This weekend millions of people across the globe are preparing to bear witness to a yearly American tradition: Super Bowl Sunday. In the final battle of yet another exciting NFL season, either the Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers will be taking home the coveted Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night.
In addition to pro athletes competing on the field, marketing pros lucky enough to work for companies that are willing to spend big bucks for TV ad time - $3.8M for 30 seconds in 2013 - are thrilled to witness this year’s next great batch of creativity. DevOps wizards, on the other hand, have a more nerve-wracking perspective on the event. Questions like, “What if our predictions for TV to online viewer conversions hold true?” and “Is our site really tested to handle this level of short term load?” are certainly keeping these rock stars up late at night this week.
And when you start considering mobile website optimization, the questions only get more strenuous. In fact, according to Adobe’s Digital Index team, mobile video viewing is expected to double on Super Bowl Sunday alone. Yikes.
That’s right, as we dig into that never-ending plate of Buffalo wings, we'll all also have our smartphones and tablets on the ready to replay, review and critique all the best new commercials immediately after we watch them live.
But what happens if your mobile site isn’t ready for primetime? Chances are, if you work for a company like Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo or GoDaddy you’ve already invested the time, energy and resources into making sure your new spots are bulletproof - or, in GoDaddy's case, nearly bulletproof. But this is a great lesson and reminder for the rest of us about the importance of building and monitoring scalable websites. There's simply too much to lose and the margins of error are razor thin.
You are never too big to fail. Just yesterday, Twitter's website and mobile app were both over capacity, causing prolonged outages for the second time in so many weeks. Lucky for them they're Twitter, so they get a free pass. But if Twitter can have this kind of problem on any given Thursday, what makes you so confident that your mobile site will be able to handle the extra stress of Super Bowl Sunday?
All it takes is one missed opportunity, one failed conversation, and you can be left out in the cold, desperately hoping for a chance at next year’s title.
So as you gather this weekend with friends to watch America’s favorite championship game, don’t forget to ask yourself, is your site ready for the bright lights of the big show?