Improving application performance to meet business needs

Businesses are striving to boost productivity by storing information in the cloud as well as on local systems, creating what is known as hybrid environments. Local and remote employees are able to then access that data from an increasing array of connected devices, including from smartphones, laptops and tablets.

However, a result of the complexity of the enterprise is that application performance is often sacrificed. In fact, according to the Riverbed Application Performance Survey 89% of business executives say that poor application performance negatively impacts their business on a regular basis.

However, it seems that executives are in the dark about the cause of performance problems in their enterprise applications, as many as 71% in fact; and IT continues to be too disconnected from the rest of the business. If organisations want to succeed in digital transformation, the gap must be addressed, otherwise, the current infrastructure challenges will only worsen as the complexity grows.

>See also: Understanding application workloads for more agile, innovative IT

The negative impacts on the business as a result of this widening performance gap between the needs of businesses and IT’s current capabilities can be problematic and felt across the entire organisation. Effects include dissatisfied customers, contract delays, missed deadlines, lost revenue, decreased employee productivity and morale, and negative brand impact.

However, when applications deliver the expected user experience, organisations see improvements in employee productivity (51%), time savings (50%), cost savings (47%), and customer satisfaction (43%) as well as faster delivery of products to market (33%).

But, with other applications still on-premise, it also brings complexity. With apps, data and users literally everywhere, the work of optimising and delivering great application performance has become tougher for IT organisations. In fact, 83% of respondents said they believe trouble-shooting application performance issues is more difficult in a hybrid IT environment.

The high cost of failure

By failing to address application performance issues, businesses are at risk of significant financial loss. According to IDC research, the cost of a mission-critical application failure for an enterprise ranges from £500,000 to £1 million per hour. These high-profile crashes can then generate unwanted headlines and lead to significant reputational damage.

But even more worrying are the low-profile slow-downs, delays embedded in a system which can, over time, chip away at productivity, all whilst going unnoticed. It’s the invisible issues which don’t make the headlines or get the attention they deserve, however they are far more impactful because they are so much more common than the headline crashes. Low-profile issues are often hidden throughout systems, impacting productivity.

>See also: Getting real visibility for monitoring virtual environments

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.

1. Visibility

Organisations need to consider solutions which provide application visibility in a hybrid world. A tool which promotes WAN optimisation and acceleration can help identify a multitude of applications and organises those with similar business intent into logical groups for easier identification, management and reporting. With the combination of integrated network, application and end-user visibility, IT can then ensure optimal app performance.

2. Optimisation

If digital transformation initiatives are to be successful and application performance improved, the network must be modernised. In a cloud environment, applications and data are highly mobile, creating even more challenges for IT.

Moving applications and data to the cloud impacts both bandwidth and latency. During and after the migration, bandwidth utilisation increases and traffic patterns begin to vary significantly.

>See also: What businesses can teach the public sector about digital services

Quite often network links become saturated, which can degrade the end-user experience of both existing applications and the newly deployed cloud application. IT must have tools and processes which streamline cloud migrations and ensure that migrated applications meet performance SLAs and user experience.

3. Control

IT should look to implement new technologies which can simplify the control of application performance by centralising it, making it easy to enforce performance policies across all applications. This will provide an agile mechanism to increase performance and security across the hybrid enterprise.

Enabling true performance

New technologies which allow visibility, optimisation and control mean that even within hybrid architectures, with multiple locations housing different applications and data, everything can be stored securely in the central data centre.

Effective monitoring of application performance requires access to application performance infrastructure. Thanks to cloud technology, IT now has the ability to configure application infrastructures so that they respond to the organisation’s needs, and integrate these infrastructures with other systems within the network, ensuring flawless delivery and the best user experience.

>See also: Storage in an unstructured world – the role of object storage

Organisations must have the ability to optimise application delivery and networks to ensure optimal user experience and higher productivity. Not just for employees, but also partners and customers, wherever they are located and no matter what devices and networks they’re using.

If IT cannot stay in control and move quickly to resolve application performance issues, the performance gap will remain wide open. Providing a clear view of how all applications are performing, whether they are on-premise or in the cloud, can ensure that IT is able to finally close this gap by staying on top of network blockages and identifying data trends that can lead to a bigger disaster down the road.


Sourced by Steve Foster, Solutions Engineering Manager at Riverbed Technology


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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