Asian biz exploring mobile optimization

E-commerce and media companies in Asia are leading the pack in finding ways to offer better Web site experiences and content delivery across multiple platforms, especially mobile.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

As mobile device penetration grows in Asia and more people access the Internet through these devices, companies such as e-commerce operators and media companies are starting to look into improving their content delivery systems and mobile Web site experiences for their users.

Kurian John, product manager for Akamai's Aqua portfolio in Asia-Pacific and Japan, said Asian businesses are no longer looking at just optimizing their Web sites and content delivery for PC devices alone as they recognize that more people are visiting using smartphones and tablets.

The impetus to do so comes from the increasingly rich and dynamic content being uploaded on these sites, such as high-definition videos, and many internal IT teams have been struggling to provide good user experiences across the myriad device platforms and network connections, John noted.

The challenges include scaling up their infrastructure to be flexible and intelligent enough to recognize the type of device people are using to access their Web sites to provide the right content and delivery, while at the same time keeping infrastructure costs down and managing internal workloads such as maintaining existing code bases, the executive pointed out.

Elaborating on the latter challenge, he said in-house software developers tend to bloat the source codes for their Web sites because they need to leave comprehensive commands for their successors to pick up on when they leave the company. These "white spaces" tend to lead to a larger payload for the Web site and a longer time to load on the user's end, he added.

In the long run, continually expanding one's hardware infrastructure to support the organization's online presence and content delivery will not be sustainable, John pointed out. As such, mobile optimization will increasingly be a viable option for these companies, he said.

Using Akamai's services as an example, the executive noted companies can push workloads such as identifying users' devices dynamically and in real-time when the requests are sent in. Thus, the analytics and content delivery capabilities will be provided by the nearest Akamai server to the company in the question.

These capabilities are largely derived from the company's Aqua Ion platform, which is a mix of tools designed to meet situational performance requirements while trying to improve the overall Web experience for end-users, he added.

So, depending on the type of Web site and content delivered, companies can look at reducing their infrastructure costs by 2 to 3 times when they choose to offload these processes to third-party optimization vendors instead, he said.

In terms of interest, John said e-commerce service providers and media companies in Asia are the two sectors most keen in finding out ways of optimizing their Web properties across different device form factors. In time, Akamai would look to get more enterprises onboard as these companies would have to accelerate and improve the delivery of their mobile sites and native apps to their business partners and customers, he added.

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