Think fast: Faster applications drive productivity

Better business application performance means employees will be more engaged and more productive

Tags: Application availabilityNetwork optimisationNetwork performance managementRiverbed Technology Incorporated
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Think fast: Faster applications drive productivity Taj El Khayat, Managing Director, Middle East, Turkey, North, West and Central Africa at Riverbed Technology says poor application performance impacts on productivity.
By  Taj Elkhayat Published  May 4, 2014

Applications are now the centre of the business world. Organisations now rely on them to reach customers, build products, automate back-end business processes and perform nearly every task critical to business and productivity, so the responsiveness and availability of applications is crucial.

With productivity now being judged on a global stage, it’s clear that fast applications are more important than ever. Yet, 77% of global organisations continue to focus on virtualisation and consolidation rather than the end-user experience and their productivity.

Although virtualisation and cloud technologies can save companies money and improve efficiency, they also make the task of managing applications more complicated, often causing performance to suffer as a result. However, it’s performance, not complexity, which leads to productivity improvements. So why then, is performance neglected?

One possible explanation points to IT’s fixation on cost-saving initiatives enabled by server virtualisation and consolidation. Other observers highlight the fact that 76% of companies experience downtime during upgrades to their IT architecture, so why not skip the upgrade and leave well enough alone?

In all of this, experience shows that it pays to focus on the end-user experience by giving users faster applications. Given that 76% of companies do experience downtime during upgrades, a lot of organisations are reluctant to change. The secret to achieving a happy balance is to use technologies that help IT transition to a high-performance and more cost effective infrastructure without a major redesign. There are four steps to get started.

Accelerate by attacking latency

Recently, Amazon calculated that a page-load slowdown of just one second could cost up to $1.6 billion in sales each year. It also found that half of mobile users abandon a page if it doesn’t load in 10 seconds, with three out of five not returning to the site. So it’s clear that end users have short attention spans.

In the enterprise, users are increasingly being separated from their data. The growth of telecommuting, the proliferation of branch offices and the move toward cloud mean that distance is becoming a problem. Indeed, most organisations suffer from latency somewhere — usually in the WAN, but also between services and within applications.

In order to address these issues, IT managers must adopt a holistic approach to improving end-user experience. Network optimisation can help mitigate the effects of distance. Placing applications in multiple geographies brings users closer to their data and also ensures high availability. Content acceleration reduces delivery time and includes device-specific optimizations, further enhancing end-user experience and productivity.

With a performance-optimised infrastructure in place, remote workers, for example, can access SharePoint documents up to 75 times faster from centralised SharePoint server farms, regardless of connect point or distance from the data centre.

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