IT Continues to Struggle to Ensure Performance and Availability of Applications

While the application is now the heart of businesses of all sizes and its performance is the lifeblood of success, IT continues to struggle to ensure its performance and availability, finds a new survey from SolarWinds.

The proliferation of BYOD, cloud, SaaS and consumer technologies in the workplace have made the application the disruptive technology that will drive business IT into the coming decades. At the same time, the application delivery chain is becoming more complex to support as applications become more networked, virtualization drives IT infrastructure convergence and abstraction and end users become more mobile.

“Applications affect nearly every aspect of our world. And not just business, but well beyond. Today, applications impact people’s lives in ways never imagined just five to ten years ago,” said Suaad Sait, executive vice president, products and markets, SolarWinds. “The resulting importance of application performance and availability requires IT to expand beyond infrastructure-centric management to add app-centric management. Beginning now and increasingly so in the future, this will make or break businesses. Ultimately, IT will be held responsible for application performance, regardless of whether the application resides on premise or in the cloud. It’s no longer just about if an application working, it’s about that application working to end user expectations. These survey results should be a wakeup call for IT pros everywhere.”

Fielded in June 2014, the survey yielded responses from 202 business application end users currently employed full time in an office environment—public and private sector small, mid-size and enterprise companies—in Singapore.

The application is the heart of business and its performance is the lifeblood of success

Applications, such as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, NetSuite and others, are now at the core of nearly all business-critical functions and beyond. Major vendors such as Cisco have acknowledged this reality by architecting data center offerings to be app-centric. With this, application performance and availability have become more important than ever; productivity, end user satisfaction and revenue are all affected.

In fact, 94 percent of business end users who responded to the survey said application performance and availability affect their ability to do their job, with 59 percent saying it is absolutely critical. 71 percent also mentioned that app performance and availability have become more important to doing their jobs over the past five years. Of this group, 61 percent said app performance and availability have become more critical because the amount of time they spend using apps on the job has increased. Fifty-seven percent also said they are expected to work faster/complete deadlines sooner.

In addition, 37 percent said slow or unavailable applications result in significant financial loss (tens of thousands of dollars or more) for their companies annually.

Reliance on applications is high, end user expectations are even higher

The quality of the end user application experience is critical for success. End users expect applications to work and work well. When application performance or availability issues do arise, end users expect a quick response time to problem resolution from IT, down to just minutes in some cases. Seventy-six percent of business end users said they are only willing to wait an hour or less to contact their IT departments when they experience an app performance or availability issue, with 47 percent of those willing to wait only a half hour or less and 17 percent unwilling to wait at all.