Just ask VC Fred Wilson. He says, “Speed is more than a feature. Speed is the most important feature. If your application is slow, people won’t use it.” So if you’ve been wondering why speed has appeared in every ad and on every website and product, there’s your answer.

These days, it really doesn’t require much to prove that speed is the most important feature of your service; just pay attention to your surroundings one day. Take notice of the person next to you complaining that the mobile site they’re trying to use won’t load, or your cubicle buddy who is ready to throw their laptop out of the window because the tool their trying to use is down—it won’t take long before the idea clicks.

Everything is Changing

The digital business era is reshaping the way enterprise businesses operate, making them more dependent on cloud-based “as-a-service” technologies to make it possible. Gartner projected that spending on enterprise application software grew by 7.5 percent last year and will reach over $201 billion in 2019 as businesses shift to cloud-based SaaS.

With so much riding on the software and outsourced infrastructure to propel your business, there’s also a lot to lose if one of those services slows or goes down. Baked in to business operations from online sales to engineering to HR, if an application isn’t consistently fast, then it’s consistently hurting your customers.

In today’s digital business era, speed is not a nice-to-have quality—it’s a must-have feature. Want to win? Become faster-as-a-service.

Who Needs to be Faster-as-a-Service?

Infrastructure (IaaS)

Content delivery networks (CDN), DNS providers, site accelerants, ISPs, network carriers, hosting, public cloud storage, virtualization, etc.

It’s common practice for companies to outsource a key component of their web infrastructure to these providers so they can focus on strategic initiatives that can’t be automated. These technologies allow businesses to deliver and scale their technology faster and for less.

Front-office (SaaS)

Online advertising, analytics, site personalization, social media, CMS, CRM, marketing automation, BI, ecommerce platforms, etc.

SaaS companies make the front line more agile, efficient, and effective. Most of these applications integrate with or extend customer websites or applications, so speed also impacts their customers’ ability to deliver a good user experience.

Back-office (SaaS)

ERP, help desk, HR/payroll, employee training, project management, accounting, ECM, IT management, communication, EMR, SCM, etc.

Businesses rely on these applications for faster processes, more productive employees, better communication, and increased output. These providers allow businesses to scale faster and cheaper.

Consumer Services

Big corporations aren’t the only ones to use SaaS. Small businesses and consumers are using SaaS platforms for eLearning, personal finances, eCommerce, music listening, movie watching, and more. Brands like Squarespace, Lynda, Spotify, and even Netflix deliver the same multitenant architecture and subscription service as traditional enterprise SaaS companies. For consumer SaaS, speed is even more vital as switching costs are far lower and the collective groan of the masses is heard across social media when the app is slow.

To get the full scope of the importance of speed, and to learn how you can become Faster-as-a-Service, download the first issue of our eZine, Faster-as-a-Service: How the Top SaaS/IaaS Companies Make Customers Faster & Stronger.

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