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Application Apathy: How to Diagnose and Treat it

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By Amar Nandha, Head of Application Performance Management (APM) Practice, Easynet Global Services

Apps for business or consumer use, across any device, are changing the way we experience content. Enterprise applications such as CRM systems, content management systems, VDI, procurement applications and unified communications jostle for priority on the network, despite there being plenty of room for all. Often we have to wait for applications to open, reload an application as it’s running slowly, or get rudely thrown out of an application in the middle of a piece of work. Whether based on the corporate network or hosted in the cloud, the golden rule is this: where there are apps, there has to be application management.

Whether based on the corporate network or hosted in the cloud, the golden rule is this: where there are apps, there has to be application management.

Killer Apps 2013, the latest research commissioned by Easynet Global Services and Ipanema Technologies, looks at this in a bit more detail. The researchers questioned 650 companies in Europe and the US, all with more than 1000 employees, to find out how well their applications were performing across their networks in a business environment.

The results were concerning:

Almost 80% of respondents experienced problems with their applications in terms of delay over the last 12 months.
66% of businesses relied on response times to tell how well an application was performing, and 42% rely on user complaints.

Many of us are just resigned to the fact that we’ll experience delays, resulting in what we call ‘application apathy’. But even losing just 5 minutes a day costs a business 1% in terms of productivity, so this isn’t just annoying, it’s costly too.

These performance issues mainly affect business critical applications such as ERP , CRM, and VDI, but almost 30% found that video applications and unified communications frequently suffer in terms of performance.

The other concern which emerged from the research was that these performance issues were still common despite investments being made in bandwidth to overcome them. It’s logical to think that the more applications on a network, the more bandwidth is needed, and this is only likely to increase as the diversity and power of applications expands. The research reflects this with 84% of respondents reporting that their companies’ bandwidth requirements are growing by at least 10% every year.

It isn’t just about bandwidth though: it’s about making what you have, work harder, making your network for the fast transmission of content become ‘application aware’. Without this, it’s like having a satnav without traffic updates: you can get where you want, but not necessarily the best or fastest way, so you’re just not making the most of the money you’ve spent. Intelligence on how a network is running, which applications are slowing it down, when and why, gives companies the ability to make decisions which can massively improve the way they operate, nudging them in front of competitors to gain that all-important competitive edge.

The solution? Businesses need intelligence on their networks at an application level, and they need performance guarantees for each application.

Smart Application Assurance

Ultimately, managing applications and infrastructure is highly complicated. The multiplication of applications means networks and applications are more challenging to manage than ever before.

Companies need the ability to monitor what is happening as applications flow across their network. They need the ability to monitor, control, prioritise, and maximise the value these applications deliver. When things do go wrong it’s the ability to know pro-actively before users even notice.

Easynet’s Smart Application Assurance (SAA) solution enables this.

We can determine what applications are flowing where, when, and how. We then work with the enterprise to create business-appropriate benchmarks, enabling application-specific performance levels to be set. Should performance dip, our service teams can identify this before there is significant impact to the business and the customer is immediately contacted. Our regular consulting process, our uniquely proactive approach, and our response guarantee all significantly reduce application issues while simultaneously empowering the enterprise.

Smart Application Assurance delivers an end-to-end service for assuring application performance:

  • One-hour ‘Smart Response’ SLA
  • Intelligent issue identification
  • Assured application roll-outs
  • Continuous consultancy
  • Auditing and discovery
  • Dynamic control and prioritisation
  • Improved communication

This value can be applied to both existing Easynet Global Services customers and customers who have networks and infrastructure with other providers ranging from MPLS to Internet and mobile 3G based connectivity.

Migrating some applications to the cloud works for lots of businesses, but wherever your applications sit, make sure you’re smart about the journey they’re taking.

Excerpt: Amar Nandha of Easynet Global Services asks why we accept sub-standard performance from our applications and explains Easynet’s solution. Apps for business or consumer use, across any device, are changing the way we experience content. Enterprise applications such as CRM systems, content management systems, VDI, procurement applications and unified communications jostle for priority on the network, despite there being plenty of room for all.