What is most important to you, the way something appears or the way something works?
Chances are you are not that bothered by the second factor; most users are not that interested in the ‘under the bonnet’ mechanics of an Apple iPad. They like the device for its form factor and style, not its internal engine.
Most users only become bothered about the way something works when the technology starts to go wrong. And just as people moan about the cost of potentially replacing an Apple battery, so they will start moaning about problematic connectivity in the always-on era.
Individuals have got used to the look and feel of internet-enabled life. The prevalence of social media means more and more users first thought when something happens in their lives is to update a series of collaborative platforms.
What might have seemed odd, even self indulgent, just a few years ago is now accepted as a social norm. But this always-on, always-connected mentality will have serious consequences unless executives start thinking about two core issues: performance and scalability.
A number of factors are crucial here. First, the number of people and devices connected to the web is only going to increase. The number of devices connected to the internet hit five billion earlier this year, says IMS Research, and will reach 22 billion by 2020.
Second, as well as tremendous increase in the number of web-enabled devices, the type and scale of online behaviour continues to change. Where as people used to connect to the web, they now update personal information and purchase goods on the move through smart mobile devices.
What will emerge is an internet of things, where all manner of devices are always connected to the social internet and communicating machine-to-machine. By 2020, IMS estimates that six billion mobile phones will be connected to the web, but also 1.1 billion cars and 2.5 billion televisions.
The internet, which currently seems increasingly important to everyday life, will essentially become the core engine of modern working and social practices. As can be seen by the figures above, the scale of growth and change is likely to be remarkable. But will your business be able to offer optimum levels of performance?
Like the infamous post-Coronation Street surge in power as viewers turn on their kettles, customer service is currently geared around anticipated peaks. Always-on television would allow viewers to connect at any time, not just during the break for advertisements.
The simple answer is that your organisation will have to become more interested in the way the internet works. Lift up the bonnet and pimp your engine now to cope with the tremendous changes in performance and scalability.