By Daniel Hunter

Easynet Global Services, the managed cloud infrastructure business, today unveiled the results of a new study examining the difficulties the public sector faces with the performance of their critical IT applications. Titled ‘KillerApps 2013’, the study indicated that 75% of public sector companies are experiencing problems when accessing and using networked IT applications.

KillerApps 2013 focuses on business-critical applications used by public sector companies and charts how those applications perform when run across the corporate network. Poorly performing applications lead to a decrease in productivity and frustration as users are forced to wait for slow or non-responsive IT applications - often due to congested and overstretched networks. The research found this situation was pervasive within the public sector with 45% of respondents reporting that this type of problem is becoming more frequent.

Findings include:

Network spending and demands are increasing, but utilisation of the asset is inefficient

The research showed that 79% of IT professionals in the public sector are seeing the data requirements of their corporate network increase by at least 10% per annum, with one quarter seeing growth at 20% or more as the sector seeks to drive increased efficiency using evermore centrally hosted IT. Consequently, on the whole respondents said they are investing more in the network with budgets rising for 37% of organisations, remaining static for 46% and falling for just 13%. However, the research demonstrates that network assets could be used more efficiently with just 28% of respondents regularly using the network to its full capacity.

Alan Fogden, head of public sector at Easynet Global Services, commented: “What’s clear from this research is that public sector organisations need to challenge traditional ways of working to increase the efficiency and value for money of their corporate networks. By thinking about how much network resource each key application actually needs and setting some basic controls the sector could begin running the asset at full capacity reducing costly upgrades.”

Business critical applications are most likely to suffer performance problems

75% of CIOs and IT Directors at public sector organisations said they had experienced some kind of performance issue with critical applications in the last 12 months. When asked which type of application most frequently suffers performance problems, critical operational applications ranked highest with 35%, closely followed by video-based applications such as Unified Communications with 33%.

Public sector IT teams lack visibility into what’s happening on the network

Just 44% of public sector organisations have a basic understanding of how much bandwidth each of their applications consume, which compares unfavorably to a cross-industry average of 60% and with sectors like financial services and manufacturing which reach over 70%. Without a view of what’s happening on the network it will be impossible to reduce instances of application performance problems.

Alan Fogden, head of public sector at Easynet Global Services, commented: “The results of this study suggest that public sector organisations are struggling with IT management and fighting to reduce instances of application slowness or non-responsiveness. If a mission-critical system is down for a mere five minutes each day the organisation is losing around 1% of overall productivity.” He continued:

“Simply throwing additional network capacity at this problem won’t fix it. Public sector companies need a more thorough understanding of what’s happening across their networks with the ability to manage the performance of those applications that really matter.”