The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Enhancing your applications for mobile device access

Posted by riverbedtest on October 3, 2011

I recently came across a fantastic infographic courtesy of Microsoft Tag that highlights some very interesting statistics on how people are using mobile devices in 2011 and the possible impacts on mobile marketing.

2011-mobile-statistics The element of the infographic that really grabbed my attention was ‘how fast is mobile internet growing?’ According to the graph mobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop internet usage by 2015.

So, why should we care about this projected growth?

As an increasing number of organizations look to offer their services online the requirement to have an online presence that performs and meets the expectations of customers no matter what type of device (and not just the trusty old desktop) they are using, is now even more important than ever.

If more of us are going to use mobile devices in the future as the preferred way to access the applications that support these online services, this will have implications on the way those applications are developed and designed to provide the best possible level of performance. According to a recent article in ClickZ, research shows a simple 1 second delay could result in 7 percent fewer conversions, 11 percent fewer page views, and even a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction – not something your organization is going to want to experience.

So, wouldn’t it be helpful to understand which mobile devices visitors are using to access your applications and online services and in-turn help understand how to tailor applications for the best possible level of performance? However, as we all know, the number of devices with different capabilities and the frequency with which they come onto the market is quite amazing. For example, a recent article published on the Rimm-Kaufman Group blog shows that in its last quarter Apple sold 9.25 million ipads which is an increase year on year of 183%.

So, how can an organization keep pace with this change?

Well, thanks to Luca Passani at WURFL (Wireless Universal Resource File) and his contributors, including individuals from a number of the carriers, there is a way! WURFL is a global database of all devices and their capabilities. This file can be accessed by developers so that they can build applications and services that perform better for their users when using certain mobile devices including those from Apple.

For those of you who are already using Zeus’ software-ADC solution for intelligently managing their web-based application traffic, Luca and his contributors offer a Java API. This means that those responsible for writing and developing applications can now build this type of mobile device application enhancement on their application delivery solution.

The data provided by WURFL and the use of a software-ADC like Zeus can help organizations overcome a number of issues. Let's finish with one issue in particular. How can an organization ensure that the performance experienced by those using mobile devices is not compromised due to the resolution of the content being delivered back to them? Well, by identifying which mobile devices visitors are using, the organization can then make an informed decision on the resolution of the content that is delivered back. This will help ensure that the content being requested is delivered back as quickly as possible, resulting in improved page load times.

If the projected increase in mobile internet usage becomes reality, how confident is your organization that the performance experienced by those using mobile devices to access your online services is not compromised?

Image source: Microsoft Tag

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