As businesses depend on technology to get more and more work done, the rate at which that technology is failing them is on the rise, new research shows.
A study by technology performance firm Compuware Corp. revealed that businesses of all sizes face pervasive technology failures, with more than half registering a significant technology failure within the past year and 81 percent indicating they had the same fiasco occur multiple times. Overall, nearly half of the companies surveyed said they experience tech-performance issues daily, while more than 25 percent reported that the frequency of failures is increasing.
Compuware CEO Bob Paul said that, at a time when technology permeates the operational fabric of every business, technology performance becomes a key competitive differentiator.
"Properly functioning technology can lead to expanded market shares, improved margins and increased revenues," Paul said. "Corporate leaders must understand the impact of technology on their businesses and take technology performance as seriously as they take other business-critical areas of their operations."
However, the study found that most businesses don't know the true impact of a tech breakdown: Only one-third of the businesses surveyed regularly collect data and quantify the impact of failures.
"You need to be able to identify, measure and understand performance issues before you can truly fix them," said Bharath Gowda, Compuware's director of technology performance services.
The research identified three primary reasons for the general lack of performance measurement and impact analysis:
- Failure to grasp the root cause of performance issues and, consequently, a reduced ability to resolve them conclusively.
- Failure to grasp the severity of the business impact of performance issues, often leading to an ineffective response through improper resource allocation.
- Lack of alignment and inconsistent perceptions of severity and the time needed to resolve an IT issue, triggering friction between the IT department and other departments of the business.
In addition, the study discovered that many IT performance issues are "fixed" with short-term patches, such as through increased IT training, an increase in IT staff or the hiring of an IT consultant.
Gowda said reactive measures like software patches, hardware upgrades and supplemented staffing are little more than Band-Aids
"Over the long run, they prove to be extremely costly and largely ineffectual," Gowda said.
The study was based on surveys of 304 corporate executives and senior managers from companies in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.