Almost all execs clueless why their enterprise apps run slowly

There is a huge gap between what businesses want from their IT’s, and what IT’s are able to deliver, a new survey has shown. This has resulted in businesses being less than optimal, losing revenue and customers.

According to the Riverbed Global Application Performance Survey 2015, 98 per cent of executives agree that optimal enterprise application performance is critical to achieving optimal business performance. And yet, 89 per cent of executives say the poor performance of enterprise applications has negatively impacted their work. Furthermore, 58 per cent say it impacts their work at least weekly.

Companies universally agree that business performance relies on application performance. And yet 9 out of 10 organizations suffer from poor performance on a regular basis. One cause of this performance gap is the move to hybrid IT, the survey claims.

Agility And Complexity

Migrating apps to the cloud brings agility and cost benefits, but, with other apps still on-premises, it also brings complexity. With apps, data and users literally everywhere, the work of optimizing and delivering great app performance has gotten much tougher for IT organizations. But you can’t control what you can’t see. And in order to close the performance gap, having a clear line of sight into how the apps are performing – and how the end user experience is being impacted – has also become a business imperative.

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 include:

  • Improved employee productivity (51 per cent)
  • Time savings (50 per cent)
  • Cost savings (47 per cent)
  • Improved customer satisfaction (43 per cent)
  • Faster delivery of products to market (33 per cent)
  • Improved employee morale (31 per cent)

On the other hand, pitfalls of poor app performance include:

  • Dissatisfied clients or customers (41 per cent)
  • Contract delays (40 per cent)
  • Missed a critical deadline (35 per cent)
  • Lost clients or customers (33 per cent)
  • Negative impact on brand (32 per cent)
  • Decreased employee morale (29 per cent)

The survey found that executives would be willing to sacrifice a lot for applications to work at peak performance at all times. In fact, 33 per cent would give up their full lunch break. They would also give up a portion of their program budget (32 per cent), caffeine (29 per cent), and even chocolate (27 per cent).

Given the universally recognized importance of optimal application performance, why is it so difficult for IT to deliver? Globally, 71 per cent of respondents say they have felt frequently “in the dark” about why their enterprise applications are running slowly, spotlighting a disconnect between IT teams and business executives. And outside the Americas region, that number grows even larger at 76 per cent in EMEA and 75 per cent across Asia. Troublingly, executives can contribute to the problem as they try to work around it: 37 per cent of respondents say they have used unsupported apps when corporate apps run slowly or stop working altogether, thus adding to infrastructure complexity with more “shadow IT.” Others have expressed frustration to colleagues (34 per cent), taken an extended lunch (29 per cent), used slow or down apps as an excuse for missing a deadline (26 per cent), and even left work early (26 per cent).

Cloud Computing Is a Double-edged Sword

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

Nearly all (96 per cent) of respondents use cloud-based enterprise applications in their work, 84 per cent say their company’s use of cloud-based enterprise applications will increase over the next two years, and more than three-fourths (78 per cent) of respondents say that moving key enterprise applications to the cloud has increased productivity. Additional benefits of cloud-based enterprise apps include increased flexibility (58 per cent), cost savings (46 per cent), increased agility (41 per cent), and increased collaboration (40 per cent).

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

Eighty-three percent of respondents say they believe trouble-shooting application performance issues is more difficult in a hybrid IT environment. In fact, according to a survey by Forrester[1], the majority of companies (51 per cent) say that application complexity is now their primary obstacle to mastering application performance. On average, respondents estimate it takes seven hours for serious app problems to be completely resolved.