CIOs in the dark over bandwidth

Software applications

IT departments are failing to understand the demands on their networks, and seeing application performance fall as a result. And a significant minority of CIOs do not even know what applications their business is running.

According to a research report commissioned by Easynet and Ipanema, 69 per cent of IT staff do not know how much network bandwidth applications are using. As many as 31 per cent do not know how many applications their networks are running; unsurprisingly, 44 per cent are reporting problems with application performance.

And, although applications such as video and voice over IP are most often associated with network performance issues, the research found that the largest proportion of issues (26 per cent) were reported with line-of-business applications.

A further 21 per cent of IT professionals reported problems with "enterprise" applications. However, the respondents also predicted that video was likely to be the most demanding application in the future. And the demand on the network from cloud applications is expected to more than double.

According to Justin Fielder, CTO at Easynet, customers are increasingly reporting issues with network and application performance, yet spending on the network remains a relatively low priority for IT teams. This is being reinforced by the fact that two-thirds of IT managers surveyed said their budgets were either flat, or declining.

At the same time, though, Fielder suggested that companies are in danger of making false economies by ignoring the network demands of otherwise expensive applications, and by failing to monitor application performance properly. Improving network usage will, he said, boost real-world application performance quickly.

"We found that 55 per cent of companies relied on end users to tell them if there was something wrong with their applications," he said. "And the industry has not helped itself by providing too many ways to measure performance, when what really matters is the end users' abilities to do their jobs."