts with understanding the need for speed, explaining that human perception considers 200 milliseconds or less as a real-time response. As a result, organizations must aim for this level of responsiveness, both within their controlled networks and on the broader Internet.
So what are companies doing to ensure resilience and seamless customer experiences today? Holton categorizes organizations into two groups: "The first group comprises those that have embraced digital and recognize that digital is a requirement of today. They're leveraging every tool they can get their hands on as part of that maturity journey into that path. These organizations are absolutely looking at companies like Catchpoint to help them address the last mile, which is critical. The Internet represents the final frontier, and the ability to monitor, manage, and make decisions based on what's happening on networks you don't control is of utmost importance when you reach that level."
The second group, according to Holton, lags in digital maturity, and their eCommerce experiences may suffer. “There are still many organizations that are behind the eight ball on that; they are laggards trying to catch up. If your organization is one of those and you don't control the application stack, still looking at something like Catchpoint, something that can help you monitor and understand the Internet and what's going on that's keeping your customers from reaching your site as quickly as possible, will improve your customer experience. It allows you to inform internally and externally about what's happening, helping your customers and your business understand what they can control, should control, and should do differently."
Why are Internet disruptions on the increase?
The crux of the matter is our growing reliance on the Internet. “We're not putting less reliance on the internet,” comments Holton. “We're not taking things off the public internet, in fact, we're putting more and more and more things on these public networks.” This expansion, unfortunately, reduces overall resilience rather than enhancing it. Climate change and global warming further complicate matters by making the power grid less reliable, subsequently affecting Internet stability.
However, Holton also pointed out a silver lining – the Internet doesn't rely on a single path, allowing for compensatory measures. Given the control organizations have over their applications, he stresses the importance of Application Performance Monitoring (APM) as the initial step. But, he emphasizes that if APM is in place and running smoothly, the next logical move is implementing Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM).
Should organizations prioritize security, cost reduction, or resilience in their Internet strategies?
It's not a matter of choosing one over the other but finding a balance among these crucial factors, according to Holton. However, he suggests that enhancing resilience becomes imperative as businesses continue to rely on the Internet for their operations. The ability to provide customers a seamless and responsive experience, especially in the face of disruptions, is a key differentiator. Therefore, the consensus in the webinar is that companies should aim for a harmonious blend of security, cost-efficiency, and resilience in their Internet strategies to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape effectively.
Are there industries that are more advanced in terms of Internet Resilience?
“Financial services by far,” asserts Holton. He points out that not only do they believe themselves to be tech companies, but they're also in the biggest fight to cater for the new state of play. He points out that the the days of carrying a checkbook are long gone, enabling customers to switch banks more frequently. Loyalty to financial institutions has steadily dwindled year after year, urging financial services to prioritize digitalization and meet customers on their preferred digital platforms.
In the hierarchy of digital readiness, Holton believes that healthcare emerges as a close second, followed by retail and manufacturing.
How does the shift to mobile impact on Internet Resilience and customer experience?
The notable shift to mobile devices has compelled organizations to pivot their focus from User Experience (UX) to Customer Experience (CX). Holton claims the reason behind this is that mobile adds an additional layer of complexity, “The screen's smaller, it's all touch, so the user experience has to be tighter than it is on web.”
The challenge intensifies when users seamlessly switch networks during their daily routines, moving from home Wi-Fi to mobile networks while on the move. In such cases, maintaining a seamless, uninterrupted connection becomes paramount. Holton emphasizes that it all comes down to instant gratification. “If I'm not instantly gratified, I might reconsider my need for the item or take my shopping experience elsewhere.”
What's the future of Internet Resilience?
In a landscape where large marketplaces are becoming less personal over time, Holton believes that providing more personalized experiences will be a competitive advantage for smaller and mid-sized businesses trying to differentiate themselves from giants like Amazon. This personalization doesn't necessarily mean offering lower prices but rather enhancing the overall customer experience. For instance, if there's an outage in a specific region, customers would welcome knowing the cause of any delays, fostering a more personal and trustworthy relationship between businesses and consumers.
Watch the full webinar to gain comprehensive insights into the strategies and best practices for enhancing Internet Resilience, ensuring seamless customer experiences, and staying ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.