Every day, I live and breathe performance and availability solutions and how they relate to IT operations. As a Director, it’s my job to think about the big picture – the industry-level, big impacts (you know: E-commerce goes down, business revenue is lost, the news hits and stocks fall; that sort of thing). But this past weekend, I realized the impact of performance and availability is EVERYWHERE!
My daughter, Sabrina, is a 12-year-old competitive swimmer. She was at a meet this past weekend, and I noticed that she and her friends were spending so much time huddled around their “device” (an iPod Touch, iPhone, Galaxy – whatever). This in of itself is no shocker. Kids are always huddled around a device – playing a game, listening to a music video; no surprise, right?
But not in this case. You see, they were using an application that tracks the results of the swim meet and posts them in real-time. It will even post which team was winning the meet. The girls were all tracking the meet with the app – looking for their “rank” after they swam, whether they were in the finals, how their friends were doing, etc.
Now, this “meet app” is not a big enterprise software, and it didn’t have the performance and availability stability of one, either. The app updates weren’t consistent, and sometimes it would just not update at all. The girls would reboot their devices, even trying other ones, and getting more and more frustrated – and here’s the real interesting thing: Their frustration affected their overall experience of the meet itself. On the way home, my daughter told me that the meet was only “okay” – the “meet app” kept crashing and made the meet hard to follow. The instability of the app was a big impact on how she and the girls viewed the overall quality of the meet.
This little group of girls were so influenced by the performance and availability of a swim meet app, that it actually shaped their experience and influenced their rating of the meet. The days of looking at a leaderboard, or at posted printouts of the meet results – those days are long gone. The generation growing up today – my 12-year-old and her friends – have HUGE expectations from technology, and these expectations will affect their experiences with technology, which is going to get carried over to everything they do in their daily lives. How will their expectations play out in the future, when their generation starts doing more online shopping or banking? What kind of performance requirements will the future have that will need to be fulfilled?
I know that in my normal day-to-day job, we focus on the performance and availability issues of today, but sometimes it’s easy to lose connection to what might happen in the future. Thankfully, my 12-year-old daughter is there to bring me back to the reality that things are always changing, and help me anticipate the crazy expectations that are still to come.