In today’s data-driven world, digital businesses are faced with a dilemma: as the volume of data they are expected to process continues to expand, it becomes harder and harder to ensure that their growing customer base is able to reliably access this data when required.

This delay in performance – when an app cannot access and process data from the provider’s storage servers fast enough – has been dubbed the “app-data gap” or simply the “app gap” by the experts at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and it is becoming an increasingly common problem.

Many businesses are facing up to this issue at the moment, and many are spending a lot of money trying to build capacity in order to eliminate it – but most are missing the fact that smarter storage technology is available that could close the app gap much more effectively, at a much lower cost.

The app gap problem

Modern organisations frequently rely on apps to reach their customers, serve employees and fuel the growth of their business, but this can only be achieved when these apps are able to guarantee uninterrupted and instant access to data at all times.

Without the right infrastructure in place, lags in application performance become inevitable, creating headaches for the company’s staff and customers alike.

A widening app gap can slow down business activities, undermine productivity and create negative experiences for the end user, and it can often be difficult to know how to solve this.

When an app gap problem arises, the responsibility falls on the IT department to fix it, and the usual approach will be to adopt a brute-force solution of simply buying more storage until the issue is resolved.

But this is often a flawed and expensive strategy, as estimates suggest that 54% of app gap issues are not related to storage capacity at all, and can actually be better explained by configuration problems, interoperability issues or a simple failure to adhere to data storage best practice.

Rooting out the real problem

Clearly, splashing the cash on extra storage will not be an effective solution if deeper-rooted issues are causing your app gap problems, which is why it is so important to ensure that any effort to close the app gap is based on a proper understanding of how your data environment is configured.

This means looking at the storage infrastructure from top to bottom – including its hardware, software and performance trends – as well as assessing the network setup and any potential compatibility clashes between various vendor solutions.

Has everything been set up in the best way possible, or are there ways in which it could be improved?

Are your disparate systems working in a way that’s complementary, or are compatibility issues arising?

And does your infrastructure’s performance actually align with your business needs?

Without knowing the answers to these questions, it will be impossible to understand where the bottlenecks in your system are or to know what kind of solution you may need to close the app gap without overspending unnecessarily.

How can the right technology help?

Addressing these problems holistically can often be achieved through a combination of proper analysis and sensible, targeted investment in the right tech solutions, rather than unstructured spending on capacity expansions with no clear guarantee of results.

HPE’s Nimble Storage technology is perhaps the definitive example of a storage solution that has been specifically designed to help organisations close the app gap.

Rather than focusing purely on capacity, Nimble offers rapid-access flash performance at an affordable price, alongside sophisticated deduplication and compression capabilities that maximise the efficiency of the storage volume.

Most notably, Nimble also incorporates the market-leading predictive analytics tool InfoSight, which analyses and correlates usage data from more than 10,000 HPE systems deployed worldwide to predict and prevent problems before they create any impact.

It also gives the user the ability to estimate their storage capacity requirements via trends extrapolated from more than 300 trillion pieces of data, providing a clear idea of how best to configure your own system based on data taken from other organisations with a similar profile or workload.

As such, InfoSight can offer an end to repetitive technical issues, a guarantee of near-zero downtime and a sharp decrease in user complaints about performance, as well as helping companies to ensure their system as a whole is set up in a way that maximises efficiency and closes the app gap completely.

Mastering the app gap

It is a reality of 21st century digital business that clients, customers and staff alike all expect the data they require to be instantly available as and when they need it – and any organisation that is not able to meet this standard will quickly be left behind.

With HPE Nimble Storage, your organisation will be able to nullify the threat posed by the dreaded app gap and deliver the level of data availability that all of your stakeholders expect, while still keeping your upfront costs down and making the most of your current assets.