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Why Smart Organizations Maximise Application Performance 2016

Brocade has published new global research on why and how smart organisations are maximising application performance in 2016. The study – which was conducted with independent research firm Vanson Bourne via 440 interviews with IT and line-of-business decision makers across organisations with 500+ employees from the US, UK, France, Germany, China and Russia, was commissioned by Brocade to identify and understand the challenges that businesses face in application use from the IT department through to e-commerce customers.

The full report, “Why Smart Organizations Maximise Application Performance 2016”, is available for download now. There is also a blog post from Brocade which links to the report Blog content focusing on the central themes of the research

The research aimed to identify: the importance of applications in the organisation; strategies used to guide application needs; challenges and efficacy of proposed solutions; and the impact on the business of applications not being used to their full potential (e.g. impact on performance, efficiency and revenue, customer experience and approach from departments beyond IT).

Key Research Findings:

Poor application performance can have a significant impact upon an organisation’s competitiveness.

  • 74% of respondents agreed that poor application performance can prevent an organisation from being a market leader
  • Critically, end-users (i.e. e-commerce customers) are usually the ones to suffer, regardless of the exact issues being experienced with the applications (or the deployment method)
  • The result is low satisfaction (36% for cloud-based applications/44% for non-cloud-based applications), delays (40%/36%) and fewer repeat orders (26%/29%)

Clear acceptance that solving these issues will lead to many benefits.

 Respondents reported that if application performance could be maximised, their organisation would experience: 11% revenue increase (on average) and 13% productivity increase (on average)

  • If speed could be doubled, 63% believed that customer satisfaction would improve and 44% customer loyalty would increase (44%)

Only a minority of respondents are completely confident about their applications’ current performance.

 Only 29% of respondents claim they felt completely confident that their organisation’s applications can meet performance service level agreements (SLAs) during peak usage periods

  • The gap in complete confidence between meeting performance non-peak SLAs (51%) and performance peak SLAs (29%) is concerning
  • While ‘only’ half of organisations are under pressure most of the time, the majority are suffering at moments that are the most critical to sales
  • 76% agreed that their ability to maintain or grow market share is directly related to application performance during key periods of significant peaks in demand
  • 77% agreed that it prevents organisations from maximising sales during peak periods
  • The extent of this issue is illustrated by the fact that 60% are more concerned about applications failing at peak usage times than they are about security – 50% of IT decision-makers say that peak usage times are difficult to predict

Deploying applications on the cloud does not automatically lead to benefits.

  • 61% report that their organisation is using cloud-based applications
  • But respondents are equally as likely to report that their organisation encounters challenges using cloud-based applications as they are non-cloud-based applications (89% report that their organisation experiences challenges in both cases)

Organisations are using hundreds of applications.

  • IT decision-makers report that their organisations are using, on average, 329 applications (including 196 mobile applications)
  • 63% of all respondents expect this number to increase over the next five years
  • New applications are constantly being deployed – often to replace old ones (60% report new applications are always or usually deployed to replace old applications, rather than updating the old applications)

Mobile applications are particularly important.

  • Mobile apps are most likely to be seen as important currently AND to be even more critical in five years
  • 59% report that mobile applications are critical to their organisation today
  • 54% say that mobile applications are set to become more critical over the next few years
  • 72% agree that almost all procurement of their organisations’ sales will be conducted online/via mobile devices within the next five years – e-commerce will be the standard soon, if it is not already

Departments are bypassing IT in order to deploy their own applications.

  • Almost two thirds (63%) of Line-Of-Business respondents report that their department has either deployed, or considered initiating, application projects without the knowledge of the IT department


The research concluded that poor application performance is leading to serious issues – particularly at peak usage times: which are often experienced by e-commerce customers; and that organisations are therefore missing an opportunity to increase their revenue by a significant proportion as a result. While most respondents recognised the benefits of cloud deployment, placing an application on the cloud did not automatically mean that the application performed better for the customer.

All of these issues call for a new approach to application delivery services, and Brocade contends that adopting virtual rather than traditional physical Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) enables organisations to improve application performance significantly, deal with surges (predictable or not) seamlessly, migrate applications easily and accelerate application deployment through the automation of ADC services.

With almost two thirds of decision makers stating that maintaining and managing current applications is one of the biggest drains on IT resource and budget, Brocade feels that virtual solutions also offer a far more cost-effective approach to application management, control and protection.

Traditional ADCs can be costly and challenging to configure. Software-based ADCs can add extra capacity and auto-scale applications to match transaction load, releasing resources that are no longer required quickly and simply, where and when needed across the IT ecosystem.

This enables organisations to improve performance and implement changes and updates in real-time, while reducing total cost of ownership.  Virtual ADCs also continually monitor applications and Web-based services, and strengthen network security while reducing the pressure and time lag in deployments that lead to shadow IT deployment. Looking at virtual ADCs as part of total network infrastructure enables increased performance uplift.


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