The Effects of a Not Neutral Net on Business Software Development
Think net neutrality rules going away will only affect you as a consumer? Think again. It’s not just big businesses and online media companies that are on the hook, small and medium sized businesses are likely to be worse off as a result of internet traffic discrimination and a 'tiered' internet.
Business software development will have a number of challenges once the internet starts to fragment into prioritized and ‘standard’ service.
Not until too long ago was business software development focused on software residing on local servers and machines, running locally, with little in the way of networking with remote devices. However, the adoption of the cloud has meant services are now ‘stored’ in the cloud and are provided over the internet.
Furthermore, aside from dedicated mainstream e-commerce platforms, small and medium sized businesses have adopted e-commerce deeply into their business models too, to communicate and transact with customers. Not only do they rely on these platforms to get products before customers promptly, customers rely on such e-commerce to offer an experience which is at par with mainstream e-commerce channels.
Business software development will face the challenge of a post-net neutrality world in several ways:
- Privacy – Business software development will have to be mindful that ISPs will need to delve into header information to determine the priority content is (or is not) going to get, it stands to reason that further confidential information could be accessed by third parties as well. And such reading of private information could be justified under the head of ‘service considerations’.
- IoT – The effect a tiered internet can have on the free, unfettered flow of Internet of Things communications is profound, and can significantly impact the competitiveness of the business. Even minor delays in the transmission of information can cause production line inefficiencies and losses and influence business decisions.
- Page speed – Website speed has been a high priority for business software development, and custom designed websites are faster to load than those based on open source CMS platforms. This will be of tremendous benefit as smaller, optimized-code websites will take less time to load over, possibly, throttled internet.
- Latency – Latency is one ‘imperceptible’ way in which ISPs could differentiate between ‘standard’ and ‘premium’ traffic. However latency – the time from clicking a link to the website beginning loading a page – has a real qualitative value on internet users’ browsing experience.
Ensuring enterprise remains unaffected or reducing the bandwidth used by cloud solutions, business software development could look into a number of options, including maintaining caches and data compression.
Too bad it seems a tiered internet is set to lead a regression in business operation, rather than a free movement of information.