Application performance best practices: visibility, optimization, & simpliflification

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With apps, data and users literally everywhere, accelerated by initiatives such as Digital India, the work of optimizing and delivering great app performance has gotten much tougher for IT organizations

VenkyIf a slow or unresponsive application on your mobile device or PC has ever left you feeling angry, frustrated and unproductive, you’re not alone. Business success in today’s digital age relies on application performance.With apps, data and users literally everywhere, accelerated by initiatives such as Digital India, the work of optimizing and delivering great app performance has gotten much tougher for IT organizations.

In an interview with Express Computer, Nagendra Venkaswamy, Vice President for India and SAARC, Riverbed, shared interesting industry trends that are contributing to the application performance gap among businesses in India.

Edited Excerpts

What kind of industry trends are contributing to the application performance gap among businesses in India?

As businesses enter the brave new world of ‘digital’ and accelerate their focus on the customer experience, hybrid technologies have become nearly ubiquitous in today’s IT environments. Going hybrid can bring significant benefits to the business – agility/accelerating time-to-market, cost-savings, and the flexibility to host applications and data in the locations that best serve the business. But a hybrid IT environment is more complex than either a pure on-premises or cloud-based business.

With apps, data and users literally everywhere, the work of optimizing and delivering great app performance has gotten much tougher for IT organizations. So to achieve these ideal benefits, they must solve the challenges of hybrid complexity, such as the blind spots it brings for support, management, and security. Each of these exacerbates the challenge of delivering and managing applications and data. This can be a real impediment in the business transition, because the performance of the business is dependent on the performance of applications.

Superior application performance can be a significant competitive advantage. Companies that master the complexities of delivering it have huge advantages in employee productivity, business agility, cost efficiency and customer service.

How businesses should ideally addressing the issue of performance gap? Pls list three best practices?

Organizations should first look at the user experience of the application and then understand the components that can impact the experience. This approach will help solve the existing challenges in the system and also bridge the performance gap. We engage with many companies that are juggling multiple point solutions from multiple vendors that together only address a small part of the overall application performance picture. It’s a concoction for disconnected operations, confusion and loss of business performance. In order to deliver superior application performance in today’s hybrid environments, enterprises need a comprehensive, integrated solution that provides end-to-end visibility, optimization and control:

First, you need visibility – the ability to see and to know what’s happening across your application delivery infrastructure. You need the ability to see all applications and data moving across your enterprise, regardless if on-premises or in the cloud. And the knowledge of what it all means, through analytics that give business unit leaders across the company insight into metrics that matter for optimal efficiency, productivity and growth.

Secondly, you need optimization to ensure superior performance for maximum productivity.

And third, you need to manage the complexities of the hybrid enterprise and take control, which means simplifying the orchestration of resources across the hybrid enterprise so that your infrastructure can support the speed of the business.

What is company’s focus for India?

Today, business performance depends on IT performance. That’s why 27,000 customers globally run on Riverbed. We’re in the midst of an exciting time in India, as more and more Indian organizations embark on Digital Transformation projects, go hybrid and move to software-defined networks and datacenters. They’re looking for new approaches to solve the challenges of network and application complexity. This is where we’re most relevant and confident about the growth of our business in the country.

We’ll continue to make strategic investments to support the business growth in the coming years. This year, we ramped our sales team in India and focused on new routes to market. We also opened the doors on a new R&D facility in Bangalore – our largest outside the US – and announced plans to grow our engineering team there by three-fold in the next few years. Our R&D centre in India, with its highly skilled workforce, contributes significantly to the overall Riverbed global business.

We’ve expanded our resourcing on our SI partners and service providers aligning to how Indian customers have told us they want to consume our offerings. Through partnerships with key India partners such as Airtel, Hughes, Dimension Data, and Wipro, we are jointly creating new value added services that help customers easily solve their application performance needs.

What is Riverbed’s strategy and growth plans for next 3-5 years in India?

The industry is at a crossroads right now with the proliferation of the app economy, more and more companies rethinking their IT infrastructure, the rise in digitization and intense competition in the marketplace. In many ways, the Indian market is moving towards us. You can take the retail industry in India as one example. Traditional brick and mortar retailers are revamping their customer engagement model as competition from e- and m-Commerce sites like Flipkart and Myntra heat up. The new competition – multi-billion dollar companies who’ve placed their bets on an app-only strategy – combined with accelerating customer demand for the more personalized, higher-touch shopping experience that mobile delivers, has created rapid awareness for the criticality of app performance in the Indian retail market for sure.

In the changing technology landscape, businesses need to gear focus to harness technologies that deliver greater visibility and control of their IT environment to solve the challenges of network and application complexity, in the pursuit of greater agility, cost-savings, operational efficiencies and to gain a competitive advantage. We have a significant opportunity ahead to help enterprises in India weather the stormy side of application or network performance.
In the future, our investment will be in terms of direct resources, new partner relationships and product offerings.

Speaking of Digital India, are you working with any public entity in India, also what kind of projects you are doing in India, can you throw some light on the same.

Riverbed is working with several local entities to further the aims of Digital India in a few key areas. First, we’re working with banks and other financial institutions to ensure the success of financial inclusion initiatives, including Jan Dhan Yojana, by helping them strengthen urban as well as rural networks, increase access to services and increase customer satisfaction through superior app performance and availability. Second, we’re participating in a large project with the Central Government to strengthen the tax system – primarily through supporting the performance of automated tax collections and payments systems. Lastly, we’re working with many of the country’s mobile companies – and with partners that manage mobile payments systems – to ensure that their mobile networks, critical to successful mobile payment schemes, work according to plan by ensuring quality of service.

7. Any interesting trend you want to talk about.
As Indian organizations continue to embrace the digital era, we expect CIOs to focus on the adoption of strategic IT infrastructure that will help them deal successfully with massive disruptions in the business-critical areas of agility, visibility, performance, and efficiency. For example, one area in particular we see potential growth is in software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN), an area of IT that hasn’t experienced a major disruption in decades. SD-WAN makes it incredibly simple for IT to ensure fast, agile, and secure application delivery across complex IT networks. Actual adoption of SD-WAN is still in the early stages, but poised to take off. According to recent IDC predictions, the Global SD-WAN market is set to swell to $6 billion by 2020 — and that’s not the most surprising number. Only 1% of enterprises use SD-WAN today. In the next eighteen months, IDC expects that number to grow to an almost unbelievable 70%.

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