Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015. Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed article by Rachel Obstler, vice president of product management at Keynote and Pete Mastin, product evangelist at Cedexis
2015: The Changing Nature of Digital Asset Management
Thirty percent of the real estate on a
typical Web page is not under the control of the website owner . The
use of third-party ads, search boxes, social media widgets (such as "Like us on
Facebook"), and analytics tools that act behind the scenes tracking users and
performance is commonplace, and all of this content has an impact on site
performance. The same is true of mobile
apps. And, as the use of third-party content increases, so too are end-user
expectations; users typically expect response times of three seconds or less.
IT and operations teams who are responsible for the
performance of digital assets thus find themselves in a challenging position. When
third-party services have a significant impact on performance or even fail, such
as the recent DoubleClick
outage, operations has no server to reboot or developer to call. Instead
there is an external vendor relationship, and, in some cases, a relationship
that the IT or operations team does not even own.
This gap between what IT is accountable for (a high-performing
website) and what they are responsible for (decisions about content and third-party
performance), coupled with the increasing expectations of users, will lead to
changes in how IT must manage their web and mobile digital assets in 2015.
Prediction 1: Performance is a feature. This means performance
becomes a core requirement of the site or app, not an afterthought. There is a
growing recognition of the causal relationship between performance and business
outcomes (i.e. revenue, new customers, customer engagement, churn). The forward thinking IT and operations teams understand
this and are working on quantifying the ROI for excellent performance, or the
converse, the cost of poor performance. In practice, this means putting in
place controls that include meeting performance goals for both the core websites
and applications, and also the third-party content used within them. Some
companies to whom we have spoken are, in fact, already implementing
development, testing, and monitoring processes that support this requirement.
Prediction 2: In 2015, digital owners demand service level
agreements (SLAs) from third-party vendors providing content and services. SLAs drive behavior, and are commonly used to
measure IT performance-and, in some cases, even salary incentives. Especially
where IT does not own the vendor relationship, existing SLA definitions and
resulting metrics often exclude third-party content, to the detriment of
customer experience. With an increasing focus on the relationship between
performance and business outcomes, digital asset owners must bring third-party vendor
performance out of the shadows so that the right decisions can be made for the
good of the customer.
Prediction 3: Operations
will look to make monitoring data actionable through real time automation. It's great to know when something is broken.
It's even better to be able to fix it in real time - so that outages and
performance bottlenecks never happen from your users' perspective. This means
having systems that can alert you of issues in real time (sub second), tell you
what is causing the issue (which object, whether it is third party or core
application), and react appropriately to that information.
Making monitoring actionable can happen in a variety of
ways. In the cloud you can spin up and
spin down servers. When availability drops or latency increases to intolerable
levels, you can route traffic away from the offending infrastructure. You can
even dynamically alter content delivered to a user or set of users to optimize
performance. These and other techniques
enable a new real-time digital optimization engine that ensures the best
Bill Clinton famously said, "The price of doing
the same old thing is far higher than the price of change." In 2015, the
companies that understand the value of high performing digital assets will be
able to reap the benefits of their investment and processes for years to come.
The ones that don't will, simply, lose customers.
Rachel Obstler, Vice President of Products, Keynote
Rachel Obstler is the vice president of products for
Keynote. Rachel has more than fifteen years of experience in the wireless
industry, working for companies ranging in size from startups to multinational
corporations. Before Keynote she was head of products at DeviceAnywhere, which
was purchased by Keynote in 2011. Prior to that, she managed the wireless data
quality products at Telephia Inc. and has experience managing the products of
various wireless technology companies, including Metawave Communications (smart
antenna technology) and Enuvis (location technology). Rachel spent three years
at Lucent Technologies, where she managed a product team and launched a
billion-dollar product line of cellular base stations.
Pete Mastin, Product Evangelist,
Pete Mastin is Product Evangelist at
Cedexis. Pete has over 25 years of
experience in business strategy, product management, software development
practices, operations and strategic partnership development. He has deep
knowledge of content delivery networks (CDN), IP services, Internet and cloud
technologies, streaming and caching technologies, product positioning, software
architecture and iterative design/development. Pete speaks at conferences such
as NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), Streaming Media East, Digital
Hollywood and Interop (amongst others).
 Based on a survey of domains across 15 large internet retailers