What is the killer app?

What is the killer app?

February 01

Has any company ever produced an application that they didn’t refer to, even if only internally, as a “killer app?”  Everyone who’s ever developed an application does so because they think it solves a challenge that others have not been able to achieve.

Joe Sacchetti, channel chief at Zadara (an Evoque partner) says, “Think of the killer app as the icon that sits on your laptop.  When you click onto it, you want to do something.  That could be searching real estate, doing your taxes, watching a Netflix movie, or maybe playing around with video. And the killer apps are the ones that have a lot of functionality.  Every time you have a lot of functionality, that means it has a lot of heavy use.”

But that’s only part of the holistic equation, of course.  An application does you little good without a network to which it can be connected.  “It needs bandwidth and it takes a lot of performance and spindles,” Sacchetti says. “It’s nice to be close to where the data is. If I’m sitting in New York and all of the information is in Iowa, then every single time I hit the submit button, it’s taking time to do it and you’re not going to have a good user experience.”

In other words, latency.  It’s not a new challenge; even five years ago, The New Stack was writing, “For any cloud-based application provider, time is money, and for the user, added time generates frustration, degrading the quality of experience. Across the global Internet, an increasing number of services are delivered remotely over the public cloud, and the latency of the interaction can make the difference between financial success and failure.”

Which is where the location of your data and applications increasingly makes all the difference.  “Colocation centers and data centers that are in your backyard literally bring the cloud to your doorstep, making that killer app so much easier to use and your product so much better,” Sacchetti states.   

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The challenges of making a “killer app” live up to its expectations can be daunting.  “These applications normally are heavy users, taking a lot of compute data.  Imagine your laptop plugged right into a big server and storage,” Sacchietti says.  “You have the data right there, literally connected via a cord. And this is the way the traditional companies work with their killer apps. You have all the developers and all the people on the second floor, and they were connected to the server farm that was just a couple of floors below with the benefit of the cloud edge.”

Traditionally, companies have operated in this manner, with a consolidated infrastructure.  But in today’s “work from home” environment, the rules have dramatically changed.  “Companies that want to have success with their killer app depend on bringing the data as close as possible to their end users. It’s what they need to do and where they need to do it.  If they can do it remotely and at their fingertips and have the benefits of high performance and efficiency, it’s a win/win,” he adds.

A clear solution is the colocation center, run by either the company or a third party, like Evoque Data Center Solutions.  But the center must be capable of delivering far more than just the traditional space and power capabilities; increasingly, companies are demanding the ability to connect…on a regional, national, even global basis.  They want this for their customers as well, and with good reason:  a recent 451 Research report revealed that four of every five of what it calls “cutting edge” customers would be likely to switch to a different brand or provider if they experience poor performance, like latency, from their online app or service.

“So, you’re only as good as your network,” Sacchietti says.  “Is the killer app relevant to you if you are a company that has your core business running around a particular application? Then the answer is most likely yes.  Killer apps that power certain industries like life sciences, law enforcement, oil and gas, media and entertainment and education.  All, for example, have high needs for enormous amounts of video and data that move in and out of locations.

“Companies in these industries make use of colocation services because they’re close by to them.  They deliver the low latency. Also, they deliver a maximized killer app that they’re used to using at remote locations,” he adds.

This is obviously going to become more important than ever over the next several years, with the emergence of edge networks, and as data from the Internet of Things (IoT) begins to flood them.  That may be down the road, but the need for effective interconnection is now, with greater presence and an absolute minimum of latency.  At Evoque, we’re pleased that our Connectivity Suite incorporates a global range, giving companies the ability to make killer apps work as well as they were designed to do, regardless of where they are.

Killer apps are capable of transforming the way you do business, given the proper infrastructure that sets them up for maximum success.  You owe it to your customers and to yourself to make sure that happens.



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