Mobile Apps and the Connected Data Center

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The prolific growth of mobile applications shows no signs of slowing. Increasing expectations in how customers want to consume information and have services delivered are keeping business leaders up at night. The busy, highly connected lifestyle of today’s consumer is putting pressure on organizations to prioritize digital transformation efforts, as entire industries are being turned upside down with the simple ability to access services conveniently from a mobile device. Ridesharing applications like Uber, video streaming on Netflix, and Waze, your personal traffic cop, are renowned examples of this transformation.

Today, there is an undeniable appeal for mobile that spans both cultural and socio-economic layers, with the mobile device acting as a computer, a social connector and an entertainer. A report published by Statista in January 2018, entitled Mobile Internet Usage Worldwide, notes that the global mobile population has reached 3.7 billion unique users. This translates to 28.56 exabytes of traffic per month globally as of 2019 — a statistic that is expected to climb to 40.77 exabytes per month globally by 2020. At the same time, mobile devices account for over 52 percent of internet traffic volume and two-thirds of time spent online.

Business leaders know that mobile experiences are a critical element of their company’s success. For IT executives, this means that digital transformation is essential.

Why This Fascination With Mobile?

Customer engagement relies heavily on customer experience. Today, “doing it well across the entire customer journey” means that the journey may be on a mobile device.

Mobile users are looking for applications that meet their increasing expectations and desires for:

  • Convenience and speed
  • Efficiency and simplicity
  • One-stop shopping – life on the go benefits from having one place to get everything done

How important has it become for consumers to have an efficient experience with businesses?

  • More than 90% of buyers reporting a superior mobile experience say they are likely to buy from the same vendor again, compared to only 50% of those who had a poor experience (BlueCorona).
  • 46% of people say they would not purchase from a brand again if they had an interruptive mobile experience (Google, 2017).
  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site (socPub).

Demographics Impacting Mobile

To understand how mobile will continue to drive digital transformation with new and innovative business models, consider the demographic data.

A recent study about engaging future workforces, done by Jim Link at Randstad Staffing, found that while millennials currently make up the majority of the workforce, the Generation Z demographic is expected to reach 36 percent of the total population during 2020. Many of the people in these age demographics have never known or have little memory of a life without the Internet. In their world, reliance on technology is normal, and those technology-centric behaviors remain consistent whether they are at home, at their desk or walking around a business campus. If something needs doing, they reach for a smartphone.

As with the devices themselves, the workforce is becoming increasingly mobile. Jim Link’s study found that the percentages of remote-worker populations within larger companies is on the rise. The virtual worker is here to stay and is accessing shared documents and internal company systems while working securely over smartphones and tablets. Millennials, the most globally-minded group to date, may increasingly opt for work opportunities with companies outside of their country of residence.

Driving Mobile Innovation

Businesses intent on staying ahead of competitors are finding new ways to engage with their customers. Many retailers and sports venues, for example, now have mobile apps to capture value for themselves and their customers.

  • Home Depot’s app lets customers search for the item they need while in the store, leading them to the exact aisle, shelf or bin based on which store they are in. They also have a feature that allows customers to scan or take a picture of an item in the store and receive the full description and specs on that item, as well as a list of other things they might need to purchase to go with it. Stanley Tools has an app, as does Napa Auto Parts and AAA Mobile.
  • Apps like Amalie Arena, home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Home Run Weather, an app that uses sophisticated physics, math and meteorology to predict who will get a home run during a baseball game, cater to fans and compliment their game day experience. Sports stadiums and venues are now incorporating augmented reality into their apps to give the fans more interactive involvement, offering the ability to get stats on the players on the field and even ‘test’ what the view is like from other seats and levels.
  • Many of the major chain restaurants such as Olive Garden and Applebees have free apps, allowing patrons to order ahead or place a takeout order, or just stay up to date on special deals and new menu items.

Multi-Tenant Data Centers for Mobile Connectivity

So much is happening so quickly. Even the meaning of mobile device is changing, encompassing a much wider array of things. Smartphones, tablets and watches, for instance, are beginning to compete for bandwidth with sensors, connected cars and other wearables.

To stay ahead or break ahead in their markets, IT organizations need a level of agility that can no longer be achieved with company-owned data centers and legacy networks. A distributed IT infrastructure involving mobile apps in the cloud, databases on company-owned IT systems, and transactions with supply chain partners, for example, requires rich connectivity and robust security.

As a result, enterprises are adopting a multi-layered approach. The enterprise’s app lives in the cloud while colocation providers with robust networking capabilities enable private, low-latency connectivity to large-scale transaction databases housed safely in their facilities. Connections to supply chain partners are enabled through in-house carriers or private network connections to Internet Exchanges for additional options.

The enterprise needs a data center partner that can help manage the complexity of an increasingly distributed IT infrastructure. It needs the expertise that can optimize cooling and power costs to ensure infrastructure is operating as efficiently as possible, and it needs high-capacity, low-latency networks to enable the free flow of data between locations, systems and devices.

As a digital transformation partner, DC BLOX provides secure, reliable, Tier 3 multi-tenant data centers and robust connectivity solutions in local areas where availability has been limited. Built on a 100G+ network fabric, each of DC BLOX’s interconnected data centers provides access to carriers and Internet Exchanges across its footprint while also delivering cloud on-ramp capabilities for direct, private access to public cloud and SaaS providers.

DC BLOX is ready to help IT decision makers find the best approach for their mobile solutions, a key part of their digital transformation journey. To learn how your enterprise can best meet the demand for mobile apps, please get in touch with us. Your customers are waiting.

About DC BLOX
DC BLOX is a multi-tenant data center provider delivering the infrastructure and connectivity essential to power today’s digital business. DC BLOX’s software-defined network services enable access to a wealth of providers, partners and platforms to businesses across the Southeast. DC BLOX’s connected data centers are in Atlanta, GA; Huntsville, AL; Chattanooga, TN; and Birmingham, AL. For more information, please visit www.dcblox.com, call +1. 877.590.1684, and connect with DC BLOX on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
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