Not a single member of the Akamai automotive team has been to a Super Bowl party in the last 12 years. It's not because we're anti-social - quite the opposite - during each Super Bowl, we find ourselves in the same location where we are collectively sitting with one eye on the game, one eye on our screens and usually on a call (or several) with our automotive customers. We are waiting with bated breath after their television ads run during the game and hoping for huge spikes in visitors to their sites. Our singular aim during Super Bowl is to ensure that the traffic our customers drive online is as large, error-free, secure, high-performing and successful as possible.
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As the mother of two Millennials, I know first-hand about the wants and needs of this young generation. My sons are always connected to their smartphones, expect immediacy in their digital experiences, have very little patience for processes that aren't smooth and easy, and spend significant time researching products and services in-depth online before making purchasing decisions. Because of this dedication to pre-purchase research, there have been times that, even though I study and research the financial services industry every day, they have introduced me to a new finance app, or credit card offer that I hadn't yet discovered.
Do you remember when Roger Ebert declared that video games can never be art? Many of my friends in the industry threw themselves (metaphorically) on the floor in fits of rage, as if Ebert was nearby and could hear them.
Digital Transformation, Millennials, and the Future of Financial Services
Digital performance is more important to Financial Services Institutions (FSIs) than ever before. As they continue to work to regain the trust of customers, investors, and regulators, FSIs must prepare to engage and attract the next generation of customers - millennials. Simultaneously, digitally native startups are making inroads on their market share. In response, FSIs must undergo a digital transformation - redefining value propositions and optimizing business models and processes with a laser focus on changing customer relationships and experiences. To support this innovation, FSIs must rely on web performance and security experts to deliver fast, safe, digital experiences to their customers and focus on what they do best - build trusted relationships based on exceptional financial services.
On the web, every second counts. Service engineers and operations teams are looking for ways to save milliseconds from web pages' load times. One of the simpler ways to squeeze better performance from web pages already using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is to move the redirection responses from origin to the edge. A simple and common example of redirects could be to upgrade the protocol used from HTTP to HTTPS. Another example could be to redirect to a locale-specific path. By using Akamai's Edge Redirector Cloudlet, customers can consolidate redirects that are being made through multiple layers in the technology stack to a single location on the edge.
In our last blog post, we discussed the many ways the Request Control Cloudlet could be used to provide conditional visitor access to your site or application. In this post, I'll break down which easy-to-configure Cloudlet app - Phased Release or Audience Segmentation - is right for you when it comes to splitting traffic over two or more origins.
When it comes to compression on the web, GZIP reigns supreme. In the 18 years since GZIP was first supported by browsers, other compression methods have been introduced but none have matched GZIP's combination of speed, support and results.
After having fine tuned every knob, switch, and slider to maximize cacheability on the Akamai Network, you head over to look at the offload graph hovering at a hair under 100 percent, taking immense pride in what you've accomplished. All in a day's work! The next morning rolls around and you come to find out that the Marketing team is launching a promotion to increase customer engagement and sales that requires a major update to the homepage... the kind of launch that requires removing objects from cache and re-publishing new ones, all within the instance it takes to split an atom into its elements.
If there was ever a truism it is that technology is rapidly evolving under our feet. What was right today, is likely to be sub-optimal tomorrow. This situation can cause a sense of paralysis leading to delayed action because next week the "Next Great Thing" is coming soon. With the advent of HTTP/2 (h2) that translates to holding off on optimizing your web properties. When you have large portions of your user base on h2 and a similarly large portion on h1, you need to double your efforts to keep up!
The discussions among the insurance industry participants at Akamai's Edge conference this past October were fascinating. It was abundantly clear, that there are major shifts ahead that will set the course for where the industry is headed in the long-term. Although the insurance industry as a whole has been less agile, heavily burdened by legacy systems and is really one of the last data-driven businesses to realize a full digital disruption, the tides are definitely changing.