It’s easy to overlook the things that run in the background, like the backstage crew pulling strings and flashing lights that make experiencing a stage performance worthwhile. But those back-running systems are a necessity even in the Internet era, where readiness can make or break a consumer experience. Take the Olympics for example. The web has provided another distribution channel for broadcast content, and working behind the scenes was SOASTA, a cloud-testing firm that helped the official London Games website prepare for a traffic rush like no one’s seen before.
SOASTA’s proven its services time and again, attracting some heavyweight clients along the way. And as content shifts to a mobile-centric consumption path, SOASTA readies its company and its clients for the mobile era.
In today’s CEO Series we hear from SOASTA CEO Tom Lounibos, who discusses the impact of cloud testing for mobile, the need for market consolidation and his alternate term for the cloud itself.
What’s the biggest impact cloud testing will have on the mobile industry?
We’re living it now. After 5 years of cloud testing, SOASTA is seeing that some of the biggest brands on the planet are realizing that speed, scale and affordability matter when preparing mobile sites for previously unheard-of traffic levels – millions or tens-of-millions of users per day in some cases. Only Cloud testing enables a level of preparedness and confidence by offering half-a-million or more cloud-based load servers 24/7 combined with a big-data analytics engine to dig quickly to the root of issues.
What’s the biggest obstacle Apple faces with the upcoming iOS6?
It’s more of an issue across all mobile operating systems. It’s been projected that we’ll see 2 million mobile apps by the end of 2012. Many of these apps have the potential to fail if app developers haven’t tested for performance and functionality issues related to new mobile OS versions. The problem isn’t new – software developers have always needed to test on new OS versions – the challenge now is the incredible pace of mobile development and the diversity of the 5 billion plus mobile devices out there.
Is there currently a need for market consolidation in the mobile space?
There will certainly be consolidation, but it is more a function of market evolution than need for consolidation. It will take place over the course of the next couple years. Just as in the early days of traditional software development, early players have emerged, but the ultimate “winners” may not have even stepped forward. We need to establish the primary players, or the foundation blocks of the mobile application lifecycle market; Mobile Development – Mobile Testing – Mobile Deployment and Mobile Management. We can guess at some of the leaders now – and consider ourselves one – but there certainly will be much shifting, merging and consolidation in the space. There always is…it will be fast…and we’re excited to be part of it.
Testing an app is a bit like seeing the future. What gives you confidence in the future?
We’re at a convergence of two of the most dynamic and disruptive technology shift in anyone’s memory – Cloud and Mobile. 10 years ago, we could not have imagined the scale of the web. 5 years ago we couldn’t have imagined the massive impact of mobile in the enterprise. SOASTA has seen the cloud emerge and enable us to provide solutions for customers to problems they didn’t know they would have, and now with mobile, the scale and pace of growth are multiplied 10x. Here in the Valley, we solved tough IT problems with technical innovation and human ingenuity 10, 20, 30 years ago, and we’ll do it again no matter what new challenges are placed in front of us. Running fast and staying out front is what makes us entrepreneurs.
Favorite iPad app?
Twitter for mobile (@Lounibos).
History’s most revolutionary gadget?
If you could call “the cloud” anything else, what would you call it?