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Aussie enterprise suffering from major app performance gap

08 Dec 2015

There is a major performance gap between the needs of Australian business and IT’s current ability to deliver, according to new research from Riverbed Technology, which says is causing serious problems.

The Riverbed Global Application Performance Survey 2015, which takes a look at the business impact of application performance, shows 95% of executives agree that optimal enterprise application performance is essential to achieving optimal business performance.

However, despite this, 88% of executives said the poor performance of enterprise applications has negatively impacted their work, and 50% said it impacts their work at least weekly.

This performance gap is causing a series of problems for Australian organisations, with contract delays (52%), dissatisfied clients (40%) and damage to brand reputation (38%) the three most common business impacts resulting from poor application performance.

“The results of this survey make it clear that application performance equals business performance because employees rely on applications to get their jobs done,” says Ian Raper, regional vice president, Riverbed Australia and New Zealand.

“To put it another way, when apps stop then so does business.”

One cause of this performance gap is the move to hybrid IT, Raper says. Migrating apps to the cloud brings agility and cost benefits, but, with other apps still on-premises, it also brings complexity.

Almost one in five (19%) Australian organisations reported using cloud apps every day while three quarters of respondents used apps such as Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services at least once per week.

Across Asia Pacific as a whole, the daily use of cloud apps was almost twice that of Australian enterprises (35% versus 19%), indicating that while maintaining application performance is already difficult, it will only become more so as Australian cloud use catches up to the rest of the region.     

“With apps, data and users everywhere, the work of delivering optimal app performance has become much tougher for IT,” says Raper.

“Hybrid is the new normal and with apps, data and end users everywhere today, Australian enterprises need end-to-end application visibility – from the data centre to the device – to close the performance gap,” he says.

Survey respondents specified their top three business benefits of optimal application performance versus the negative impact of poorly performing applications:

Benefits of Optimal App Performance

  • Cost Savings (64 per cent)
  • Time savings (58 per cent)
  • Improved employee productivity (48 per cent)
  • Improved customer satisfaction (36 per cent)
  • Faster delivery of products to market (29 per cent)
  • Improved employee morale (24 per cent)

Pitfalls of Poor App Performance

  • Contract delays (52 per cent)
  • Dissatisfied clients or customers (40 per cent)
  • Negative impact on brand (38 per cent)
  • Negative publicity (37 per cent)
  • Lost clients or customers (36 per cent)
  • Missed a critical deadline (30 per cent)
  • Decreased employee morale (23 per cent)

Troublingly, Raper says, executives can contribute to the problem as they try to work around it: 39% of Australian respondents said they have used unsupported apps when corporate apps run slowly or stop working altogether, thus adding to infrastructure complexity with more shadow IT.

Cloud Computing Benefits Business, But Also Adds Complexity

Migrating apps to the cloud has delivered benefits to the business, but also some challenges, Raper explains.

Nearly all (95%) of respondents use cloud-based enterprise applications in their work. Meanwhile 78% said their company’s use of cloud-based enterprise applications will increase over the next two years, and almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents said that moving key enterprise applications to the cloud has increased productivity.

The three most commonly reported benefits of cloud-based enterprise apps include increased flexibility (62%), cost savings (53%) and increased productivity (40%).

“That’s the good news about cloud apps,” Raper says. “The bad news is that hybrid IT contributes to the performance gap.”

Raper says there is an increased difficulty in getting end-to-end visibility into the complex, hybrid IT architectures that result from the use of both cloud and on-premises apps.

According to the survey, 86% of respondents said they believe trouble-shooting application performance issues is more difficult in a hybrid IT environment.

In fact, according to a recent survey by Forrester Research, the majority of companies globally (51%) said that application complexity is now their primary obstacle to mastering application performance.

“Australian business executives overwhelmingly agree that application performance is critical to business performance and driving results, yet the vast majority are impacted by poor app performance, creating a performance gap,” Raper explains.  

“At the same time, they are leveraging the power of cloud-based applications to elevate productivity and create happier, more loyal customers and employees,” he says.

“However, cloud and hybrid environments add complexity and application performance challenges that can also negatively impact business operations, and too often executives feel ‘in the dark’ as to why poor app performance is happening and how to stop it,” he says.

“To deliver superior application performance in today’s hybrid environments, enterprises need a comprehensive solution that provides end-to-end application visibility, optimisation and control.”

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