App performance troubleshooting is in reactive mode

When it comes to troubleshooting application performance problems, most organizations are still stuck in reactive mode.

That's one upshot of a recent study from Forrester Research and co-sponsored by application testing tools vendor Compuware. The Forrester survey found that most organizations rely on resource-intensive and manual processes to identify and solve their application-performance problems. The results were based on responses from 430 senior IT executives with Global 2000 companies in the United States and the European Union.

The results, Forrester found, were largely predictable: by an overwhelming margin (88 percent), CIOs recognize the importance of managing the application service, but by almost as overwhelming a margin (73 percent), very few have taken steps to do so.

But they've got every reason to, says Lloyd Bloom, a senior product manager with Compuware. “In this year's survey we asked [CIOs] to estimate the cost of downtime as well…and what we found was that it typically came to $10,000 to $100,000 per hour for 43 percent of the organizations. These are large organizations, Global 2000,” he notes. “In fact, 7 percent of them said [downtime] cost them more than $1 million an hour.”

“Two years ago, 60 percent [of CIOs] said they were monitoring both availability and response time, which was interesting because [in the 2003 survey] 73 percent of them said they weren't getting that information, that they were still relying on the help desk for that information,” he observes. “The unfortunate result is that there hasn't been much improvement over the last 2 years in terms of how organizations track end-user experience problems. In general they're still relying on the help desk, and 63 percent thought that [they were getting this information from the help desk] compared to 2 years ago.”