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Togetherness is key for new chief executive at Leeds-based digital business RapidSpike

Gav Winter.
Gav Winter.

Gav Winter, the newly-appointed chief executive of Leeds-based website performance and security monitoring firm RapidSpike, writes for Digital City.

It is eight weeks since I started at RapidSpike and I’m really excited about the future.

I’m excited because using web performance insight data is the key to business growth, for us and for everyone else, but I’m also excited about the positive impact we could have on the Leeds digital scene over the next five years.

It is, in fact, the Leeds digital scene that has brought the RapidSpike team together. Andrew Mason, Robin Hill and I all met in 2011 when completing the Goldman Sachs 10k small businesses course.

Over the following few years, our businesses grew together, did business together, attended various Leeds digital events together and we became some of Yorkshire’s most well known and successful ‘tech’ business owners.

With RapidSpike and Yorkshire, togetherness is key. We have ambitious goals to become a world leader in web performance data insight, with the dream of joining the likes of Sky Bet and Callcredit and becoming the greatest show in town.

The question is, how can we achieve this?

What has struck me most about the last few weeks is the strength of the RapidSpike platform, the volume of data we capture and the ability of the team. Further to this, we have a million ideas on how we can be better and do more, so there is certainly no shortage of creativity to draw upon.

We help to secure, understand and improve online business by capturing, aggregating and analysing multiple data sources to provide key insights about digital platforms and real user experiences.

This is where the platform really comes alive.

Impressively we also improve stakeholder visibility by monitoring system performance, availability and reliability, assessing security vulnerabilities and using synthetic monitoring alongside real user experience data to alert on real-time issues.

There is never enough useful information to hand when it comes to understanding and securing your digital platforms.

We were very interested to see Amazon have a performance issue on Prime Day.

The issue reportedly cost them $99m in the 63 minutes of downtime, plus they have also quoted that every 100ms of latency has cost them a further one per cent of revenue, which means staying up, staying secure and staying fast is great for business.

This is also the case for speeding up your digital platform – a major UK retailer improved their site speed by 60 per cent, which actually increased online revenues by 26 per cent, but also hugely improved their SEO.

Google assesses all websites, links and content with sophisticated algorithms and they expect you to create and maintain great websites, and will punish you by dropping your rankings if you don’t.

As a team we want everyone to have a clear understanding of their digital platforms and real user experiences so they can make more informed decisions on how to improve speed, user happiness, revenue conversion and platform stability.

The world deserves a fast and fun online experience and the success of businesses today is very tightly coupled to their online outcomes, as is ours.