IT managers sound off on today's challenges

* Application downtime costs time and money

Application infrastructure management continues to challenge a majority of IT executives who said in a recent survey that they see losses in potential revenue and labor costs when systems are down and application performance degrades.

In fact, about one-third of 300 senior IT professionals at Fortune 1000 companies said each hour of application downtime can cost the company more than $300,000. The survey, conducted in March by infrastructure automation vendor mValent, also found that troubleshooting configuration errors on application servers, middleware and databases required more than one working day for more than one-third of survey respondents.

"Bases on these survey results and current average IT salaries … each single troubleshooting incident costs more than $1,250 in direct labor costs alone," the report reads.

Considering the cost of labor, it's also interesting that the survey revealed that many of the companies surveyed employ more than 11 people to manage configuration changes to core application infrastructure assets including application servers, Web servers, middleware, databases and operating systems. Survey respondents identified installation and configuration of application infrastructure assets as "major time sinks" for their IT teams, estimating it can take more than four working days to install and configure a complete application stack.

As a result, more then 60% of respondents said they are considering an investment in automated configuration, change and release management tools in 2007. An overwhelming majority -- 92% -- said that ensuring high availability for applications and business services was also a top priority in 2007 and nearly 80% have IT audit and compliance projects on their IT project road maps this year. Three-fourths of the respondents said they plan to migration software this year and 77% intend to institute management processes to improve IT service delivery to the business, the report says.

Other key projects on the agenda for 2007 include ensuring IT compliance with external and internal regulatory requirements for 85% of respondents, demonstrating IT/business strategy alignment and improving IT staff productivity for 81% of IT executives surveyed.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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