In a cloud-enabled enterprise, IT leaders are tasked with ensuring cloud-hosted enterprise applications meet the needs of their business. But maintaining control of and gaining visibility for apps hosted in the cloud is a real problem, especially when companies face the added complexity of having business-critical applications both on-premises and in the cloud.

Measuring change

To see how the evolution of applications is impacting business operations, we looked to a recent survey by Wakefield Research that polled 900 global executives in eight countries to better understand the evolution and impact of application performance on business performance.

In terms of application performance, a key finding of the survey is the performance gap that now exists between what business needs and what business gets: 98 percent of those surveyed say that optimal application performance is essential to achieving optimal business performance, yet 89 percent say that application performance is anything but optimal—and that this poor performance negatively affects their work on a regular basis. The question is, how does cloud hosting impact these findings?

The cloud is the new normal

Nearly all respondents (96 percent) use cloud-hosted enterprise applications, and 84 percent say their company’s use of these will increase over the next two years. When those applications perform well, companies say their top benefits include better employee productivity (cited by 51 percent), time savings (50 percent), cost savings (47 percent), customer satisfaction (43 percent), faster delivery of products to market (33 percent) and improved employee morale (31 percent).

"For IT management, end-to-end visibility, optimization and control are essential across the entire hybrid enterprise." 

But when apps don’t work well for the 89 percent of companies that reported frequently poor performance, the result is dissatisfied clients or customers (cited by 41 percent), contract delays (40 percent), critical deadlines missed (35 percent), lost clients or customers (33 percent) and negative impact on brand (32 percent).

The problem

Before cloud computing, applications were under IT’s direct control in the data center. Today, some apps are in the cloud while others remain on-premises. This creates a complex, hybrid IT environment where performance problems are much harder to pinpoint and fix.

In fact, 71 percent of survey respondents say they frequently feel “in the dark” about why their enterprise applications are running slowly, and 83 percent believe that troubleshooting issues with enterprise applications is more difficult in a hybrid enterprise.

The solution

For IT management, end-to-end visibility, optimization and control are essential across the entire hybrid enterprise. In fact, the majority of executives agree that better visibility by IT staff into application performance would result in:

  • Increased productivity (cited by 56 percent)

  • Improved customer service (54 percent)

  • Improved product quality (49 percent)

  • Improved employee engagement (46 percent)

  • Increased revenue (43 percent)

As more apps move to the cloud, IT leaders will need to be able to ensure they perform as expected, data is always available when needed, and performance issues can be proactively detected and resolved before impacting business performance.