The cost of bad cloud-based application performance

Compuware IT survey raises cautionary note about leaping into the cloud without targeted app performance management tools

If you were worried about the performance of cloud-based applications, here's fair warning: You'll probably be even more so when you consider findings from a recent survey conducted by Vanson Bourne on the behalf of Compuware.

On average, IT directors at 378 large enterprises in North America reported their organizations lost almost $1 million annually due to poorly performing cloud-based applications. More specifically, close to one-third of these companies are losing $1.5 million or more per year, with 14% reporting that losses reach $3 million or more a year.

SURVEY SAYS: Bad alignments hamper app management

That's a lot left out in the ether -- or, rather, pulled into the coffers of a company whose cloud-based applications don't suffer from performance problems.

In a newly released white paper, called "Performance in the Cloud," Compuware notes its previous research showing that 33% of users will abandon a page and go elsewhere when response times reach six seconds. Response times are a notable worry, then, when the application rides over the complex and extended delivery chain that is cloud, the company says.

"Performance is critically dependent on every component in the extended delivery chain -- the data center, the Internet, other service providers and even the end user's device and browser. ... Without an APM [application performance management] strategy capable of managing this extended delivery chain and the unique properties of the cloud, there is a very high risk that companies will be completely unaware that their internal users and customers are experiencing performance problems until it is too late," Compuware says.

Indeed, its recent research shows that such performance concerns are giving pause to potential adopters of cloud-based applications. For example, 58% of the North American IT directors said they were slowing or hesitating on their adoption of cloud-based applications because of performance problems. What's more, nearly all respondents said service-level agreements for cloud applications should account for the end-user experience, not just service provider availability metrics.

Compuware suggests that companies forego traditional APM tools for those that provide a holistic view. One such example, naturally, is the company's Gomez First Mile, a software-as-a-service appliance aimed at providing an end-to-end view of application performance across the cloud.

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.