IDG Contributor Network: Designing a latency-free enterprise


In an era of constant connectivity, consumer expectations of businesses run high. Latency—the delay inherent between a desire and pursuant request for information and its ultimate return—creates frustration, inhibits success and can impact customer experiences and ultimately customer satisfaction. Long story short, we live in a real-time world and no one wants to wait. Latency is a source of friction.

If I can post a photo, search for a flight, watch live sports, or get real-time stock portfolio updates instantly on my phone, why can’t I do the same in my day-to-day business dealings?

Enterprises constantly straddle the line between deploying innovative approaches and carrying forward processes that drove historical success. Across companies and industries, digital transformation initiatives aim for faster business operations, more real-time interactions and reducing the amount of latency in the chain.

The focus on latency reduction matters. The longstanding phrase “time is money” has never been more true. Slow responses aggravate customers, both inside and outside the enterprise. Business who respond slowly can more readily be disrupted by a competitor or simply lose customers to more responsive alternatives. And beyond just transactional responses, the ability to rapidly adapt to changing requirements with real-time analytics remains critical. Firms with adaptive infrastructure stand to thrive.

that Walmart has invested hundreds of millions in its own cloud computing infrastructure to compete with Amazon, certainly a new approach compared to its traditional brick-and-mortar business. This has given the company the ability to modernize its software development infrastructure where “Walmart can now make over 170,000 monthly changes to software that supports its website, compared to less than 100 changes previously.”

  an American Financial Technology Award for Best IT Team. In supporting teams to deliver risk management frameworks, it mentioned that “delivery of these projects benefited from employing key Charles Schwab foundational initiatives in data and analytics.”

With the right foundational technologies in place, companies can build experience that eliminate latency and drive interactive engagement.

Push ahead with customer experience

In a race to engage with customers, companies can use modern technologies to try new initiatives, particularly those that involve the customer experience. Consider the wave of new solutions coming with the Internet of Things, and how that can apply all the way to consumer interaction. According to , in the article “Coca-Cola Is Embracing AI and Chatbots in Preparation for a Digital-First Future,” “Using data, artificial intelligence, and connected devices, Coca-Cola trying to rapidly test and enact new customer experiences and services.”

One area is connecting a new Coke On mobile app to the vending machine to create a real-time fulfillment experience. The application can determine which vending machine you are in front of, anywhere. It then presents a selection based on real-time inventory. This helps avoid having to examine the machine in detail and any negative reaction from anticipating your preferred beverage only to find out that it is not in stock.

.” The businesses that succeed in the future will harness this potential to create real-time, latency-free enterprises that drive new revenue, boost customer engagement, and enhance employee productivity.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network.