Closing the ‘App-Data Gap’

As IT systems become increasingly complex, performance lags are costing companies billions in lost productivity. Here’s how to keep the delays at bay:

Our ability to communicate across companies and time zones has left people with a demand for the instant implementation of their ideas. We are the ‘now culture’.

However, people remain frustrated by downtime and unanticipated delays across the increasingly complex grid of cloud-based infrastructure, data networks, storage systems, and servers that power companies’ work.

As the promises presented by the Internet of Things begin to marry connectivity and cognition, delays in propagating and refreshing data can cause real drains on worker time and economic losses.

When apps slow down, you’ve hit the App-Data Gap.

 

The problem

The App-Data Gap represents a significant problem in the business world. A survey of nearly 3,000 IT professionals and business users based in the US, Germany, the UK, Australia, and Southeast Asia demonstrates its scope and scale around the world.

The study, commissioned by HPE Nimble Storage and completed with assistance from Precision Sample and Oxford Economics, found that just under half of employees surveyed say they lose more than 10% of their working day – about 48 minutes – just waiting for software to load. Nearly one in five employees experience more than six delays per day when they attempt to use software.

IT decision-makers (ITDMs) feel that pain too – 43% say they lose between 11 and 30 minutes each working day because of delays they encounter while trying to use applications.

Based on a calculation derived from the survey results, US companies may be losing as much as $7.5bn annually of worker time due to delays and downtime, as their employees wait for various software applications to load.

Escalating the issues, many IT professionals remain unaware of the magnitude of the problems residing within their own companies. This then allows the small delays from the App-Data Gap to add up to big problems.

The App-Data Gap is also a complex problem, with multiple potential causes. This means that the problem cannot be quickly recognised and solved. This results in more time being wasted as the problem is investigated, which further drives down productivity while escalating costs.

There is also a generational perspective which is relevant to The App-Data Gap problem, with Millennials particularly aggrieved by such delays. More than three-quarters (77%) of Millennials say that sub-optimal application performance affects their ability to achieve their personal best, compared with just half of Boomers. More than four in 10 (42%) of Millennial business users say their employer is to blame when software performs poorly, more than any other age group. So for businesses looking to recruit and retain the best Millennial talent, the App-Data Gap can cause problems.

 

The solution

The first step must start within corporate IT departments. They need to better understand the frustrations and priorities of their employees. For example, respondents identify email delays both as the number one reason for declining workplace productivity and as the most critical business application for their company’s overall competitiveness and service to customers. Yet only half of ITDMs say that they provide “above average” or “outstanding” email performance to their end-users, according to the research.

While it may be easy to dismiss the App-Data Gap as a minor cost of doing business in an increasingly connected world, organisations that ignore the issue as a petty annoyance may actually be doing a disservice to their company’s overall competitiveness.

To help alleviate App-Data Gaps, HPE Nimble Storage suggests that firms must ask themselves three key questions:

  • Do you understand which data applications cause the most frustration for your workers?
  • Are there areas of your business that require data-intensive processes that could slow the business down?
  • Have you carried out a rigorous assessment of your company’s data infrastructure to determine where potential latencies are worst?

There are also technological solutions. Offerings from HPE Nimble Storage, available through Ingram Micro here, leverage flash storage and predictive analytics to eliminate the gap and guarantee 99.9999% availability. This delivers the best all-flash capacity per TB in the industry – and future-proofing design for value today and tomorrow.

Making storage autonomous is vital. HPE InfoSight, a cloud-based predictive flash analytics platform, eliminates headaches and wasted time by transforming how storage is managed and supported. It analyses millions of sensors every second to prevent problems and watches over the company’s infrastructure 24/7.

Overall, if a business is falling down the ‘App-Data Gap’, it will be having far-reaching impacts on the productivity and overall success of a business. It needs proactive ITDMs introducing the best technology, utilising the cloud and machine learning, to plug that gap.

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