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Business application performance issues are becoming an increasing strain on IT departments

The results of a new survey have been published, looking into the impact of application performance and availability on business end-users.

The research, conducted by IT management software provider SolarWinds, spoke to just over 300 business application end-users across a spectrum of different sized UK companies, and found that IT departments are feeling increasingly under pressure when it comes to maintaining app performance and availability.

The increasing adoption of BYOD – and consumer apps therein – along with cloud services, and an ever-more mobile workforce, means that the application delivery chain is becoming more and more complex for IT staff in terms of support and service.

The key findings of the research included the fact that 94 per cent of respondents said that application performance and availability affect their ability to do their job, and 44 per cent claimed that these are "critical" factors.

Furthermore, one in five indicated that slow or unavailable applications meant a "significant" loss in financial terms for their organisation.

In a nutshell, the reliance on business applications is high, but end-user expectations are even higher – when a performance issue or downtime does crop up, users expect a very quick response, in some cases just a matter of minutes. 30 per cent said they'd want a solution inside half an hour, and 66 per cent wouldn't be happy if an issue wasn't resolved inside an hour.

Given the complexity of the application delivery chain these days, it's not surprising that these lofty expectations aren't met sometimes, and indeed the survey found that 38 per cent of respondents had in reality waited a full business day for a performance issue with a business critical application to be resolved. 22 per cent indicated they had waited several days or even longer.

Suaad Sait, executive vice president, products and markets, SolarWinds, warned: "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. 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."

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He added: "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 is working; it's about that application working to end-user expectations. These survey results should be a wakeup call for IT Pros everywhere."